In order to prepare for the Science MSA, students learned about animal and plant cells. Then, they got to make one or the other using edible material. Students were very creative in showing how much they knew about this topic!
Students in 5B and 5C have been hard at work creating models of soil erosion. They are demonstrating what happens when trees are cut down and the roots can no longer keep the soil in place. Students are also making posters to go along with their models to demonstrate their understanding of what too much soil does to the Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem. Ask your child what the word turbidity means and have them explain to you why we want the Bay to have low turbidity levels. I am excited to see the groups present their finished products!
Wanted to show an updated picture of our trout. Our rainbow trout have been growing quickly! They are becoming much more aggressive and are starting to develop shiny colorful scales that are seen in adult rainbow trout. Their fins are starting to get larger and darker in color. Some of their bellies also appear to be bloated. Most of our trout are currently considered fingerlings because they are around 2-2.5 inches long. Ask your child what else they have noticed about our developing trout.
The task: Students were faced with a problem. They were told that a construction company is planning on building a brand new state of the art hotel in a state park that borders the Chesapeake Bay. In order to build the hotel on stable land, the construction workers will have to cut down quite a few trees and then flatten the land.
The Action: Students created models to educate the public on the impact these actions will have on the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. Ask your child to describe the link between cutting down trees, turbidity levels, soil erosion, and the health of the ecosystem. Check out some of these great models of soil erosion!
Yesterday students in 5B and 5C were hard at work identifying some of the physical properties of rocks and minerals. After the students had a chance to explore different rocks and minerals, we learned about the physical properties that scientists look for to help identify these substances. We learned about a mineral's luster, hardness, color, and streak.
Yesterday we started studying our unit on earth science. To kick start the unit students learned about the rapid changes to the Earth's surface. We talked about volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods.
Some of the students asked if I could post one of the websites we looked at today:
This website is an interactive map of active volcanoes and earthquakes. Check it out! It is a very informative and detailed map.
5th grade is excited to announce that we are raising approximately 125 rainbow trout! The eggs were delivered January 10th and we have been learning how to take care of them as they grow and develop.
We will be raising these fish for the rest of the school year, and we will be releasing them into a local river in the middle of May. Trout in the Classroom is a national program, with schools participating throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and many other states. The goal of the program is to help students foster a conservation ethic and to appreciate water resources. The Trout in the Classroom project works to protect local water resources by maintaining the number of trout.
Students will engage in many Trout in the Classroom activities. So far, two classrooms have been trained in testing the water for the correct pH, ammonia, and nitrite levels. As the trout continue to grow the student's responsibilities will increase.
We are excited to see our trout grow! If you are in school, feel free to stop by and take a look.
Be sure to check out this great website from scholastic: http://www.scholastic.com/scholastic_thanksgiving/
The website helps bring our social studies unit on Colonial America to life. The website is packed with many interesting web quests, videos, pictures, and much more. Enjoy exploring!
To close out our science unit on ecosystems, students got to dissect owl pellets. Prior to examining their owl pellet, students learned about the food web of a common barn owl and made a prediction as to what types of bones they would find inside their pellet. Then, they dug in and see what they could find! Ask your child tonight if they can explain what an owl pellet is and why it is helpful to owls.
Over the past two days our students went on a fantastic field trip run by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. On their boat, the Snowgoose, students explored the Patapsco River. We learned about the problems affecting this ecosystem, and learned how this ecosystem directly impacts the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the surrounding ecosystems. Students explored the river for evidence of biodiversity and conducted many water quality tests. We tested the water for dissolved oxygen levels and salinity levels. We also got to use a secci disk to see how clear the water was. We dredged for oysters and learned why oysters are such an integral part to the ecosystem. Ask your child about the trip tonight...I'm sure they will be full of facts to share with you!
A big thank you to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and our Snowgoose teachers John and Molly! What a great learning experience for all of our students.