Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Catching Up On Social Studies

It has been a busy couple of weeks in Social Studies. We finished our unit on the government of Pennsylvania. We learned that our state government is not very different from the federal government of the United States, which we learned about last year.

An interesting, and challenging, part of the government was understanding checks and balances. Checks and balances is the process of making sure that none of the three branches of the government gets more power than the other two. To help us get a better understanding of these jobs and this process, we had to work together in teams to balance a marble on an equilateral triangle. This might seem like an easy task, but it took our teams a REALLY long time to figure out how to get that marble to stay right in the middle of the triangle. As you can see in the pictures below, our teams tried and were successful using different strategies so we learned that an important part of the government working properly involves people working together -- something we noticed doesn't always happen in real life.

After wrapping up our unit on the state government we began learning about the natural or physical regions of Pennsylvania. An important part of studying our state involves understanding the 5 themes of  geography. So to start off our unit on the regions, we spent a few days learning about the five themes and what they mean. Here's the graphic organizer our class created:

Once we had some background knowledge about geography, we started to think about the questions we'd like to ask about our region of Pennsylvania, the Piedmont Region. There were some questions we HAVE to ask because our curriculum says we have to learn those answers, but we could also ask other questions just because we were curious and wanted to learn the answers. Here's a look at the questions we're trying to answer using our reading and research skills:

As we find the answers to our questions, we're also learning how to create a Google presentation so that we can share our learnings here on the blog. Be sure to look for that! It's coming soon! After break we'll also be working in groups to teach you about the other regions of Pennsylvania.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thank You

Today a flower arrangement arrived for me along with a very kind and thoughtful note. The card was not signed, but based on the message it seems to me that this beautiful gift probably came from a parent of one of my students. With the difficult events of Friday weighing heavily on all of us, I just wanted to thank each and every one of you for trusting me with your children every day. I do not take this responsibility lightly, and I want you all to know that when your children are with me I will do everything in my power to keep them safe.

To whomever sent the arrangement, if you are reading this, thank you. Your kind words reminded me yet again of why I have wanted to be a teacher since I was seven years old. Everybody hug your kids tonight. They are all amazing. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Sad Day

Today we had a sad day - we had to say goodbye to Angel because she and her family are moving. We will miss Angel very much, and we know that it can be a little bit scary to start at a new school. So to help her get off to a great start we sent her on her way with a Compliments Car Wash. Angel walked between two lines, and each student complimented her on something positive she added to her classroom. I don't think Angel is going to have any trouble making new friends because almost everybody said she was a good friend who followed the Code of Conduct.

After we had our car wash, we got one last picture of The Bair's Den with Angel. Angel, even though you are moving away, you will always be part of our family! We will miss you!

The Bair's Den

Our silliest faces

Friday, November 16, 2012

Lentic and Lotic

We did a project about lentic and lotic water.

 If you want to learn more click here.

The Lentic Lotic Experiment

We went outside to see if the ponds were lentic or lotic.we saw the first body of water it was moving but we new it was healthy because plants growing in the river. Then we saw the next body of water. It was flat it did not move plants were growing out of the pond.it was lotic. Are hypothesis was correct.We have a healthy water system because we saw a blue haren.

by Ben and Justin

looking in the outdoors for lentic and lotic

                                                 Emmy, Angel, Destiny, Carley

                       We learn that we have lotic water at bear creek and it is very healthy and we know that because lots of birds and animals live there. We got to go outside and see are water systems and the animals that live in it. Are hypothesis was  right  because we said that we have lentic and lotic water and we do have lentic and lotic.


Lentic and Lotic

We are going to be telling you about Lentic and Lotic water systems. Lentic is calm water and Lotic is wavy water. How we know that it is we went outside and saw it in are stream and pond at are school. We have both lentic and lotic water systems. We saw inside of animals habitats. We want to know what a brook, stream and creeks are different. The water is healthy because it has food for animals. We saw algae in the water.

