Friday, March 9, 2018

STEM Rec Challenges / March 12 -15

STEM Rec Challenges
March 12-15, 2018

Reminder: Friday, March 16 is a Professional Development Day for all teachers at Franklin Discovery Academy.  No School for students this day.

Chemical reactions. For the remainder of the month students will be studying chemistry at the science table. This week we will talk about reactants, products, activation energy and chemical equations. We will be using combustion as an example of a chemical reaction. Students will learn about the chemical reaction of a candle burning.

Rap it Up. In literacy this week, students will be learning about rhythm by making up a rap or song about a favorite activity we like to do.  Students will recite it to a rhythm while everyone else tries to guess what that favorite activity is!

Social Studies
Step into the Renaissance. This week students will learn about the Renaissance and be introduced to Michelangelo.  They will learn how he painted the Sistine Chapel and then create their own ceiling art.

Technology & Math
Coding Continued.  Math and technology are teaming up to teach our students coding. The younger grades will be learning “LightBot”,  a puzzle game based on coding. This game secretly teaches students programming logic as they play. The older grades will be using Raspberry Pi computers and learning python programming.

Stained Glass. This week art will head to beautiful Ireland. Students will explore castles, churches, and cathedrals that are home to some of the most remarkable stained glass masterpieces known. They will then be making their own version of stained glass.  

Friday, March 2, 2018

STEM Rec Challenges / March 5 - 9, 2018

STEM Rec Challenges
March 5-9, 2018

The World Around Us. For our final microscope week students will be making their own slides by scavenging for specimens from our STEMrec area and garden. What do everyday objects look like when magnified 400 times?

Pictionary. Get your drawing skills ready! In literacy our focus will be on people, places and things. Or in other words, we're talking about nouns and we will be playing a fun version of Pictionary to practice our knowledge of this important concept.

Social Studies
Welcome to the OSS.  Since the bombing of Pearl Harbor, we need more secret agents.  We'll be working with MI5 to train you.  Maybe you can help us stop the war.

Technology & Math
Coding.  Math and technology are teaming up to teach our students coding. The younger grades will be learning “LightBot”,  a puzzle game based on coding. This game secretly teaches students programming logic as they play. The older grades will be using Raspberry Pi computers and learning python programming.

Students will be leaving the beautiful savannas of Africa and traveling to Egypt where they will explore some beautiful, complex, and multicolored mosaics from this ancient culture. They will then design and make their own mosaic.  

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Approaching the Finish Line!

Do you know how to tell when we're getting toward the end of the year?  The teachers start talking about Summer (June) Term.  We're there, now!  That said, we still have two terms before we get there!  This term lasts until Spring Break, going from ice to warming.  This term, Franklin Discovery has several social studies classes that are sure to excite our students!

In 1st and 2nd grades, we have two classes available for students: Famous Americans and Voting in America.  In Famous Americans, we're studying several ... well, famous Americans, looking at how they became famous and how our students can follow their examples.  In Voting in America, we're looking at why it's important to vote in our country, and why it's also important to allow for people not to vote in our country.

In 3rd and 4th grades, we're looking at the Civil War in one set of classes, and looking at the branches of the American government in another.  In Civil War, we'll look at why millions were willing to fight and die for their beliefs.  We'll then take a look at several key battles of the Civil War, and of course act them out when we can.  If time permits, we'll also look at the end of the Civil War, and whether or not we're fighting the same battles today.  In the Branches of Government, we're looking at our government and who is supposed to do what (and whether or not each branch is actually doing its part).  We are starting by looking at the budget, because we enjoy a challenge.

In 5th and 6th grades, we're learning the art of debate in one set of classes, and learning of the American Revolution in another.  In debate, we're taking a group of very argumentative kids and turning them into debaters.  Don't worry, we're not going too controversial!  Kids are learning to look the part, as well as to talk the part.  They're learning to attack the best arguments of the opposition, and in the process, they're learning to look at both sides of every argument.  (One of my debate classes has a group of promising 4th graders.)  In American Revolution, we're looking at why a group of backwoodsmen decided to take up arms against the best military in the world, and win (or, rather, not lose).

We're quickly coming up on time to plan next block, as well.  If there are any social studies subjects that you'd like me to hit, please let me know!  My email address is and I hope to hear from you!

Friday, February 23, 2018

STEM Rec Challenges / Feb 26 - March 2

STEM Rec Challenges
February 26 - March 2, 2018

Microbes. We are surrounded by microscopic life. It lives on us, it lives in us, and we couldn't live without it. This week we are using microscopes to look at some different types of microscopic life called amoeba that can be found in streams or ponds.

