Weekly Email: Cells, Parent Conferences & Looking Ahead

Hello!

Thanks so much to all of the parents who traveled to school for the days of conferences. It was rewarding to talk to you about your students’ progress, successes and challenges. I believe that a strong foundation has been formed in science class and look forward to the rest of the year with your students. I’ll end this email by giving a brief overview of the remaining units for this year.

If you had walked by the classroom the day before conferences began you would have likely stopped and wondered what in the world was happening. Students were gathered in a circle around the center of the table and each making different sounds and motions. What was going on? Well, as students entered class that day, each was given a potential role performed in a different part of a factory. For example, some were the powerhouse, providing energy to the factory, others were the headquarters, giving directions to departments in the factory, while others may have been storage tanks or disposal systems. In seven minutes, they were asked to describe their area of the factory and make a sound and motion. We shared ideas and then got the factory running, so the sounds and motions one would have seen when passing the room were of our factory in full operation.  Controlled chaos!

The purpose in this short exercise was to provide a tangible introduction to activities found in different parts of a cell. The powerhouse links to the mitochondria of the cell whereas the headquarters represents the nucleus. We then watched this amazing animation of someone’s interpretation of activity inside a cell. In both our class example and the animation, it was evident that a lot of activity happens at once inside a cell.

This was the jumping off point to the current project. Students have been asked to create a project that describes the organelles and activity of those organelles in a way that does not simply give a description. My factory analogy was an example. Each role in the factory corresponded to a cell organelle. I look forward to seeing the projects of students as they have been given a wide-open range of options. (This project is due next week – please discuss with your student.)

What’s coming up next?

1. In a couple of weeks, we will begin an integrated (Mathematics, Humanities and Science) unit. In Science, our focus will be in the realm of Earth Science. We will study plate tectonics and how constructive and destructive forces have interacted with and helped form today’s landforms.

2. January – Human Body systems

3. Spring Break on – Force and Motion

As always, please let me know if you have any questions, comments or concerns. It was great talking with you and I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend!

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