Mrs. Pioro's News

  • Rocks! Rocks! Rocks!

    Posted by Justine Pioro on 2/3/2020

    During the unit of studying rocks, students will learn that:

    • Rocks are found in a multitude of places and are utilized in many creative ways by humans.
    • Scientists organize rocks into categories, by how they were formed, to make them easier to study. These categories are igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.
    • Rocks provide clues about the conditions under which they were formed and existed.
    • Processes on the Earth continue to reform a fixed amount of material from one type of rock

      Students begin by observing a variety of different rocks, which start them thinking about their characteristics. Once prior knowledge and exploration take place students try to create their own method of categorizing rocks. They then learn that scientists decided on categorizing rocks based on how they formed. To uncover these methods students use crayons to model rock forming processes. Students erode crayons into sediment, compact it into sedimentary rock, partially melt and press into a metamorphic rock, and finally melt and cool into igneous rock. This along with a few other activities builds a conceptual understanding of the rock cycle, the three basic types of rocks and that each type is not static in fact the rock cycle is a dynamic and cyclical process.


      Students continue learning about Earth’s surface by exploring fossil formation via simulating the formation of three common types of fossils: mineral replacement, impression, and amber fossilization.  Ultimately, leading to the understanding that fossils are rare, and special circumstances are required for them to form. Students build off of the mineral replacement fossilization method to learn that minerals are the building blocks of all rocks including fossils.  Minerals are what allow the 3 types of rocks to have so much variety. Students will conduct tests to determine unknown mineral specimens, and research how minerals and rocks are used in everyday items. It will become apparent to them why humans search for minerals. In efforts to get students to experience the search for mineral deposits they will collect and analyze cupcake core samples.  Following this, students will look at the costs/benefit and economics of mining by playing a chocolate cookie mining game. 


      After students develop an understanding of rocks, minerals, and fossils in Earth’s outer layer; students will compare Earth’s basic 4 layers to a Milky Way candy bar. Additionally, students will explore evidence that Earth’s outer layer has been moving for billions of years.

      Plates are large sections of Earth’s crust that slowly move over partially melted rock in the upper mantle. Students analyze maps of active volcanoes, recent earthquakes, and the age of the sea floor to help them identify active plate boundaries. This develops the theory of plate tectonics, which cultivates the comprehension of why mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes exist.  Students learn about earthquakes in more depth so they can more knowledgably apply the engineering design process to construct a structure to withstand a simulated earthquake. The final activity reveals the driving force behind plate tectonics to be convection currents in the mantle. Again, this unit adds to their conceptual understanding of energy as they realize this driving force that shapes and forms Earth’s surface is all connected to energy transfer.

      rock to a different type of rock. 

     

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  • January - weather relations between sun, air, water

    Posted by Justine Pioro on 1/6/2020

    This unit builds off the previous unit, Water Chemistry and Beyond, however portions of this unit could be taught in isolation if desired. This unit begins by guiding students to realize that our sun is a system interconnected to our hydrosphere, biosphere, geosphere and atmosphere systems.  

    In section 2 the students deepen their understanding of energy. In efforts to make sure they build the basic idea of how the sun’s radiated energy drives changes like climate patterns and the water cycle, students must first develop a basic understanding of light.  Therefore, section 2 begins with students observing how light (visible radiated energy) travels. Students demonstrate that light travels in a straight line, that it can be absorbed, and reflected. 

    Students’ progress by further investigating how light interacts with different colors and Earth materials. Data is collected in effort to provide evidence of darker colors and land materials absorbing more energy causing their thermal energy storage accounts to increase (temperature rises at a faster rate).  Students push forward with this knowledge to investigate how these temperature variations affect the air above its surface. They observe hotter air rising, cooler air sinking, and the formation of air convection currents. This is connected to the formation of wind, Earth’s climates, and the water cycle. Students add critical components to their conceptual model of energy by experiencing a variety of activities that show how energy is at the root of these major Earth processes.

