Science Update: Google Accounts, Chromebooks and Liquid Labs

Dear Parents,

This week in science class, we’ve been trying to tackle two main tasks.

First, I’ve been getting your students comfortable with their Google Docs and Google Classroom accounts. That’s a pretty important digital task primarily because Docs and Classroom will allow your students to tackle school tasks easily together. Over the course of the week, I’ve shown your children how to get their accounts working on their devices, how to create folders and documents in their Google Drives, and how to share those folders and documents with partners. Your children are really taking to the process — and I think they are excited about never having to carry a jump drive around or worry about finding digital copies of tasks that we are working on in class.

On a related note, if you are thinking about buying a device for your child to use here at school over the next few years, you might want to look at Chromebooks:

http://amzn.to/1Uu4Y1k

Chromebooks — which cost around $150-$200 — give students instant access to both the web and to their Google accounts. They also give students a full keyboard to work with — which can sometimes come in handy when working on school tasks that require a lot of writing. Given that students in the Wake County Public Schools now have their own Google accounts, these devices make a lot of sense and could be a worthwhile investment that your child can use for the next few years.

We’ve also spent the better part of the week talking/tinkering with what we are calling our Liquid Lab. Students mixed several different liquids together and then made qualitative observations about what they saw happening. The task is designed to introduce students to density — a concept that crosses most of the units that we study in class — AND to the notion that scientific illustrations are another way for scientists to share their findings.

Scientific illustrations and hypotheses are due tomorrow — but your children have had TONS of class time to work. If they’ve taken advantage of their work time here at school, it’s likely that they have already finished this work.

Hope this helps,
Bill Ferriter