8G – Upper School Science – Light

During this middle school Core Experience Learning Lab (CELL) students perform experiments centered around a light wave and the way it interacts with different objects and media.

Through experimentation and data collection, students explore the following questions: What is the relationship between the absorption and transmission of light through transparent objects? How does light interact with objects that reflect light? How does wavelength affect the perception of light? How does a change in medium affect the wavelength of light?

7G – Upper School Science – Acids and Bases

This middle school Core Experience Learning Lab (CELL) gave students the opportunity to investigate the concept of concentration by investigating acids and bases. Students examined hydrogen ion concentration using the pH scale, the effect of dilution of an acid on the pH, and the effect of neutralizing an acid with a base on the hydrogen ion concentration and the pH.

6G – Upper School Science – Atmosphere

This middle school Core Experience Learning Lab (CELL) provides the opportunity for students to perform experiments centered around Charles’ Law, the relationship between the temperature and density of air, and the relationship between the density of air and atmospheric pressure. Through experiments, students become aware of how changes in the temperature of areas of the atmosphere produce changes in its density. They also gain insight to how the rising and sinking of air that results from changes in density can produce changes in atmospheric pressure and the development of high and low pressure centers. Finally, conducting experiments that simulate the creation of high and low pressure centers and gradient forces help students understand the causes and characteristics of wind. Through their experiments, students gain understanding of atmospheric events, weather phenomena, and the scientific principles that govern them.

6G – Upper School Science – Kinetic and Potential Energy

During this middle school Core Experience Learning Lab (CELL) students began by experimenting with kinetic energy, the energy of motion, and observing the effects of velocity on kinetic energy. Potential energy was introduced, along with the equation for gravitational potential energy. Students examined the effect of height on potential energy and observed the conversion of potential to kinetic energy.

The conversion of potential to kinetic energy was further examined through the conversion of electrical potential energy to thermal and light energy, both kinetic. Finally, students explored chemical potential energy and its conversion to elastic kinetic via chemical reactions.

5th Grade Weekly Update for Week of December 11th

Photo Highlight of the Week: “Let it Snow!”

Math: We are wrapping up our current unit of study, and students will take the unit test on Wednesday. It will include adding and subtracting fractions and mixed numbers and applying this knowledge in word problems.

On Thursday, students plan to bring in dishes from the American Civil War time period to share with others as part of an assignment for history. Many recipes include fractions and mixed numbers, so this is a perfect opportunity for students to see a real-world application of our math lessons. Students will learn how to read and adjust recipes. Then, they will practice by using their own recipe from the history project!

Science: We will complete Investigation Two in our Earth’s Forces Cell. Investigation Two allows students to explore the effects of gravity in the context of unbalanced forces. Students make a small and a large object, find the mass of each object, then conduct trials to establish the time that it takes for these objects to fall to the ground. In analyzing these trials, students are introduced to the formula for calculating acceleration. Through collating and presenting their data, students come to understand that while the force of gravity is dependent on the mass of the object, acceleration due to gravity is a constant 9.8 m/s2.

ELA: In grammar this week, we will check Lesson 25 and 26 on Monday, which students should have completed independently. We are finishing up the last two lessons and then will end the week with an open book classwork assignment. We will start a winter writing assignment this week that uses the story elements we talked about last week when finishing up our Shades of Gray novel study. Students will use brainstorming pages that have an exposition, rising action, a climax, falling action, and a resolution. Students will create their own story based off of winter scenes, or they can even bring in their own from their own snow day adventures!

History: We are finishing up our last lesson this week, women in the Civil War. We will practice outlining using this lesson, specifically, the information about Clara Barton, the founder of the Red Cross. I will conference with each student about their outlines, so they feel confident using this method of organizing information. On Wednesday, students will be given their study guide for Lessons 1-17. Their test for the first half of the Civil War unit will take place on Monday, December 18th. Thursday is our Civil War food feast! We will feast right after our day band concerts. Students will need to turn in their recipe (with the source listed), their paragraph about their food/Civil war food history, and bring in their food with a serving utensil on Thursday. Please let Mrs. Armstrong know if you have any questions regarding this assignment.

Other: Winter Wishes favorites sheets went home in Friday Folders! Happy shopping! On Thursday, the Winter Band Concert will have two day concerts: 9:30 and 10:30, and the evening concert will take place at 6:30.

