Welcome EAGLE School of Madison

Sept. 21, 2012

Sept. 21 Update

from:Nystrand, Nancy

to:All Students

     Since the beginning of our emphasis on trees, both groups of Jr. 4/5s have discussed and done a work sheet on some of the hundreds of items that we make or use from trees.  These items range from paint solvents (e.g., turpentine) to building materials, to rubber tires.  The students also discussed and listed over fifty foods that come from trees.  On Friday, Sept. 14, the students began considering ways that trees are different from other woody plants.  We spent time outdoors comparing trees to shrubs to see how they are different from each other.  Over the next few class periods, the 4/5s discussed and took notes on the differences between trees and shrubs, and trees and vines.  On Friday, Sept. 21, the 4/5B's began a study of tree bark.  In the classroom, they used crayons to make rubbings of a smooth surface and of a bumpy surface to see how the rubbings would be different from each other.  Outdoors, the students then did bark rubbings of the trunks of five different kinds of trees -- one rubbing at the base, and another about four feet from the ground of each tree.  Back in the classroom, the students began to analyze their findings. The 4/5As did the practice rubbings of smooth and bumpy surfaces, and made predictions for the bark rubbing study, but were unable to go outside because of rain.  Instead, they watched a video called Eyewitness:Tree.  Both groups will complete the bark rubbing study, and the 4/5Bs will see the video on trees next week.

There are no homework assignments at this time.

Sept. 07, 2012

Jr. 4/5 Science

from:Nystrand, Nancy

to:All Students

The Jr. 4/5 As and Bs have started the new year with a unit on plants with a special emphasis on trees.  The students began the unit with a short quiz called, "Is It a Plant?" to help uncover preconceptions that they have about plants.  Both groups discussed the results of this quiz and clarified some previously held ideas about plants.  The students also discussed and took notes on characteristics shared by most plants.  On Friday, 8/31, the students brought a variety of plant materials to the classroom to share, discuss, and examine with microscopes.  Both groups also watched the video, "Eyewitness: Plant" as an overview about plants.  During discussions, it became apparent that the students needed to review some basic material about ecology before going into too much more depth with plants, specifically.  Because the topic of plants is so broad, we will be narrowing our focus to trees: what makes a tree a tree, characteristics and basic parts that trees have in common with many other plants, and the identification of some local trees.  

Aug. 29, 2012

Welcome to Jr. 4/5 Science!

from:Nystrand, Nancy

to:All Students

     Welcome to Jr. 4/5 Science!  We have now had our first day of classes, and I greatly enjoyed meeting everyone.  I am looking forward to many exciting activities and discussions with both groups.  

     We will have three major units this year:  Plants (with a special emphasis on trees); Force, Motion, and Simple Machines; and Evolution, Cells, and Heredity.  The plant unit will include an introduction to basic plant structures and their functions, the importance of plants - especially trees, and a leaf collection.  During the next unit, the students will be introduced to the concepts of force as a push or a pull, and work in the scientific sense. They will also construct models of each of the six simple machines, then disect appliances to find the simple machines inside them.  The last major unit is an introduction to evolution, cells, and heredity.  If there is time left in the year, we will try to use it for experiments.  

     I am looking forward to an exciting year with the Jr. 4/5s!