Explorations of Elementary 2017 March Newsletter

March was a busy month preparing for our World’s Fair. Students researched fourteen different points about their chosen country. While researching, students kept their information on note cards in their research folders. Students then used those note cards to write a research paper, make a cover page, and complete a bibliography. After their research was complete, students had to sketch the layout of their trifold including the title of their country, a map of the country, the flag of the country, and other interesting photos or facts. After planning students created their trifold and then practiced presenting their information to each other.

On the evening of our World’s Fair, students were excited to come in costume and to present their research to families and friends. They took breaks to see the work of their friends and try some of the Chinese rice a student prepared!

This month first year students began researching simple machines. They learned simple machines help make work easier for us. They researched inclined planes, screws, wedges, pulleys, lever, and wheels and axles. After learning about each simple machine, students thought of examples for each machine. They then took turns using our simple machine materials to build each type. In April, these students will choose a machine and build it themselves.

Our second year students continued their rock research with a sugar cube experiment. They reviewed the rock cycle and the three types of rocks at the beginning of their sugar lab. Each student took a sugar cube, to represent our sedimentary rocks, then crushed it using a hammer to turn it into sediments.  After crushing each cube, the students had to build a foil boat or pan for their smashed cube. They held their foil pan over a candle flame to melt the sugar. The melted sugar represented magma. After the magma cooled, we discovered this was like an igneous rock. Students decided to redo this experiment many times to see what consistencies they could make!

This month we welcomed our first kindergarten visitors! Each visitor is partnered up with an Elementary child. This child is the guide during the week visit. Our guides are responsible for giving their kindergarten visitor a tour of the classroom and an explanation of the way to do things in the classroom. These guides help the kindergarten students make work choices and answer any questions they may have. This gives the guides an opportunity to be leaders academically and socially to help the visiting students.

We enjoyed Pajama Day before Spring Break! We watched “Homeward Bound” in the morning. In the afternoon, our students made s’mores together from a homemade “cooker” that a student created after our sugar cube experiment. We had a dance party and played board games. Our students were also excited to be able to enjoy outdoor gym class!

We are looking forward to April with you!

 

 

 

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