By Kohl, Ian, Austin, Carson

Our mini field trip outside!

We went outside to find lotic ponds and lentic systems in science class, so we went  out side and we looked around. We found a lotic water system and we had lotic.
  We seen a great blue heron, It was in the pond eating algae from the outside of the pond.
   then we went to find a lentic water system we looked around and we seen a lentic system. We also saw a few habitats. It was a duck habitat, which was a pond, same as a lentic water system. Our hypothesis was that we had lentic and lotic water systems at Bear Creek. From our proof and our pictures our hypothesis was correct. Since there is algae growing on the side of the pond and we saw a great blue heron that tells us that our systems are healthy.   

Our Lentic and Lotic Field Trip

     Bear Creek is a safe environment. There is clean water and Bear Creek normally has lentic waters but in one section there was lotic water. we saw mini waterfalls. We saw the water move because of the wind. It has tons of wildlife. We also saw ducks diving for fish in the pond. We saw the great blue heron standing on algae. We also saw places for animals too live during the Winter. Our hypothesis was correct, there are lentic and lotic water systems at Bear Creek. I think when the wind is active its lotic, but when its not active it lentic.

     We learned many things about nature and how some waters are lentic and lotic. The water is healthy because, animals and fish live in them.
     When we did this we went into the habitats of many animals on school property.

Out in nature and wildlife

Maggie,Rochelle and Jordyn

We went outside on a walk for science class and took pictures of lentic and lotic water.We saw many kinds of ducks and a Blue Harren and a bunch of other thing like mud that came from lotic water.Our hypothiesis was right we have lentic and lotic water at our school.We only have fresh water in our school but when you go outside you can see algae in the lakes and ponds and that is what makes our water unhealthy outside.

It is very wonderful to have nature at our very own school Bear Creek!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Puppet Pals

We've been learning how to use all of the different apps on the iPads these last few weeks, and we are really enjoying the games and activities to create projects and practice our skills. One of the apps is called Puppet Pals, and we can use this app to create our own story and act it out.

Here's our first finished project, a puppet play by Emmy! Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Exploring Water Systems - Part 2

Today we took the next steps in the scientific process to see what we actually learned about the water systems here at Bear Creek. To help the kids work through the more challenging parts of the scientific process, Analyzing Data and Drawing Conclusions, they had the following questions to answer:

Each group was given an iPad different than the one they took pictures with yesterday. The kids had to work together to analyze the data collected by the other group and also think about the observations they made while we were on our walk. We took notes using the Notes app on each iPad. The groups worked really hard to answer the questions and record all that they saw yesterday.

Tomorrow we will finish our tasks from today and *hopefully* each group will get their results published here on the class blog! We should all have our results published by Thursday so definitely check back to see what we learned from our experience!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Our Mini Field Trip

In Science we are starting our unit on water, and the first thing we're learning about are different types of water systems. Today we learned the words lentic and lotic. A lentic system is a still water system, while a lotic system is a flowing water system.

As Mrs. Bair was introducing the vocab words, people in our class started to share lots of ideas and questions. Soon she started to write down everything we were saying on the board. When she stopped, we realized that we were actually using the Scientific Process!!

Here's what we talked about and shared:

My mom told me the Chesapeake Bay flows into the ocean.
I’ve seen the water flowing under the bridge.
I could see the water flowing under the bridge when I was walking home when it was raining the one day.
I could see the water coming from the side of the creek.
On nature walk I think I saw two lentic water systems.

Can lentic and lotic water combine?
What happens if lentic and lotic water mixes?

I think we have lentic and lotic water systems here at Bear Creek.

Mrs. Bair told us that we were going to go outside and collection some data. We collected our data using the iPads! We took pictures, and Lydia had a great idea! She told us to use the notes to write down everything that we saw and noticed. Even though we were right next to our school, it was a REALLY exciting field trip. We even got to see the great blue heron!

