Feb 16

A 6th Grader’s Take on Trash

Republishing this post to get new readers to our 6th grade blog.

Trash in the Ocean

Here’s what one 6th grader has to say about trash:

Trash

Her thoughts are typical and they make sense. Yet how many people still toss trash out their car windows or decide to drop their trash on the ground instead of holding it until they are near a garbage can? And how many of you pick up trash you see laying around?

This is the sixth post in a series that I’m sharing. My 6th graders had the idea to start this blog and I’m sharing in the hopes that they can see their ideas spread. I hope that my small town students can find their voice in this huge world. Social media has the power to do that.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.educatoral.com/wordpress/2017/02/16/6th-graders-take-on-trash/

Feb 15

6th Grader Questions Water Pollution

Republishing this post to get new readers to our 6th grade blog!

WaterAnd I don’t blame him. I think every single person on this planet will agree that clean water is better than polluted water, and that we should take care of our water, and yet we have polluted so much of our water. I know it’s complicated but our kids don’t always accept that. And you know what, they’re kids, I don’t want them to accept that as an answer!

So click on the graphic or click here to read what this 6th grader has to say about water pollution.

This is the fifth in a series of posts where I share something my 6th grade Science students came up with, an idea for sharing their thoughts and questions about the problems facing our Earth. It’s their blog where they get to ask questions and come up with ideas for saving their world.

So give his blog post a read, leave a comment or share his post if you can! Thank you!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.educatoral.com/wordpress/2017/02/15/6th-grader-questions-water-pollution/

Feb 14

6th Grader Blogs About the Ills of Money!

Republishing this post to get new readers to our blog for this year’s 6th graders. This post got the most reads of all the posts from last year!

One of our 6th graders published a blog post for our World Solutions Blog about the problems caused by our obsession with MONEY!
MoneyBlog

If you have the time, please leave her a comment and/or share her post with your social networks!

Thank you!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.educatoral.com/wordpress/2017/02/14/6th-grader-blogs-about-the-ills-of-money/

Feb 13

Diigo Links (weekly)

Check this week’s incredible resources:

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.educatoral.com/wordpress/2017/02/13/diigo-links-weekly-53/

Feb 09

A 6th Grader Blogs About Racism

Republishing these posts to get new readers to my students’ class blog to inspire this new group to write posts!

Some Rights Reserved - Kevin D

Some Rights Reserved – Kevin D

I do like to keep reminding myself that we’re not born racist. That could bring me down, thinking that people are still passing their racism along to their children but instead I like to think of it this way; maybe it’s not too late to teach someone that racism doesn’t have to be.

This is the fourth in a series of posts where I share something my 6th grade Science students came up with, an idea for sharing their thoughts and questions about the problems facing our Earth. Unlike the previous posts, this one doesn’t deal with what people are doing to the Earth but rather how people are treating other people. It’s all connected isn’t it? This post so far has gotten the most reads on our new World Solutions blog.

When this 6th grader shared her idea for a post for our new World Solutions blog, she wanted to write about racism. Like many she’s been deeply disturbed by what she is seeing on television. Here’s her post on:

Racism

Give it a read and if you can, leave a comment or at least share her post with your PLN or social network.

Thank you!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.educatoral.com/wordpress/2017/02/09/a-6th-grader-blogs-about-racism/

Feb 08

The World Needs Change

Republishing these posts to get new readers to my students’ class blog to inspire this new group to write posts!

6674601135_07bba0645f_bThis is the third in a series of posts where I share something my 6th grade Science students came up with, an idea for sharing their thoughts and questions about the problems facing our Earth.

Do read what this 6th grader wrote. Listen to her words as she makes her plea to us, the adults who are leaving young children such as herself a planet that has so many problems to solve that it can boggle any mind.

These are children who need to be playing and learning but they are more and more being asked to come up with solutions to problems because if they don’t, they might not have a world worth living in!

The World Needs Change

Give her short post a read and do consider leaving a comment or at least sharing her post with your PLN or social network.

Thank you!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.educatoral.com/wordpress/2017/02/08/the-world-needs-change/

Feb 07

A 6th Grader’s Plea for Clean Energy

Republishing these posts to get new readers to my students’ class blog to inspire this new group to write posts!

4622744414_8264e9d05c_zThis is a second in a series of posts where I share something my 6th grade Science students came up with, an idea for sharing their thoughts and questions about the problems facing our Earth.

Energy is something we take for granted. Many of us probably don’t even question where our energy is coming from. The energy needed to power your devices, to bring us light, to cook with, to keep us warm in the winter. We’ve been studying energy in 6th grade Science and looking at some forms of energy that are actually quite clean. Here’s a blog post one of my 6th graders wrote sharing her thoughts on energy consumption in our country:

Clean Energy

Give her blog a read and maybe even leave a comment. If you like what you see, consider sharing her post.

Thank you!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.educatoral.com/wordpress/2017/02/07/a-6th-graders-plea-for-clean-energy/

Feb 06

Diigo Links (weekly)

Here’s another batch of amazing links! Check them out:

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.educatoral.com/wordpress/2017/02/06/diigo-links-weekly-52/

Jan 31

NGSS and Rocketry

This post was originally published on the WA State CORELaborate site!