Verb Dance Party. This week we are going to learn about different verbs and play a version of "charades"! Then we will have a dance party :)

Social Studies
World War II Escape  Room. We will be discovering the facts of what was happening in Europe during World War II. Meanwhile we will also be racing the clock as we try to solve puzzles and escape.  

Snap Circuits. Students will continue working through the 300+ challenges at our snap circuit station. And, thanks to a generous donation from a Franklin Discovery Family, we have been able to acquire several add-on kits! Students can earn the privilege of using the the add-on kits when they have completed 100 lessons.

Balancing Equations. How do addition/subtraction and multiplication/division correlate with each other?  Students will be solving math problems and checking their answers using a contrasting mathematical problem.

Paul Goldstein. The African Savanna is a beautiful place especially during sunset.  Students will learn about the amazing photography of Paul Goldstein.  The challenge will be to paint what  what they see!

“A knowledgeable and sensitive approach will always generate better pictures. The very best wildlife images are often the result of immense patience but also a spiritual understanding of the subject.”  -- Paul Goldstein

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Winter Writing Wonderland!

It finally looks and feels like winter in Utah! Along with the new snow, comes a new block full of new literacy skills for the foxes to explore. Continuing with the last block's trend, we will be doing writing in the literacy classes. This block we will focus on opinion-based writing, with each grade group focusing on a specific type of opinion writing. In addition growing our writing skills, we will be working on building writing communities. These communities, which are built by the students for the students, will provide an environment for everyone to learn, grow, and take risks as writers. This part of the classes continues from last block where we focused on establishing rules and routines for Writer's Workshop.

1/2 Opinion Writing 1
The Tiny Writers will be tackling basic opinion writing skills in this class. Students will be able to learn the basics of expressing their opinion in writing, including introducing their opinion in a creative way, supporting their opinion with reasons and facts, and providing appropriate closure in their writing. In addition to mastering 1st and 2nd grade opinion writing skills, students will begin to learn how to develop their reasons with details, making for stronger reasoning and richer writing.

3/4 Persuasive Writing 1
The Medium-Sized Writers will be learning how to write persuasively. Persuasive writing is an exciting genre that combines opinions with facts to create emotionally poignant pieces that aim to change the reader's mind. Our passionate 3rd and 4th grade students will enjoy the opportunity to make the case for why their favorites really are the best of the best. In addition to learning how to express themselves in writing, students will learn about how to effectively support their opinion with developed ideas and proper formatting.

5/6 Argumentative Writing 1
The Tall Writers will be focusing on argumentative writing. This class will draw on the skills that students learned in informational writing last block, since argumentative writing is informational writing with opinions! In this class students will have the opportunity to learn about several real-world topics that relate to them, such as wearing school uniforms, playing video games, and having homework. Armed with information from all sides of the issue, students will defend the side they agree with most in their writing. They will be using well-developed, credible facts and details to support their opinions and continue working to develop their formal writing voices.

With all those opinions and reasons flying around like snowflakes, it's truly going to be a winter writing wonderland this block in literacy! And no wonderland is complete without reading, so don't forget to get your read on for 20 minutes every day!


Friday, February 9, 2018

STEM Rec Challenges / Feb 12 - 16

STEM Rec Challenges
February 12 - 16, 2018

Hot Air. For the culmination of our unit on matter and molecules students will use what they've learned about kinetic energy, molecules, temperature, and thermal expansion to build and launch hot air balloons. We're hoping for some good cold weather to help them fly!

Chinese New Year. Have you heard of the Legend of the Chinese New Year? Do you know what your Chinese animal is? Come find out in literacy this week! We will act out the Chinese legend and find out what it means to have a "red envelope"!

Bringing people together through music. Students will be spending time being introduced to the new apps on the Kindles which explore the world of music and sounds.

Build a Ball Launcher for a Chance to Win $1,000.  In this fun engineering challenge students will be using limited materials to build a simple ball launcher.  Who knows, they might find themselves at the top of the 2018 Fluor Engineering Challenge scoreboard where they could win one of ten $1,000 prizes from Fluor for our school!

Back to the Basics. Students will use basic arithmetic skills to solve math problems and discover what picture is hidden on their worksheet.  

Dragons on Parade. In art, students are going to celebrate Chinese New Year.  They will be discussing  the ultimate symbol of “Good Fortune”.... the dragon. Come by and celebrate with us.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

2018 Science and STEM Fair

Attention Franklin Discovery Academy Families and Friends!

On Friday, March 30, 2018 Franklin Discovery Academy will hold its annual Science and STEM Fair.  The fair will take place in the gym from 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM.  We are looking for anyone interested in volunteering to help with the event.  We need judges to evaluate projects as well as anyone interested in helping with set-up and take-down.

Below you will find a link for a Sign-Up Genius to indicate your interest in helping.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Gallup -

2017 Science Fair