Tomorrow we're going to analyze the data to see what we found. We think we already know that we've proved our hypothesis, but we have to make sure. We also think we've drawn some conclusions about how good the water system is here at Bear Creek! We will be sure to share our pictures and tell you all about the rest of the process tomorrow!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Science Olympics

Students in the Bair's Den and students in Mrs. Towsen's class spent three days last week learning how to use a variety of scientific tools by participating in a variety of events we called the Science Olympics.

Having spent a day in the lab getting introduced to the tools, what they looked like, and why we used them, the kids got down to business and practiced using these tools to complete a series of tasks. These tasks included:

  • The Standing Long Jump (practiced measuring length with a meter stick)
  • Estimation Distance Challenge (practiced measuring distance with a trundle wheel)
  • The Discus Throw (practiced measuring length with a ruler)
  • The Big Head Contest (practiced measuring circumference with a measuring tape)
  • The Right-Handed Marble Grab (practiced measuring mass with a balance and grams)
  • The Dictionary Pull (practiced measuring friction and force with a spring scale)
  • The Left-Handed Sponge Squeeze (practiced measuring volume with a graduated cylinder)
As you can see from the pictures in our slideshow, the kids have a great time participating in these different events.

More than having fun, though, the students in our classes really developed an understanding with the tools, how they are used and what they are used for during scientific experiments. Every student in the Bair's Den passed their quiz on the tools! When we talked about it the class overwhelmingly agreed that the time they spent actually using the tools helped them understand the meanings in our student guide and gave them the background knowledge to be able to think about other jobs you can do with those tools.

We're looking forward to planning and doing many more experiments using these tools throughout the year!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wacky Hair Day

It sure was nice to see everybody's smiling faces back today after our eventful last couple of days. I hope that everybody's families, friends and homes made it safely through Hurricane Sandy with little or no damage. Compared to other locations just a few hours away we certainly can consider ourselves very lucky.

Our day back was a busy one, and here at Bear Creek we celebrated Halloween by having Wacky Hair Day. Unfortunately because of the two days off due to the bad weather many of our friends didn't remember this particular spirit day. But we did have a few people who were all decked out with some pretty Wacky Hair - even the crazy teachers!! Check out the slideshow below for some cool dos!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Science Tools

If you've been checking out our posts, you know that last week we spent part of one morning trying out all sorts of different tools that scientists use to complete their experiments. This week we're going to take a closer look at each tool and learn what it's used for and how to use it properly. Our week will end with a little quiz to see how well we've learned about the tools and their uses.

To help prepare the kids for this quiz we will be doing some Scientific Tool Olympics here at school. At home, you can help your child by studying a few tools each night using the chart they brought home today. The great thing is you do not have to study all 12 tools every night! Since we have four evenings, I recommended to the kids that they study four tools tonight, four tools tomorrow night and four tools on Wednesday evening. Then on Thursday evening you can do review each tool. Hopefully chunking the tools like this, along with our hands-on activities during the day, will make it easier for your child to remember these important tools.

Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming post about our Olympic Events, and please let me know if you have any questions about the studying.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Science Tools and Crazy Hair

The first three days of our week have been very eventful! On Tuesday, we celebrated the fact that Bear Creek earned $1,000 in school supplies from the Avery contest. Our school finished 15th out of over 9,000 schools! Last year Dr. Spagnolo and Mr. Kingsborough promised to have colored hair if we were one of the top schools so Tuesday they fulfilled their end of the bargain. Dr. Spagnolo had green hair and eyelashes, and Mr. Kingsborough had a pink beard and mustache to go along with his pink hair and eyelashes. Unfortunately we didn't get a picture with Mr. Kingsborough, but some of us were lucky enough to get our picture taken with Dr. Spagnolo!

