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 were invited to do some Science and Math activities with professors at THE US NAVAL ACADEMY in Annapolis, MD. Students were broken into groups after lunch and were each able to take part in 4, out of 9 total, activities. My group did severe storms (pictured left), code breaking, aquaculture, and robotics. In the storm acitivity the students worked in groups and built a house out of wood and tape and then put it in the wind tunnel to simulate a tornado over the house. One group managed to hold of the tornado winds up to 150 mph! In the robotics course students embeded codes into their robots for various movements. Once they had the codes down they had their robots go through mazes. I had the professors tell me that they have had high school groups come thought that were unable to do what our own fifth graders did today. Ask your children tonight about what they did today! More pics coming!
Carson, Imani, and Breana discuss what makes something alive.
Today students worked and groups and made educated guesses as to what qualifed something as "alive". After some great discussions and reporting out to the larger group students then read in their Science books "Five Characteristics of Living Things". Quiz your children on those five characteristics tonight! The answers can be found on p. 39!
Karolina and Sade observing plant cells.
One Monday a month the fifth grade will be enjoying a lab acitivity in the new "Sky Lab" with Middle School Science teacher, Mr. Hendrick. Yesterday students compared plants cells of the Elodea with their animal cells from their own cheeks. Students worked in pairs and used microscopes for their research. Please ask your children to name the different componets of the microscope as well as to compare and contrast the plant and animal cells!
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!