13
May

May 14

The debates of a week ago were terrific!  Well done to all our students on the best set of debates in the past couple of years!  Now, we’re getting down toward the end of the year.  We are going to continue Science as we learn about populations and ecosystems.  Also, we will use a bit of our Science time to review some Math concepts as students prepare for the End of Grade tests.  Let’s work hard and finish strong!

01
May

May 1

This week we will be holding our annual 6th Grade Science Debates.  In class students have been working in groups to prepare for the debate.  They have also been in the computer lab where they have done research, gathering facts to use in the debates.  On Monday students will have time to make final preparations in their groups, and will also be going to the Study Island computer lab where they can gather their final evidence to reinforce their position.  Tuesday and Wednesday will be the actual days of debate.  I have been very pleased with student work on this project, and look forward to what could well be the best “debate days” in the past few years!

04
Apr

April 4

Tuesday begins the last grading period (9 weeks) of the school year.  It is hard to believe that we are already at the start of the last quarter of the year!  Let’s continue to maintain good focus, and continue to work hard all the way through the last day of the year.  There is still so much to learn and do, especially in 6th Grade Science class!

In Sixth Grade Science, we are taking a tour of the Solar System.  Students have studied the existing planets, and they will be creating planets of their own!  Wouldn’t you like to visit a brand new planet?  Well, you certainly would, if you read the travel brochures our students will be creating about their own planets.  These brochures will be stuffed full of facts about these wonderful vacation destinations, as well as details of deals that will have you signing up for a great get-away to a nearby galaxy!  In the next week or two, we will be having our annual 6th Grade Science debate. Students will learn a bit about the process of formal debate, as well as learning how to formulate their own point of view, and then get that point of view across to their peers, all while learning from the point of view of others.  Along with this, students will learn even more about space travel and our Solar System as they prepare to make solid, reasonable arguments in defense of their own position.  It’s always a good day to be in Science class, and the next few weeks are no exception!

28
Mar

March 28

We are finishing our research papers in class.  We were at the computers today, and we will go back tomorrow to finish our writing.  This is the last week of the nine-weeks, and we will be having a quiz in Science on Thursday.  This will be our last major grade of the grading period, so students, make sure you study and finish the grading period on a high note!

14
Mar

March 14

Happy Pi Day today!  Today is March 14, and 3.14 are the first three digits of the ratio called Pi.  When we divide the distance around a circle (the circumfrence) by the distance across the same circle (the diameter) we always get the same answer, no matter how big or how small the circle is.  That answer begins with the digits 3.14… We will explore this concept more today in science class.

I have decided what the science extra credit assignment will be.  Students who want extra credit will read a science related book that I approve, and they will write a 2-page, handwritten essay in which students will do the following three things: 1) tell what the book was about. 2) tell how the book relates to science. 3) tell what you liked/didn’t like about the book.  If you have any questions, please let me know. 

As the week continues, we will talk about the Mercury and Gemini missions of NASA that led up to humans landing on the moon.

09
Mar

March 9

So far this week, we spent two days working on research papers, and one day discussing telescopes and satellites.  Today we also tried to make rockets using balloons.  For some reason, this one didn’t work as well this year as in past years, but that happens some time!  We will get back to the research papers when we get a chance to get back to the computer lab.  Until then, students may work on them at home.  The students did some excellent research work at the computers!  I really look forward to reading their finished product papers when they are done.  Other than the papers, we will continue to talk about space travel, including a discussion of the Mercury and Gemini missions on Friday.  Thursday, students will have a brief quiz.  Make sure and study tonight!

Over the past few days I have had an unusually high number of students asking for extra credit opportunities in Science.  I feel this is in response to grades on their mid-term progress reports.  I will say right here that except in very rare cases, I do not give extra credit work.  Frankly, in my class, if a student is doing their work, paying attention in class, taking notes home to study for tests and quizzes, keeping up with their material, doing their reading homework in preparation for reading quizzes and fully participating in our in-class activities, then they will be successfully learning the material, and their grades will be as good as or better than what they and their parents expect.  If the “regular credit” work in my class is done with proper diligence, then “extra” credit won’t be needed.  However, due to the unusually large number of students who have approached me about this recently, I will make a rare exception.  By the time students come to Science class on Friday, I will have a list of possible extra credit work, and due dates for that work.  I will have this posted on my board in my room.  If a student is interested, it will be there for them.  Their completion of that work and their submission of it BY THE DUE DATE will be entirely their responsibility.

Spring is getting closer!  Here’s hoping for some more warm sunny days ahead, as we quickly move through this part of our school year!

27
Feb

February 28

Monday of this week Mrs. Houston will be back with us in science class as she finishes with students on the 6th grade part of her series on college and career planning.  Beginning on Tuesday we will start a new science unit on space travel.  As a part of this unit students will do a short research paper in which they will compare and contrast some aspect of our US space agency (NASA) and a space agency from another nation.  This gives our students an opportunity to begin to learn about how to do a research paper, a skill they will need for the rest of their school career.  Also, it gives the students a chance to learn more about NASA and space travel, as well as the chance to learn and think about a space agency from a different culture.  Rarely do we have written homework in science class, but there may be some homework with this paper.  Parents, look for an information sheet to be given to your student sometime this week.  On Friday, we will be in the computer lab beginning our research for the paper.

22
Feb

February 22

The volcanoes were FANTASTIC!!!  Everyone did a great job – probably the best set of volcanoes for a few years!  I’m very proud of our students for their work, creativity and learning in this project.  Great job!

A reminded that there is a Science test this Thursday.  This test will cover a LOT of material, so make sure you study!  There are five note sheets for this test, if you are missing one or more, please pick them up from the bin in the back of the room.  That is students’ responsibility, so please make sure yourself that you have what you need.  If you have any questions, please ask.  We will be reviewing all period on Wednesday.  Friday we will watch a very interesting video about the 2004 Southeast Asia tsunami.  Next week we will begin our study of space.  More exciting work and learning to come!

18
Feb

February 18

Today is a day students look forward to each year…we build volcanoes in Science class!  Next week we will look at tsunamis, and later in the week we will have a test on this unit.  More information about that in a couple of days.

15
Feb

February 15

This week we are discovering earthquakes and volcanoes.  Either Friday or next Monday we will be building and “exploding” volcanoes in class!

On Wednesday, Mrs. Houston, our guidance counselor, will be coming to 6th grade to talk to students about their post-high school plans, and CFNC.  It’s never too early for students to begin to explore and plan for what they would like to do after they have graduated from high school!




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