We have been finishing up our writing pieces about the scientific process, but we are already looking at our next science topic: the tools that we will use this year when we're completing experiments! During the past week student in the Bair's Den, along with all of the other 4th grade classes, visited the science lab for one period. During this time we tried out many different tools, talked about how they were the same and how they were different, took photographs of the tools, and made a hypothesis about how they will be used. After we complete our writing pieces we'll be going back to take a look at our hypothesis to create a graphic organizer that shows all of the tools, their photos, and the job each tool does.

Check out the slideshow below to see us in action in the lab getting acquainted with these tools and how they are used:

We're also doing a lot of blogging this week! Be sure to check our student blogs for our informational pieces about the scientific process, our descriptive autumn poems, and some choice pieces that we have been working on. We would love to have you comment on our posts!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Our College Friends

On Tuesday, October 8, we had a group of very special helpers come in to visit with our class and Mrs. Towsen's class. Miss Conrad is one of the coaches of the Lebanon Valley College Women's Soccer team, and their team came to visit with us, help us with a writing project and read with us!

One of the tools that writers use to make their writing more interesting is descriptive words. Authors usually think of these words by using their 5 senses because almost everybody can make a connection to seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling or feeling things. So we started working on a poem about autumn that will use all five of our sense.

To add extra pizazz to our poems, the college girls helped us use some of the things we observed about autumn to make beautiful pictures to go with our poems. We'll be hanging the artwork and our finished poems in the hallway and stairwell for everybody in the school to enjoy. Take a look at the slideshow below to see all of our hard work.

Thank you to the LVC Women's Soccer team for coming to visit us and help our in our classrooms! We had so much fun, and we hope that you'll come back again some time.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Homecoming, No School and Book Fair... Plus Other Info

Can you believe that it is already October? It doesn't seem possible that we have been in school over a month already! We have had or will be having some special events, and I wanted to take just a few minutes to tell you about them.

One Monday we welcomed a new student to The Bair's Den! Rochelle moved to E-town from Donegal, and we are very happy to have her in our class.

Yesterday afternoon band members, football players, cheerleaders and The Bear came to visit Bear Creek for a pep really. As you can see from the pictures we all had a great time cheering on the team and clapping along to the music. We were also very proud and excited because our very own Ian was chosen to be the 4th grade representative at the game tonight! Congratulations, Ian!!!

Waiting patiently for the pep rally to start

Can you see the first person to spot the E-town Bear?

Ian gets called up to join the players.

Getting introduced to the entire school

Clapping and cheering - we totally beat 5th grade in the cheer off!

The Bair's Den also had another excited winner today when Emma's name was randomly chosen as the Box Top winner for the month of September! Emma got a coupon to buy some books at the book fair! Congratulations, Emma!

Tonight (10/5) - Tonight is Bear Creek Night at the E-town Bears football game, and it is also Homecoming. On Tuesday your child received a blue coupon for free admission to the football game so we hope that you will be able to come out and join us as we cheer on the football team.

10/8 - As Lydia said today, "Thank you, Christopher Columbus!" Your child does not have school on Monday, October 8 due to the celebration of Columbus Day. School will be back in full swing on Tuesday, and it will be Day 5.

10/9 - 10/11 - The Book Fair will be continuing here at Bear Creek. We will be shopping during our library class on Thursday, October 11 at 11:25 am. Feel free to come in and shop with your child. If that time doesn't work for you, there will also be another family night from 6:00 - 8:30 on Thursday, October 11, so you can come in and get some books with your child.

One last thank you to everybody who sent in change for the Penny Wars. Bear Creek raised an amazing $918 for the capital campaign! 4th grade made a respectable showing and came in second place behind 5th grade.

It's been a great start to the school year, and I'm looking forward to another amazing month in October!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

But That's Not Math....

Here in the Bair's Den we try to get a lot of bang for our buck each day, and today was no exception. All of the sudden, during our Social Studies lesson on using latitude and longitude to find location, somebody said, "Wait - why are we doing math during Social Studies???" That's a really good question because many times we really break up our day into the different subjects, and it can be hard to see how everything is connected in real life.

