Monday, May 15, 2017

Literacy Update

Narrative writing is the name of the game in Literacy this block. All grades are working on refining their storytelling craft through writing, games, and activities that promote proper narrative writing. All grades are learning the basics of narrative writing correlated with their grade level. 1st and 2nd grade are learning how to tell a story that stays on topic, while 3rd - 6th grade are practicing the elements of plot and learning how to use them to produce narrative stories. Choice is a big part of the curriculum this block; with the exception of 1st and 2nd grade, who are focusing on dinosaurs, the kids have the opportunity to write about whatever they like as long as it is school appropriate narrative writing.

Each grade has a lens through which they are studying narrative writing:

1st/2nd - Dinosaurs
3rd - Narration
4th - Setting Development
5th - Character Development
6th - Conflict Development

Planning conflict and resolution

Learning the elements of plot

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Who wants to Dissect Owl Pellets??? 

   Students in the previous block had the opportunity to dissect and analyze the contents of owl pellets. A pellet is fur and bones that are regurgitated by owls.  Owls cannot digest the bones and fur of their prey so they are spit back up in a pellet.  Other birds of prey spit out pellets, including hawks. However, hawks can digest the bones so hawk pellets are fur only.
   The students bleached the bones they found and then had the opportunity to count the number and variety of animals in the pellets.  Several students found multiple complete skulls.  One student even found a bird's beak.
  Despite many students feeling this project was "gross,"  by the end of the exploration the class was fascinated and said they learned a lot of new information about birds, especially owls.








Monday, May 8, 2017

Science Lab Updates

Hello Franklin Discovery Families!

Well, we have had a very busy 2017 so far.  As you know our Science Fair was April 19th.  I want to thank the FSO and all the families that helped with materials and supplies for the fair.  This event could not have been without your support.  
The kids had a wonderful time and the fair was a great success.  You should be so proud of your children!  We are looking forward to the 2017-2018 Science and STEM Fair in the Fall.





This block we are working on a variety of skills. First, since we finally have some consistently nice weather, the first and second grade classes have begun constructing our outdoor planters.  I know many of you have expressed interest in our school garden.  There is a lot of work ahead of us in this space.  Please be on the lookout for a meeting announcement regarding prepping our garden space this summer.

Third grade classes have been focusing on Earth and the Sun, as well as Forces and Motion using the Lego League materials.  These students have been constructing simple machines and examining how the machines move and make work easier.

Fourth graders have been busy learning about weather and the water cycle, as well as Utah plants and animals.  The Weather Class has successfully completed Water Cycles in a Bag, while the Utah class have made imprint fossils.

The two Fifth grade classes have been working on coding using the Scratch program from MIT. They are currently working on creating their own "code" while practicing giving explicit directions. The Electricity and Magnetism class has been exploring how magnets work.

Finally, the sixth graders are exploring extremely small objects and organisms with our new microscopes.  They have successfully completed microscope training and are currently exploring slides with a variety of specimens. 

Thank you again for all of your support!  I look forward to seeing you all in the very near future!