Presentations and inquiry

I would like to thank all the parents who were able to come to our open house on the 20th. It was wonderful for me to meet with the parents of my students.

The upcoming week (9-25 – 9-28) we will be completing our first section of the curriculum where the students have been welcomed into Middle School Science and have been learning the characteristics of a good scientific experiment and explanation and how to do effective scientific oral presentations. On Thursday the 22nd we began oral presentations in two sections and will be completing these presentations on Sunday and Monday for all sections. The oral presentations are being graded for each individual using the Presentation rubric to measure explanation, organization, eyes and body, voice, presentation aids, response to audience questions,and participation in the team. I have been very impressed by the first few presentations given.
Following the oral presentations, I will be giving them a quiz on what we have learned, asking them to write a claim for a variable given, to analyze a data set and explain what the data tells them, to create a bar chart for a data set, and to compare two data sets and give me their reasoning for why the sets are similar or different and which would be a more meaningful variable. The final question will be asking them to write a paragraph using the proper scientific language to explain what their group studied and how and what they discovered.
To help them prepare for the quiz I have allowed them to take their sacred science notebooks home for the weekend to study. Please be sure the students keep them safe and ask them to share a bit of what they have recorded so far in their books.
Thank you for sharing your children with me. I have heard this afternoon that Ms. Williams baby has been cleared to travel and that she will be back teaching the class starting on October 23rd. We will be working together to insure a smooth transition for the students.

Ready for our second week of classes

We had a great first week of 6th grade highlighted by the trip to IMG on Thursday. Our first accomplishment was for the students to establish our classroom behavior standards for the year. We started with my home room class and then each class in succession added additional pieces to the agreement. The agreement covers key topics like respect, kindness, preparation, open mindedness, teamwork, and helping each other.

We have also begun our first lesson where the students are designing an experiment to determine what impacts the rate at which a candy melts in your mouth. We developed a list of variables (the things that could affect the rate to dissolve) and in groups they are now designing an experiment to isolate one variable and to test that variable. The students are using our CER method for organizing their project, which is a method they will use throughout middle school. CER is Claim – like a hypothysis for what they will be testing, Evidence – the measurements of data recorded from their experiment, and Reasoning – their interpretation of the data the experiment generated. They are working in mixed groups of 4 students to a group and will be preparing a presentation to make for the class on their experiment and the results. The presentation of the experiment will be graded

The students will be conducting their experiments in class this week and will begin preparing their presentations with the presentations taking place after we return from the holiday.

As the year goes on if you feel your child is having difficulty in science, or if I see a student falling a bit behind, they can participate in my tutorial after school on Sundays. There will be a form that will need to be completed during the week before and submitted into the tutorial box in my classroom to register. Tutorials will begin at 3:15 and last until 4:00. These tutorials are not homework or study sessions but are focused completely on extra individual teaching time. Please write em with any questions. I look forward to meeting you at the School fair this Wednesday.