We spent some time talking about this, and the class realized that many of the things we do every day involve more than one subject. Just take a trip to the grocery store. You have to read the labels to find the things you want, think about your health to make good food choices, and use math to make sure you're not spending too much money. Three subjects in just one trip! And if you count the list you have to write or type so you don't forget everything - that's four!!

Just this week we have been doing a lot of that combining to get the most out of our time. We've been working on number lines, adding, subtracting, skip counting and place value while we are learning how to use latitude and longitude. In science, we're learning that scientists have to be able to write about what they've done and learned so that others can try to redo their experiments. And we also combined reading, art and community building to create projects to go along with the story Big Al by Andrew Clemens.

Big Al is a big, ugly fish who really wants friends, but he doesn't have any. Finally, after trying many, many times, Big Al is able to save the day and have many new friends. To help us understand the author's purpose (to teach us an important lesson) we used visualization and teamwork to create our own scenes from the story. We then used our scenes and the plot map we made to summarize the story and make connections. Check out the pictures below to see our teams in action. We'll add pictures of the final products when we hang them up for display.

So even though we talk about math, social studies, science and communication arts, we're starting to realize that many times we're doing all of those subjects together to help us learn.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Scholastic's Paws for Reading Campaign

On Monday, October 1, your child will be bringing home information about Scholastic's fall reading community service project. Each year Scholastic teams up with different community service organizations to promote reading and help kids give back to the community through their Classrooms Care program.

This year Scholastic has teamed up with Paws for Healing Canine Therapy, Reach Out and Read, and Save the Children to donate books to children in need. Using the dogs vs. cats approach, your child can select a team, join the Paws for Reading website and log their minutes read. Participating in the program is NOT a requirement for your child, but since the kids are already reading each night anyway, I thought this might be additional motivation to get the kids reading. On top of knowing that they will help donate books to children who don't have any, the kids also have the opportunity to qualify for prize drawings and to get fun downloadables, too.

All of this is free and safe, all you need to do is visit the Paws for Reading website, register with your child, and get started reading and logging your minutes.

I'm excited to share this opportunity with you and the kids, and I hope everybody will take the chance to participate in this community service program if you have Internet access at home.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Did You Smell the Stinky Sticker?

Throughout the day today the 4th grades at Bear Creek were treated to an entertaining and informative presentation about energy and natural gas safety. The presentation, sponsored by UGI and presented by the National Energy Foundation, focused on a basic introduction to energy, the difference between renewable and nonrenewable resources, how fossil fuels are created, and what we need to do to be safe around natural gas in our homes and communities. This informative presentation included an experiment that showed the kids exactly how decomposing plants and animals give off gas that eventually becomes natural gas. All of these activities and discussions covered one of our 4th grade science standards, and several gave our kids a preview of topics that we will be talking about later in the year.

The kids also had the opportunity to think about what they need to do to be safe in their homes (one message was cleaning up the clutter - hopefully it works!!) and to learn a little more about the warning signs of a gas leak.

And that's where the smelly sticker comes in. Mercaptan is a chemical added to natural gas, which is actually odorless, so people will notice a leak before a situation becomes dangerous. The scratch and sniff sticker your child brought home gives you all a great example of what a natural gas leak would smell like. You can thank us at conferences for all the stinky smells you had to do tonight! ;)

If you would like to learn more about the National Energy Foundation, you can visit their website by clicking here, and you can learning more about today's program by clicking here. UGI also has a fun web based activity where kids can visit and learn more about energy safety. Check out Energyville and see how well you do conserving energy!

Thanks to UGI and the National Energy Foundation for presenting this program, and a special thank you goes to Mrs. Kimmel for organizing the presentation for the Bear Creek 4th grade classes!

Exploring the World

During the last week, we have started our map skills unit in Social Studies. The big question we're trying to answer is, "How are maps, globes, and GPS units important to people?" and the focus of our study is talking about how we find or locate places in the world.

