5-P Classroom News Update

Inside: Mr. P gone. Science quiz. Writing/Reading.

Mr P. Gone

I will be gone for three days starting on Friday. I will be back on Wednesday. Please contact Paula in the main office with messages that need to get to kids: paula.mcintyre@decorah.k12.ia.us

In my absence I’ve created some screencast lessons and projects that the kids will work on. I’m sorry about this.

Science Photosynthesis Quiz: Tuesday

We’ll have a science quiz on Tuesday. The kids are finishing up their work with some readings in class tomorrow. On Monday I scheduled in some study time in class with questions from the study guide, locatedĀ by clicking here.

Our first guesses about where the weight (mass) of wood came from.

We’ve had a good time puzzling out what makes up the mass of trees (and other plants.) Our first guesses showed we thought about 40% of the weight of the wood in trees came from the weight of soil getting drawn up through the roots into the plant.

Other key elements — water, air, and (surprisingly) sunlight — were thought to contribute some of the mass, too.

Through the process of investigation and scientific reasoning, we eliminated soil, sunlight, and water as key contributors to the mass of trees. That left air, specifically carbon dioxide, as the key part of plant mass.

Our model that compares a plant leaf to a factory.

Just today we created a model that compares photosynthesis (the creation of food by green plants) to a food factory.

It was really fun to watch the kids developing ways to answer important scientific questions, including how to weigh air!

Writing and Reading

We’ve been writing realistic fiction narratives (with a theme) in class this week. There’s been a lot of energy on that project. The kids have been remarkably on-task as they write into their stories.

Our reading time has been spent reading stories like a writer, looking for how story writers write details, craft openings, dole out information to create suspense, and drawn out the description of important parts of the story.

We’ve marveled at the way simple words, well chosen and arranged, can so enter a reader’s mind that it will cause her to laugh, cry, be scared, or be joyful.

Next week we’ll work more on revising our writing.

Today I showed the kids this excellent video about a 1st-grader who, with the help of his classmates, created a remarkably good drawing of a swallow tail butterfly. I hoped to inspire them to revise their own work AND to give each other specific critique.