Parent Letter – Heading into October Break

I hope you are all doing well and looking forward to the upcoming break with your students. It has been quite the busy week at school. Performances took place at night. An assembly was held to raise awareness regarding chemical dependency. Confucius’ birthday was celebrated and we are hoping to end the Friday with the Terry Fox run. At the same time, student-athletes have been practicing and playing games versus other schools in this area. I would say that many of us are definitely ready for a rest.

In science, I continued to be impressed with the participation and enthusiasm of students. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we worked to bring together evidence from a few days of experiments. We found:

  • Observations from the celery lab indicated that water travels upwards through “pipes” or “tubes” (also known as xylem) from the roots of a plant to the leaves.
  • The penny drop experiment showed us that water molecules hold on tight. We thought of them as “sticky” and wondered if this helps water move from the base to the top of a plant.
  • Bags placed around leaves gave us evidence that water leaves the plant (in the form of gas?) and goes into the atmosphere.

The next step was to try to make meaning of this evidence. Using large, group-size whiteboards, we diagrammed and listed evidence and questions. Towards the end, we did an activity using our bodies to bring the pieces of evidence together. Students linked arms and lined up. What happened next? Please talk to your student about this activity for the rest of the details. Ask them what evidence was collected. Focus on the specific details before wondering what the evidence means. This conversation will help them think like a scientist!

Finally, Thursday and Friday found us again collecting evidence. Our guiding questions was “What happens when leaves come in contact with a carbon source and a light?” Please ask your students what they did in this observational experiment. Then, allow them to wonder how they can take an observation, pose a question and investigate on something related to the observation.

It’s been a great week and I hope your students have lots of stories to share. As always, please let me know if you have any questions, comments or concerns. Feedback is always greatly appreciated. Again, have a wonderful holiday!

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