Spring TAG Testing
Spring TAG testing will take place February 13 through March 2. During this time, regular TAG classes will be canceled. Thank you for your patience during this very busy testing season!
My maternity leave is quickly approaching! In my absence, Mrs. Murphy will be my long-term substitute. Mrs. Murphy has subbed for me on numerous occassions, including my first maternity leave. She is TAG certified and very familiar with my classroom routines, procedures, and teaching style. I have spent a great deal of time and energy organizing every part of our TAG day, lessons, and materials to ensure that class runs very smoothly in my absence. If you need immediate assistance while I'm away, please email Mrs. Biggs at firstname.lastname@example.org and she can communicate any needed information with Mrs. Murphy. I will return in early May to finish the year with students and look forward to seeing them again before summer vacation.
2nd Grade - What's the Matter in the Kitchen?
We've been busy in second grade conducting all sorts of food experiments involving chemical and physical changes, different ways energy is used to cook foods, and even doing some kitchen detective work to answer questions like "How does yeast make bread rise?"
Building Solar Ovens
Heat Energy: Melting Hershey's Kisses
What makes bread rise? Yeast!
Making Butter - a Physical Change
3rd Grade - Freedom Express Unit
Our study of the Underground Railroad included a Decision Making lesson on the opportunity cost of a slave risking escape by leaving the plantation and heading north to Canada. We read Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt and discussed how quilts were used as a form of unspoken communication to teach other slaves a safe route to freedom. We researched different patterns and their meanings then created a class freedom quilt.
Third graders were given a small amount of cotton to clean as a "test" that a slave would be given on their first day working on a cotton plantation. This was very stressful, tedious work and set the precedent for what slaves were expected to produce in terms of picking and cleaning cotton each day in the fields. If the slaves failed to produce as much clean cotton as they had during the test, they were punished for being lazy. If slaves produced a higher quantity, that became the new daily expectation. Students also researched the cotton gin and it's effect on slavery, the Industrial Revolution, and American History.
4th Grade - Camp Interdependence Unit
Everglades - Food Chain
As part of our study of "America's Best Idea," the National Parks, we're taking virtual field trips to some of the more notable parks. Students discovered how animals are interdependent on one another for survival in the Everglades through an Inductive Reasoning lesson. This was a highly interesting lesson as the food web and food chain in the Everglades directly relates to our class novel, Deadly Waters: A Mystery in Everglades National Park.
Yellowstone - Fire Ecology
Our next park study was Yellowstone National Park. students explored how fire can be both harmful and helpful to an ecosystem by participating in a Metaphorical Expression lesson.. We researched the Yellowstone wildfire of 1988 where thousands of acres burned. Many people do not like large forest fires because they can disrupt vacations, change the look of the park, and may spread outside the park—threatening homes. Despite these disadvantages, the Yellowstone ecosystem needs fire to stay healthy. Fire is important to the natural succession of the area and actually helps create the landscape people love to see. Grasses, flowers, and trees rapidly replaced burned trees.
Create Your Own National Park
Students will begin creating their own National Park as a concluding activity to our Camp Interdependence Unit. This is such a fun project and definitely one of the highlights of this unit!
5th Grade - Pioneers Unit
5th graders enjoyed studying the legend of the city of Atlantis. Students read evidence and facts about the mysterious city and decided whether they think it ever existed and why. Students worked as a team to make a decision and supported it with the information given. This Mystery lesson involved a study of a deep sea pioneer and the advancements made in the area of oceanography by Jacques Cousteau. There is no solution to this mystery, since no one really knows whether Atlantis existed or not.
Women in World War II
During this Creative Problem Solving lesson, students learned about the problems that women encountered and the opportunities that opened up for women during and after World War II. Students analyzed an oral history and interviews from women who lived during WW II highlighting problems and creating potential solutions then shared a speech they wrote with the class.