    By the end of section 3 students should begin to see energy as a substance-like quantity that can be stored in a physical system. (A system being a portion of the universe that is being studied. Systems can be complex like our sun or simple like a pot of water.  It all depends on how the system is defined.) An underpinning in all our units is the idea that energy can flow or be transferred from one system to another. When this happens changes in the systems occur. In particular this unit shows that energy transferred from the sun to Earth produces changes in Earth’s materials.  Therefore Earth’s climate and weather patterns are simply manifestation of energy transfer.  

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  • The Month of November

    Posted by Justine Pioro on 11/1/2019

    During th moth of November, we will be covering the Water Cycle and how water on Earth can be found in three differnt forms, or states; solid, liquid and gas.

    Students will: 

    • Develop an understanding that matter comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, textures, states, etc.
    • Different types of matter have different properties
    • Observe and summarize evidence of some unique properties of water: 
      • Droplets are attracted to other water droplets (cohesion)  
      • Observe and summarize evidence that water droplets are sometimes attracted to other materials (adhesion). 
      • Observe cases of water’s surface acting like a skin or “protective” layer (surface tension -caused by water’s cohesiveness). 
      • Observe cases where water’s attractive properties to itself and other materials (cohesion and adhesion) can work together to get water to move through tiny spaces (capillary action).
    • Explain the macroscopic properties of solids, liquids and gases using the particle model of matter.
    • Relate observations regarding the addition of energy by warming to increased particle motion.
    • Observe and explain that energy can be transferred into a liquid from warmer surroundings, causing its particles to speed up and break away to become a gas (evaporation).
    • Observe and explain that when gas particles transfer their energy to cooler surroundings, they may slow down enough that their attraction to one another causes them to become a liquid (condensation). 
    • Observe and explain that when the particles of a liquid transfer their energy to something cooler, they slow down enough that their attractions cause them to arrange themselves into fixed positions as a solid (freezing).
    • Observe and explain that when the particles of a solid speed up enough that the motion overcomes their attraction to one another, the particles can move past each other to become a liquid (melting)

     

    Parent Teacher Conferences are on 11/20, 11/25,11/26

     

    Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving break!!! 

     

     

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  • The month of October

    Posted by Justine Pioro on 10/1/2019

    We finished the Metric Unit and started the Unit 1 Water - Chemistry and Beyond.  

    Instructional Goals for this unit are:

    Describing Water (Matter)

    • Develop an understanding that matter comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, textures, states, etc.
    • Different types of matter have different properties
    • Observe and summarize evidence of some unique properties of water:
      • Droplets are attracted to other water droplets (cohesion)  
      • Observe and summarize evidence that water droplets are sometimes attracted to other materials (adhesion).
      • Observe cases of water’s surface acting like a skin or “protective” layer (surface tension -caused by water’s cohesiveness).
      • Observe cases where water’s attractive properties to itself and other materials (cohesion and adhesi

    Science Quiz on Thursday, October 2nd.  Students should be bringing their labs and closure statement to study for the quiz.  

     

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  • Metric System quiz on Friday 13th (summative grade)

    Posted by Justine Pioro on 9/10/2019

    Please watch the video:

     

    https://youtu.be/eIu0geu9OMU

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  • The month of September

    Posted by Justine Pioro on 9/6/2019

    Welcome,

    We have had an amazing beginning of the school year in Science.  The students are excited about having “real” science this year.  They can’t wait to start the experiments and get their hands dirty.

    We have started the year with discussing different types of data and how to be a good class participant and a lab partner.  After a short unit on lab safety, we will be ready to participate in laboratory investigations. Yay!!!

    In the month of September, we will begin with fundamentals of taking measurements using the metric system.  We will also begin our water unit where students will develop an understanding that matter comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, textures, states, etc.  Furthermore, they will develop and understanding that different types of matter have different properties.  Our labs will be based on observations and summarizing  evidence of some unique properties of water. 

     

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  • Welcome to 2019/2020 School Year

    Posted by Justine Pioro on 8/21/2019

    Hello parents and students,

    It has been such a pleasure to meet your child today!  I am super excited to work with all the students this year and it appears they are all excited to be here as well.  We had a great day getting to know each other, but our team building activities will continue well into the next week.

    Don't forget, PICTURE day is this Friday!!!

     

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