A STEM Partnership and Rocketry
This is my second year as one of the teachers of OESD 114’s Olympic STEM Pathways Partnership (OSPP). This past summer we got to work with UW Earth Science professors through a NASA-funded consortium! One of the activities we engaged in was rocketry. We got to build bottle rockets and launch them! It was so much fun! They encouraged us to have our students build and launch bottle rockets and since I teach physical science it seemed a perfect fit to our study of forces and motion.

NGSS Alignment
At the summer training we looked at the NGSS Standards that align to rocketry and bottle rockets in particular. Here’s what I found on the Middle School Physical Science Storyline for Forces:
The performance expectations in PS2: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions focuses on helping students understand ideas related to why some objects will keep moving, why objects fall to the ground and why some materials are attracted to each other while others are not. Students answer the question, “How can one describe physical interactions between objects and within systems of objects?” At the middle school level, the PS 2 Disciplinary Core Idea from the NRC Framework is broken down into two sub – ideas: Forces and Motion and Types of interactions. By the end of middle school, students will be able to apply Newton’s Third Law of Motion to relate forces to explain the motion of objects. Students also apply ideas about gravitational, electrical, and magnetic forces to explain a variety of phenomena including beginning ideas about why some materials attract each other while others repel.

NGSS MS-PS2 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
For the Motion and Stability standard the performance expectation MS-PS2-2, “Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object,” seemed the best fit for bottle rockets.

I also chose to focus students on the following performance expectation, 3-PS2-1, “Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.

Necessary Equipment
In order to launch bottle rockets with students we needed a few things. Families are really good about donating 2L soda bottles and I collected cardboard for weeks and gathered masking tape, construction paper and thicker cardstock. Kids were also encouraged to bring whatever else they might need. Some kids brought colorful duct tape, for example. With one of the UW professor’s help I asked my principal if we could purchase the equipment we would need to this and he approved it so we bought the following:

1 Launch Pad $50
2 Altitude Trackers $13 each for $26
1 Air Pump with Gauge $25

That’s it! With shipping and tax it all cost $137! Not bad at all.

Building the Rockets
I didn’t want to structure the building of the Bottle Rockets like I did the Bottle Flipping lab so kids did not use the Inquiry Boards. We did it more like a Makerspace where I provided the materials, gave them some websites to research (this one and this one to get them started), then let them create.

img_9478 img_9479 img_9480 img_9481 img_9487 img_9494 img_9495 img_9496 img_9497

Launch Day!
On launch day we went out to the football field and had a blast! The most difficult part was having kids use the altitude trackers. They seemed pretty easy enough. I showed the kids how to use the tracker, gave them a clipboard to record the altitudes, then let them handle it. I ordered two trackers and had two kids gather data to make sure the data was at least close. The trackers I bought are to be used at 500 ft from the bottle rockets for high flying rockets. We were on a football field and didn’t have 500 ft so we launched from the 50 yard line and had the trackers at the end zones. If you use the altitude trackers at 250 ft you need to divide the altitude by two so I did that even though it wasn’t exact. It was all just to see which rockets went the highest so it was all good.

Here’s some footage of the launches:

Student Conclusions!
After the launch students were to write a CER Conclusion to figure out what made their rocket fly the way it did. Once we narrow some variables down we will go back out and get more deliberate about having only one manipulated variable, such as the amount of water in the bottle, to see how that affects how high the rocket goes.

Here are a few CER Conclusions that kids have already written:

We launched a bottle rocket that had water in it. We pumped air into it so that the air pressure would make it go high. My claim is that the less water you have the rocket will go higher. My evidence is that my rocket was half full and it went up 29 meters, Shelby and Brody’s rocket was ¼ full of water and it went up 43 meters. I think this happened because there was more air in their rocket so there was more pressure for the rocket to go higher up. My evidence supports my claim because it shows that their rocket had less water and it went higher and my rocket had more water and didn’t go as high.

We created our own bottle rockets with a cone, wings and some water to put in the rocket, then we launched them. My claim is I learned that the more water you have works better than less water. My evidence is when I launched my rocket I saw that the people that had more water went up higher and the ones with less did not go as high. I think this happened because the more water you have the longer it can keep pushing the rocket higher and higher if you don’t have that much water all your water will not last as long. My evidence supports my claim because it is evidence that I got to see myself.

We launched bottle rockets in the football field. My claim is that the rocket turns the way that the wind blows. My evidence is our bottle rocket turned and flew to the direction the wind was blowing. I think this happened because the bottle rocket is light and strong winds can blow most light things in the direction that it is blowing. My evidence supports my claim because when the wind blew a CERtain way (hahaha) the bottle rocket flew the same way.

The amount of water in the bottle is an easy variable to change and seems the most popular one that students noticed. Pretty cool!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.educatoral.com/wordpress/2017/01/31/ngss-and-rocketry/

Jan 30

Diigo Links (weekly)

Here’s another week of incredible resources! Check them out:

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.educatoral.com/wordpress/2017/01/30/diigo-links-weekly-51/

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