With the switch to offsite learning due to the coronavirus outbreak, our faculty will be sharing various curriculum highlights from their “classrooms” over the coming weeks.
First Graders Get Into Character(s)
In theater arts, first graders were given an assignment to come up with three different characters. These characters could be real, like a police officer, teacher, surfer, or wildlife enthusiast, or they could be make-believe, like Bugs Bunny, a dragon, or a genie. The students were asked to think about each character in terms of physicality, facial expression, and setting. Students used items found around their home to create costumes for their characters. Finally, students had someone at home take a picture of their characters to share.
– Christopher Parsons, theater arts teacher
Sixth Graders Tackle Fractions
Sixth graders just finished a unit on fractions in math class. They learned how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide with fractions using models and applying the strategies to solve real-life problems (see the photo for an example). The students will now take these strategies to support their learning in our new unit on decimals as they learn operations with decimals, their relationship to fractions, and the importance of place value.
– Elinor Hannum, middle school math teacher
Second Grade Absorbs A Lesson On Water
Second graders have been exploring the properties of water in the science lessons. Recently, students did a challenge called “climbing water.” They challenge was to find a way to move water from one cup to another using a paper towel without touching or pouring the water. The challenge allowed students to see capillary action at work. After following an instructional video, students tried out the challenge and shared their work with their teachers.
– Nancy Fell and Sunny Lee, grade 2 teachers
Students Team Up to Investigate Biomes
Students in seventh grade science groups one and two have been learning about the characteristics of the six major biomes of the world—rainforests, deserts, grasslands, deciduous forests, boreal forests, and tundras. With a partner, students split up the biomes so that they each had three to study. Students created a climate graph for each of their three biomes using Google Sheets and then researched information such as climate, world location, longitude, latitude, soil structure, flora, and fauna.
The pairs of students then combined their work into a final submission. This is a project that students usually do in the regular class setting working closely to share information and feedback about their work with each other over the course of about eight class periods. It was great to see each partnership work together online to complete this assignment to the same standards that they would be required to meet in the classroom in less time! Check out an example of their work here.
– Sandra Trentowsky, grades 7 & 8 science teacher
Eighth Grade Scientists Cook Up a Lesson on Bonds
On Wednesday, the eighth grade science gold group had its very first distance learning chemistry lab. In this lab, students found materials in their homes that contained either ionic bonds or covalent bonds. They then investigated properties of these ionic compounds and covalent compounds by melting them, boiling them, and dissolving them in water. Students performed the experiments in their kitchens, applying their knowledge of chemical bonding to better understand some important cooking principles; for example, why sugar will melt easily but salt does not. Our first distance lab was a great success, and we are looking forward to doing more soon!
– Leal Carter, grades 7 & 8 science teacher