5th Grade Weekly Update Week of Dec 11th

Math: We are wrapping up our current unit of study, and students will take the unit test on Wednesday. It will include adding and subtracting fractions and mixed numbers and applying this knowledge in word problems.

On Thursday, students plan to bring in dishes from the Civil War period to share with others as part of a history assignment.Many recipes include fractions and mixed numbers, so this is a perfect opportunity for students to see how what we are learning in class is used in a real-world setting. Students will learn how to read and adjust recipes. Then, they will practice using their own recipe from the history project!

Science: We will complete Investigation Two in our Earth’s Forces Cell. Investigation Two allows students to explore the effects of gravity in the context of unbalanced forces. Students make a small and a large object, find the mass of each object, then conduct trials to establish the time that it takes for these objects to fall to the ground. In analyzing these trials, students are introduced to the formula for calculating acceleration. Through collating and presenting their data, students come to understand that while the force of gravity is dependent on the mass of the object, acceleration due to gravity is a constant 9.8 m/s2.

ELA: In grammar this week, we will check Lesson 25 and 26 on Monday, which students should have completed independently. We are finishing up the last two lessons and then will end the week with an open book classwork assignment. We will start a winter writing assignment this week that uses the story elements we talked about last week when finishing up our Shades of Gray novel study. Students will use brainstorming pages that have an exposition, rising action, a climax, falling action, and a resolution. Students will create their own story based off of winter scenes, or they can even bring in their own from their own snow day adventures!

History: We are finishing up our last lesson this week, women in the Civil War. We will practice outlining using this lesson, specifically, the information about Clara Barton, the founder of the Red Cross. I will conference with each student about their outlines, so they feel confident using this method of organizing information. On Wednesday, students will be given their study guide for Lessons 1-17. Their test for the first half of the Civil War unit will take place on Monday, December 18th. Thursday is our Civil War food feast! We will feast right after our day band concerts. Students will need to turn in their recipe (with the source listed), their paragraph about their food/Civil war food history, and bring in their food with a serving utensil on Thursday. Please let Mrs. Armstrong know if you have any questions regarding this assignment.

Other: Winter Wishes favorites sheets went home in Friday Folders! Happy shopping! On Thursday, the Winter Band Concert will have two day concerts: 9:30 and 10:30, and the evening concert will take place at 6:30.

Fifth Grade Weekly Update for Week of December 4th

Photo Highlight of the Week: Happy birthday Jordan Anderson! We had so much fun celebrating with you!

ELA: On Monday, students will take a vocabulary test covering vocab from Chapters 14-17 of Shades of Gray. This week we will focus on comparing our two novels Turn Homeward Hannalee and Shades of Gray. We will use a Venn Diagram compare the protagonists from each of the novels. We will also learn about story elements found throughout Shades of Gray: static and dynamic characters, theme, exposition, rising action, the climax, falling action, and the resolution/denouement. Students will be given a study guide on Monday covering both SOG and THH. The final test for these two novel will be given on Friday. It’s vital that students finish their reading of Chapters 9 and 10 over the weekend so they are prepared to answer questions on their study guide early in the week. They do not need to have their Literature Circle job completed, just make sure those last two chapters are read! Our final lit circle will meet on Friday. Students were given their averages of the first four weeks’ grades. Once the last lit circle has met, all of the six weeks’ grades will be averaged as a test grade. In grammar, we will continue to study verbs, specifically irregular verbs this week.

History: We will focus on leaders of the Civil War this week and their contributions to the Civil War. We will also study the Peninsular Campaign and the Battle of Antietam. On Wednesday, we will watch a biography about Stonewall Jackson, giving students a better understanding the type of man he was and his contribution to battles throughout the war. Last Tuesday, students were introduced to our Civil War Feast project. They should bring a copy of the recipe they have chosen by Monday, or else they will be assigned a recipe. Our feast will take place after our day band concerts on Thursday, December 14th. This assignment is a great way to experience the lack of availability of certain food items and what food tasted like when there was a Civil War going on that divided our country so drastically. I’m attaching the project sheet to this email. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Math: On Friday, students enjoyed learning about winter holidays including Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. Thank you to Bella and Macey for bringing in items to share with others and explaining more about Hanukkah! Afterwards, students selected a holiday related math coloring sheet that reinforced subtracting fractions. We will display these for others to see in the classroom! This week, we will continue to learn how to subtract mixed numbers and practice problem-solving skills, such as working backwards. Since several of our lessons will focus on problem-solving this week, we will not complete a weekly problem-solving packet. We will resume the problem-solving packet on December 11th.