Last year your child should have learned or been introduced to the continents and oceans in third grade. This year we'll specifically be talking about how to describe where those places are in the world, and right now we're on the basics.

Every map, globe or GPS uses a grid system, the lines of latitude and longitude, to identify each place on Earth. To understand this grid system, the kids need to understand where the Equator (0 degrees latitude) and the Prime Meridian (0 degrees longitude) are found on Earth and that they create the four different hemispheres. That is what we have been working the last 3 or 4 days. Tomorrow we will be having a "ticket out the door" to see how well your child is understanding these concepts. If I'm still noticing some areas of need, I will send home a note for you to practice those skills at home while we are reviewing and building upon them here at school.

Here's what you can do to help! Take some time to look at the map below. Ask your kids to show you the following things (you can click on the map to make it larger):

  1.  the line that is the Equator and the line that is the Prime Meridian
  2. the names and locations of the 4 hemispheres
  3. the location of North America, the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean (some students are responsible for all 7 continents and 5 oceans - they know who they are!)
  4. Where the hemisphere overlap (for example, which part of the grid is the northern AND eastern hemisphere) or you can point to a continent and ask your child to tell you which hemispheres that continent is located in. Did you know Africa is the only continent in all four hemispheres?
photo credit - enchantedlearning.com (http://www.enchantedlearning.com/geography/world/cylatlongoutlinemap/)

This is not a huge quiz, test or assessment, and you should not spend time trying to get your child to memorize all of these things tonight. We will constantly be reviewing and adding on these skills so I wanted to give you an update of where we were with our Social Studies unit and give you a fun little activity to do with the kids.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Each day 4th graders participate in BEAR time. This half hour block prior to lunch is a chunk of time when the students participate in a variety of different clinics. Some students participate in clinics specifically tailored to meeting their reading needs in the areas of accuracy (decoding), fluency and comprehension. Other students participate in math, word study and reading comprehension clinics to review skills that have been taught and preview upcoming skills. These clinics take place every cycle Day 1 - Day 5 from 12:10 - 12:40.

On Day 6 the fourth graders get a brain break and get to participate in Free BEAR! Each teacher or group of teachers provides different activities in which the students can participate. The students, if they have completed all of their homework and classwork and have followed the Code of Conduct throughout the cycle, are able to choose the activity they would like to attend. Our current Free BEAR activities are:

  • group games in the gym
  • foreign language club
  • nature walk
  • arts & crafts
  • reading, drawing and computers
  • computers
  • Chess & strategy games
  • board games
  • team challenge
In team challenge groups of students work together to solve a problem. This week's problem? Move a ball down our entire fourth grade hallway. The catch? The students could not touch the ball with their hands, the ball could not touch the floor, and the tools that the students were given could not touch each other. It took the group several tries, but eventually by using team work, problem solving and some creative thinking, they made it to the doors at the end of the hall! We started working on moving two balls down the hallways but ran out of time before we were successful. The group is excited to come back next week and wants to add to the challenge by seeing if they can go all the way down the hall and come back! Please check out the slideshow below to see the kids working together to Pass the Ball!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Scientific Method - Rap Style

Over the last few weeks we have been learning about the scientific method by actually putting it into action! We've done several different experiments and talked about each step as we completed them.

Know that we have some background knowledge about using the scientific method, we started to talk more about what each step actually means. To help us learn and remember the different parts we learned a scientific method rap.

You can play the rap and view the words by visiting this link!

Mrs. Towsen and I hope that you can learn a little bit about the Scientific Method by listening along with your child!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Bair / Towsen Math Homework

Tonight Mrs. Bair's and Mrs. Towsen's math classes started a new type of homework assignment. Each week your child will be bringing home math puzzles. These assignments cover the various skills we did  in class in the past and the skills we are working on that week. Each night for homework your child may choose any two boxes on the puzzle side of the paper and any one or two patterns on the back of the paper. Problems involving rounding, forms of a number or place value should use the "Number of the Day" to solve that work.

