We had an exciting kickoff to our Civil War theme this week. After visiting the "Pratt St. Riots" on Monday we turned our attention to Antietam. All of our field trips are done in chronological order. Antietam took place a few months after the Pratt St Riots in September of 1862. Students conducted research on not only the battle itself but also observered Science "in action" all around us. Ecosystems, soil coservation, physical and chemical weathering and the water cycle are just some examples. Ask you children about the different rocks they saw in Antietam and Gettysburg, as well! A huge thank you to Mr. Phil McLaughlin for another fantastic tour of Antietam!
Over the last few weeks we have been discussing the effects of fossil fuels on our environment. Students have even pointed out examples of pollution they have seen day to day around Baltimore, but also on our trips to Philadelphia, D.C., and other destinations. Ask your children what the difference is between chemical and physical weathering. You might want to also get in a discussion with them about various ways to conserve energy around the house. We have also learned about alternatives to fossil fuels. Almost all of the alternatives have little to no pollution. But they also have some major disadvantages. Hydroelectric power has had a major impact on the Colorado River. Look at this brand new video I found on twitter @NatGeoGreen on the dwindling Colorado River. For more information on fossil fuels and alternative energy sources look in pp. 230-241 in your child's textbook.
Today we began our year round Service Project. We will be examing various organisms in and around the Boat Lake ecosystem each month. At the end of the year the students will create a booklet describing the various organisms that can be seen there during the different seasons. Some of the organisms are so tiny that they can only be identified by use of a microscope. Others were observed in their natural habitat at the Boat Lake. This all fits in perfectly with our Colonial Era Theme. In Science we will be learning how the Colonists had to adapt to the new ecosysems they found here in the New world.
Next week students will be studying Ecosystems in their Science textbooks starting on p. 82. In order to prepare them for that unit they created their own miniature ecosystems with partners today. We went to the boat lake and collected biotic and abiotic pieces of the Boat Lake ecosystem and put them in our own two liter bottles. Some of the biotic factors (organisms) can be see with the eye but many are too tiny. Next Monday we will analyze these ecosystems underneath the microscope and will report our findings! Scroll down to see more pics here.
Welcome to the 5th Grade Blog!
This blog is dedicated to the fifth grade at Patterson Park Public Charter School in Baltimore, MD. Our hope is that this blog will keep students, parents, and anyone else interested up to date with all that we have going on during the school year. Let us know what you think!