Category: Science

Heads Up: Quiz Friday

Dear Parents,

Just a quick heads up: Students will have a short (10 question) quiz in Science on Friday about the three ways that heat transfers from one object to another.

This is not a new concept for kids. We’ve talked about it extensively in class.

Students will spend all day Thursday studying in class — so they may not need to study a ton at home.

The three best study tools are their notes, a Heat Transfer Quizizz and a Heat Transfer Quizlet. Those are all posted under the "Classwork" tab in Google Classroom.

Hope this helps,
Bill Ferriter

Desperate Need of Tissues and Paper Towels!

Dear Parents,

Tis’ the season to be sneezy — and we are fresh out of tissues here on the Gnomes team!

We are also out of paper towels — which we use to clean desks and tables and counters.

If you have any of those items and home and are willing to send in a box or a roll, we’d be incredibly grateful.

Thanks for thinking of us,
Bill Ferriter

Science Update

Dear Parents,

First, thanks so much for all of your support during our busy week last week. We had almost 40 parents chaperone our field trip and another 60 who came to our Honors Assembly. It was a great turnout for both events — and it helped both events to be a success. We are grateful.

Second, here’s a few science updates:

Our Matter Unit is Finished: There will be a retest for our unit assessment on Tuesday, but we are moving on from that content.

Our Energy Unit is Starting: You can see the essential outcomes for this unit here. Students will be learning more about how light, sound and heat work. It’s an interesting unit to kids because we are surrounded by light, sound and heat all the time — but often, we don’t have a clear understanding of what they are or how they work.

Our First Area of Focus is Heat: During our energy unit, we will be starting with a study of how heat moves from one object to another. There are three ways this happens — through conduction, convection and radiation. This is the starting point for our Energy unit because we just finished talking about what happens to matter when it is heated at the end of our Matter unit.

Let me know if you have any questions,
Bill Ferriter

Low Matter Quiz Scores

Dear Parents,

As a quick heads up: I gave a 15 question matter quiz in class today that the students have known about for over a week.

There were LOTS of very low scores. That surprised me, given that students had every minute of last week’s classes to work on study guides and use practice tests.

When I asked to see study guides today, though, what I found was that most of the students with low scores hadn’t completed their study guides at all and hadn’t used the practice study games available in Google Classroom.

That explains the low scores — many students didn’t do much studying.

So here’s what’s next: If your child scored less than an 80, they can rework their score. Retests will be on Tuesday of next week.

In order to be eligible for a retest, students must:

(1). Complete their study guides — which are posted in Google Classroom.

(2). Take a practice test in Socrative at least one time — this will go live tomorrow afternoon.

Hope this helps,
Bill Ferriter

Upcoming Science Quiz – Rescheduled for Tuesday

Dear Parents,

Just a quick heads up: We are at the end of our Matter Unit and are ready for an end of the unit assessment.

Originally, that assessment was scheduled for this Friday. I am going to push it until Tuesday because your kids have tests in both Math and Social Studies on Friday. I didn’t think it was fair to ask them to tackle a third test in one day.

Students will be working to study in class on both Thursday and Friday. There is a study guide and three different study games posted in Google Classroom.

Hope this helps,
Bill Ferriter

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We Could Use Five More Chaperones!

Dear Parents,

As you already know, we are going on a field trip to the North Carolina Museum of Science on Tuesday, November 6th.

We could use about five more chaperones for the day! Your primary job will be to supervise a group of 5-7 students as they complete a scavenger hunt inside the museum. My guess is that it will be a terrific time!

If you think you can come and help out, please click this link. It will take you to a Google Form where I am collecting contact information. I will then reach out with more details about the trip.

Thanks for your consideration,

Bill Ferriter

Parent Consent Form Coming Home Today – Edpuzzle

Dear Parents,

A REALLY important form is coming home today.

It is a form asking for permission for your child to use an Ed Tech tool called Edpuzzle while they are in my class.

Edpuzzle is a tool that allows me to create reteaching videos that look like this one.

I use Edpuzzle to give kids chances to review content that we are studying in class AND to raise grades that are low.

Because your students are under 13 years of age, though, you have to give permission for them to use the tool. If you don’t want your child using Edpuzzle, they will still have chances to raise their scores — but those chances will probably be textbook based. Edpuzzle tends to be more interesting to students.

Please be on the lookout for the form! You can also find it posted online here.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter

A Word on Missing Work in Science

Dear Parents,

Just a quick heads up: Many of you have been emailing to ask about an assignment that Google Classroom’s Guardian Summaries has told you is missing from your child.

Please note that those messages were sent in error.

When students have a missing assignment, I will let them know here at school — and if it is persistently late, I’ll email you directly.

I’m not sure why Google Classroom is showing that task as missing for so many students, but there’s no reason to be worried! The majority of your students are caught up on their work.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter

Science Update

Dear Parents,

First, I hope you have a great weekend with your kids!

Second, here’s a few science updates:

(1). We have been working to finish up our paper towel labs all week long. Students had two separate documents to turn in for the lab. One (Lab-Paper Towel Planning) was due on Wednesday and the other (Paper Towel Lab Conclusions) was due today. I told students today that they could turn their Paper Towel Lab Conclusions in anytime before the end of next week because they had two tests in other subjects to prepare for. There will not be any more class time to work on these tasks, though.

(2). We started to learn two new vocabulary words this week: As a part of our study of the scientific method, we began practicing with the terms independent variable and dependent variable this week. Students have a handout that they will need to complete for a grade that asks them to identify the independent and dependent variable in five simple experimental questions. The task was harder for the kids than I expected, so most will need extra time to complete that. We will begin with that work in class on Monday.

(3). We went to the library for orientation this week: On Thursday, I took our team to the library to learn more about how and when they can sign out books. Your kids are now fully prepared to begin using our library.

(4). We will begin a density lab next week: One of the main concepts that repeats throughout our curriculum is density. It plays a major role in most of our units. Because it is such an important concept, we will spend time next week experimenting with density. There isn’t a ton of writing that goes along with this lab report, so it should be easy to complete.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter

Materials Needed for a Science Lab!

Dear Parents,

One of the concepts that repeats over and over again in our science curriculum is density and its impact on the world around us.

To introduce density, I’d like to give students a chance to complete a hands-on activity where they experiment with liquids of different densities.

To pull that off, though, I’ll need your help with gathering materials that we can use in the lab.

If you think you can send in any of the materials found in this Signup Genius, I’d REALLY appreciate it. I’d love the materials by Thursday, August 16th if possible.

Thanks a ton in advance for your help.

Bill Ferriter