Happy New Year…Happy New Topics in Science….

We have finished up our first units of study in each of the grades and open the New Year with new units (and new Lab Partners in our seating assignments!)


1st grade has concluded their Life Science topic on Animal Survival in Nature with additional investigations about how some build homes and how some take care of their families. The first grade students are now beginning a Physics study on Sound!!! Ask your child about our experiments with vibrations here at school.

2nd graders have completed their unit on Plant Life and are now beginning a study of Properties of Matter. This topic combines chemistry with materials science to investigate how materials are selected when familiar items in our human-built world are made.

3rd graders have begun a study of forces and interactions, having completed their earlier geology unit with a grand finale of fossil-making using natural sedimentary materials. Our next topic will provide students with many investigations about forces, not only as they relate to changes in motion but also forces essential to structural engineering. We will be building and testing our designs for creations that move as well as creations that resist motion.

4th grade has given most of their friendly creatures to welcoming homes and now the students have begun their work with a physics unit exploring transfer of energy as it undergoes changes in form. We are beginning with sound and motion, then light and heat and will move forward in this study to include transfer of energy though wave formations and generation of electricity.

5th grade has concluded its unit on Chemical Change and forms of Matter, and will now begin a unit on the Earth’s place in space. This unit is an exciting look at the universe and we hope that you might find time in the evening to look into the night sky with your family. Here at school we will conduct a session in the StarLab so that we might simulate the sky on a clear dark night.

3rd grade ROCKS!!!

Every rock tells a story. Here are some of the third graders as they are learning to understand the story that volcanic rocks tell once they have cooled and hardened.

IMG_0099 IMG_0112 IMG_0101Can you figure out from this simulation why so many “volcano rocks” have millions of tiny holes all throughout their structure?

Avoca West Science Topics for 2015/2016

Students at Avoca West have a science program that coordinates their work within the general education homeroom with a weekly session in our Science Lab. Because all grade levels benefit from having the opportunity to work with a variety of topics throughout the year, we are working to create a curriculum that ensures every class has a diverse landscape of thematic units. Our goal is to create topics that include a wide variety of studies in Physics and Engineering, Life Sciences and Earth Sciences for every student, each year. We are currently building curriculum rich with interactivity and exploration in mind.

1st grade begins the year with a Life Science study focused on Animals in the Natural World. We look at not only variety of animals in our world but how that animal is able to “make a living” for itself and ensure that their babies will survive. The second topic of the 1st grade year will be a double Physics unit on Sound and Light. And our final unit in the spring will put those lessons on the light to work for us as we blast-off to explore Outer Space!

2nd grade begins the year with an in-depth unit on Plants and the Animal helpers to the Plant Kingdom. This is a great topic that allows us to use our Outdoor Classroom spaces here at school while they are in full bloom. The second topic of the year will focus on Matter and its Interactions. This winter unit on chemistry is quickly becoming a sensational experience for these kids. Our Final topic will be an Earth Science unit on geological change. Experimenting with land forms through models and simulation will allow our “flat-landers” to gain insight into mountains and rivers, windblown desert landforms, and other interesting effects of erosion and sedimentation.

3rd grade has begun this year with volcanos and the rock cycle! KaBoom! During the winter term, students will investigate the physics of force and motion. We look forward to exploring the built world of structural engineering with a focus on bridges, in addition to experimenting with motion created with a variety of forces. Our final topic will be an Earth Science unit on the Atmosphere. During the Spring, when the winds of change are the strongest, we look to the skies for our study of weather and the atmosphere.

4th grade students have begun their Life Science studies with many little critters in the classroom. Perhaps your child has told you about the large millipedes or the little fiddler crabs, the fascinating ants, or the tiny tiny frogs in their classroom! Each was chosen to help us discover more about the behavior of animals in response to their environments. The winter term will bring a unified topic on forms of energy transfer including electricity, heat, light and sound. Our final spring unit will put much of this knowledge to service as we investigate renewable fuel sources with a focus on wind and sun. Students will collect data and engineer ways to put these fuel sources to work for us.

5th grade has begun a study of Matter and its Interactions. The chemistry activities will highlight both changes in states of matter as well as chemical change. Our second unit will allow students to expand their understanding of our the night sky and our place in space. The final topic for fifth grade is a unified focus on Earth systems and their interactions as they influence and cycle through one another. This study allows students to take their work from several previous grades, on weather and atmosphere, geology and biology, and begin to gain insight as to how these enormous systems effect one another on a larger scale.

Dino Dig !!!

Our Prehistoric Studies are quickly coming to an end as the school year runs out the clock. Second Grade Paleontologists have been working hard this spring, exploring how fossils are formed as they created their own shell fossils using clay and gypsum and experiencing fossil preparation using trilobites in our simulated paleo-lab. Both activities have helped students to understand how information from millions of years ago can be discovered by scientists working on fossils today.

Most Amazing of all are the discoveries taking place this week in our own fossil bed in the Outdoor Classroom! Students are participating in a Dino-Dig Event here at Avoca and many are unearthing ancient fossils of Dinosaurs….Just see for yourself what  great luck we are having!

 

 

Excellent Work, 5th Grade!

The 5th grade teachers and their students presented

wonderful exhibits at the Science Fair last night!

Many families and friends were in attendance and the class of 2012 did an outstanding job of sharing the results from the experiments that they chose to conduct. It was so impressive to see the quality of the thinking that was evidenced in their presentations and also to see the range of interests that were on display. Thanks to the 5th grade teaching team and their students for continuing to take on the challenge of such an exciting event. And Thanks to our Parents for supporting the growth of your child’s active involvement in the doing of Science here at Avoca!

Congrats to the Grads!

A Really Outstanding Science Fair Event this year!

Science Fair !

THE 5TH GRADE SCIENCE FAIR FOR 2011-2012  WILL TAKE PLACE ON 

WEDNESDAY MAY 16

 

The 5th grade students will set up exhibits in the south gym and host a full day of visits from students in Kindergarten through 4th grade.

Parents are invited to attend in the evening.

The family event will run from 6:30-7:30 and everyone is welcome to attend, I hope to see you there!

And Yet It Moves…

WITH OUR FEET ON THE EARTH AND OUR MINDS ON THE UNIVERSE AROUND US, 5TH GRADERS HEAD OUTSIDE TO TRACE THE SHADOWS FROM OUR NEAREST STAR….93 MILLION MILES AWAY.

WE WORKED IN PARTNERSHIP ON THE CHALK TRACINGS AND THEN WENT INSIDE JUST TO GET THE CAMERA…

WE WERE GONE JUST A FEW MINUTES AND WHEN WE RETURNED…..OH NO! OUR SHADOWS NO LONGER FIT INTO THE TRACED OUTLINE…

I GUESS WE MUST HAVE SHRUNK  😉

 

NewsFlash: Pioneers arrive in Oregon

dateline 1834

The conclusion of the 3rd grade social studies unit on the Western Expansion Era of U.S. history ended with a celebration that included planting our vegetable beds from seed! Thanks to the early warm weather we decided to try to experience the thrill that comes from watching the first tender leaves push through the soil. All 3rd grade classes had a turn to work the soil under the guidance of Mrs. Rick as they imagined the satisfaction that the pioneers must have felt when they reached their journey’s end in the fertile Willamette Valley of the Oregon Territory in the mid-1800’s and began to set down roots. (pun intended)
For the teachers it was fun to find a way to bring the end of the social studies program forward to meet with the beginning of the new science topic on Plants! (education…1 part science, 2 parts art)