Science: On Monday, we will begin our Earth’s Forces Cell. During this CELL, students will perform several investigations designed to reveal the Earth’s forces of gravity and friction, and the way that these forces affect the motion of objects on Earth. Through discussion and experimentation, students learn about the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on stationary objects as well as objects in motion.

To spark students’ interest in our new topic, they were given a mystery scientist sheet on Friday, which is due Monday. They have been given clues about a famous scientist and their job is to use those clues to discover the name of the mystery man or woman. If your child correctly guesses the name of the scientist and records the resource he or she used when researching, then his or her name is placed in a raffle to win a prize! This is an optional assignment that students love to participate in!

Other: Please be on the look out this week for a letter detailing our Winter Wishes gift exchange with fourth grade. This has become a beloved tradition between our grade levels that our students look forward to! Those who choose to participate will be a part of a secret gift exchange with a fourth grader. There is a $15 limit on gifts and students will receive a favorites list of their fourth grader to help guide them when buying gifts.

The Joy of Learning

Dear Parents,

Welcome to this page that will help keep you informed about our third grade class.
Each month I will focus on a particular topic as it relates to education. With the festivities in the month of December, I want to focus on joy!

There is so much joy at Wood Acres. One can sense the joy of our students the moment they walk on campus. There is so much joy in each classroom. True joy is learning a new skill, completing a project, working hard to complete an assignment, feeling pride in work neatly completed, and being a kind friend. Joy spreads as each student achieves daily success, and joy is meant to be shared with others. I love seeing the joy of wonder in each child as they make a new discovery, and they progress in their learning. It is such a privilege to be a teacher in the midst of our community.

I hope all of you have a joy filled holiday and winter break!

Warmly,
Silke

Save the Date:
Thurs., Dec. 14th: Annual Wood Acres Band Concert at 6:30 pm.
Wed., Dec. 20th: Third Grade Holiday Party
Thurs., Dec. 22nd: Early Dismissal
Fri., Dec. 22nd-Tues., Jan. 2nd: Winter Holiday Break

Important Notes:
Third Grade Holiday Party: Please sign up to help out with our Holiday Party. Stacey Jones sent out a sign up via email to make signing up easier during this busy time of year. The festivities begin at 1:00, and all parents are welcome to join us in the fun. Students will need to bring in a wrapped, gender neutral gift around $10 for a gift exchange.

Book Report: Mystery sandwich book report is due Dec. 13th. There is an example in the commons area of the Madison Building.

What’s Going on in our Classroom:

Reading: Stop by next week and take a look at our full book summaries of Mr. Popper’s Penguins outside our classroom door. We will be reading, “Young Thomas Edison” next week from our reading textbook. (Pages 359-383) Open book comprehension test on Friday. We will also continue working on main idea and supporting details using Time For Kids.

Spelling: Words include: brain, nervous system, organ, spinal cord, bones, joints, muscle, muscular system, skeletal system, respiratory system, exhale, inhale, lungs, oxygen, bronchi, trachea, function, nutrition, health, and human body Homework due Friday.Test on Friday.

Vocabulary: Unit 10 words include: actual, brink, chill, conquer, fortunate, fury, intend, pattern, vibrant, and wit. Test on Friday.

Writing: Next week students will be writing a special letter as a gift. We will review letter writing. Students will type their final copies in the computer lab.

Math: We have begun multiplying large digit numbers, and will continue to work on problem solving. Please help your child memorize their multiplication and division facts. This makes a huge difference in your child’s confidence and ability to work effectively.

Grammar: Test on verbs next week.

History: Our Viking unit continues! A longship extra credit opportunity was introduced Friday and will be due on Wednesday, December 20 if students choose to complete it. It is worth up to 10 extra points on a quiz or test this quarter. Look for the instructions paper in your child’s homework folder.

Science: Test on the nervous system on Fri., Dec. 15th. Study guide will go home at the end of this week.

As always, if you have any questions please contact me.