For example, if the number of the day says 5,322, your child would write that number in standard, written or expanded form. Or he or should would round to the tens, hundreds and thousands place in that number if that's the box chosen.

This is all your child needs to do for homework. Even if it seems easy for your child, please only have your child do the work that was assigned. We do not want your child to spend an extraordinary amount of time on their work because we want them to put their best effort into the problems they do. As the year goes on the number of problems may change for your student, and we will be sure to make that clear for them each day before they go home.

There is a space at the bottom of the paper for questions. If your child cannot explain what he or she needs to do for one box, they can pick another. If they are stuck on the whole sheet please simply jot us a note at the bottom and one of us will work with your child individually before or during math class.

Thanks for your support of your child as we try this different type of math homework!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Strengths and Interests

On Friday morning and Monday morning we talked a lot about our strengths and interests, and we found out a lot of interesting information about our classmates. We also learned that in addition to doing experiments, special kinds of scientists can collect data and learn information about people. We collected data by checking boxes about activities under each of the 8 different smarts (read about Howard Gardner's work on different intelligences) and then graphing our results. Your child should have brought their survey and their graph home on Monday so you can talk about their strengths and interests with them.

From the data, we were about to CONCLUDE (a science word that means figuring out from the data!) about our class:
  • A few of our friends found that they had similar scores in many different intelligences.
  • Most of our friends found that they had one area where they were much stronger.
  • Our class really likes nature because it had the highest number of people for a strengths and the fewest number of people under weaknesses.
  • Here's how our class looks in terms of strengths:
    • Word Smart - 0
    • Logic Smart - 2
    • Art Smart - 1
    • Body Smart - 4
    • Music Smart - 2
    • People Smart - 1
    • Self  Smart - 5
    • Nature Smart - 9

These results helped us see that we all have special things that we like and are good at, but we also talked about the fact that some times we want to push ourselves and try things in our weaker areas. I'll use the information from our surveys to plan lessons that include lots of different activities to reach everybody's areas of strength AND push them to try new activities.

Science Fun Results!

Friday morning our science groups got together and planned out how we were going to test our hypotheses that answered the question, "What happens to a bag full of water when you poke it with a pencil?" Some of them included:

  • Nothing will happen and the water will stay in the bag.
  • The water will leak out around the pencil.
  • The water will gush out of the bag.

Some groups chose to use one bag, other groups chose to use two. Some groups decided to leave their pencils in, others decided to take their pencils out. And some left the pencils in one and took the pencils out of the other. We were excited to carry out our experiment so Friday afternoon we talked about how to do the test safely, and then we went outside and had some fun. Who knew scientists have so muchfun????

After we finished the experiment, we made a TON of observations! They included:

  • If you left the pencil in the bag the water stayed in the bag!
  • If you pulled the pencil out, the water came out but it only leaked it didn't gush out.
  • Even if you poked the bag just a little bit the water would drip out the tiniest hole.
  • The only way the water would gush out of the bag was if you squeezed it.
  • After you took the pencil out, if you put it back into the exact spots the water stopped leaking.
We used this data to come up with some solutions about what you could do with plastic bags that got holes in them. One group said that you could just throw them away and get a new one, but others didn't like that idea because it's not good for the environment. 

Another group said that you could patch the bag, and several friends chimed in with different materials you could use to patch the bag: scotch tape, packing tape, and duct tape were some suggestions. This led to people chiming in that we could do another experiment to see which one worked best.

Finally, a group said that we could double up the bag, but then a friend mentioned that if the top bag leaked your sandwich would still get wet. So he wanted to test different ways to double up bags to see which ones worked the best.

For Mrs. Towsen, Miss Conrad, and I the most exciting part of our first experience with the scientific process was that our students got a first hand look at how one experiment easily and seamlessly leads scientists to tests other things. So if your child came home and asked to punch some holes and tape them up with different things, he or she was just being a scientist!