Thursday, April 19, 2018

STEM Rec Challenges / April 23 - 27

STEM Rec Challenges
April 23 - 27

A huge shoutout to our wonderful parent volunteer, Kate Brotherson. Kate organized and is currently running our “Garden Club” that meets on Tuesdays at 3:15. The club has gotten the ground ready and will start planting next Tuesday, April 24. Way to go, “Garden Club”!

Social Studies
Supply and Demand. Everything has a cost. If there is more of something it cost less, and if there is less of something it cost more. Supply and Demand. We will be having a candy supply and demand auction to demonstrate this point.

ABC Nature Walk. If you like nature, walking, and the alphabet then this is the challenge for you! Literacy this week is leaving the desks and chairs behind and heading outside to experience nature and its incredible beauty. While going on a fun and relaxing nature walk, students will also gather words that begin with each letter of the alphabet. Is that a zebra? Or a penguin? What will you see?

Animal crossing. Math students will be playing a game with their friends, racing against the clock.  Students will be working on collaboration, problem-solving, communication, and strategy.
Clean Air. The next resource we'll address is air. Clean air is essential for our health and survival on Earth. We'll talk about ways to reduce the amount of air pollution we produce. We'll also address how to improve air quality and the role trees can play in that. Also to commemorate arbor day this Friday April 27 students will have the opportunity to plant a tree seed that they will later bring home and care for.

Ooh la la. Art will be traveling to France to meet celebrated artist, George Seurat this week. He is famous for his art technique of pointillism. Students will be learning his technique and then making their own creations.

Dissecting a Computer. The computer does its primary work in a part of the machine we never see. This week in technology students will tearing a computer apart to look at the insides.  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Entrepreneur's Market 2018

Franklin Discovery Academy
Entrepreneur’s Market 2018

Dear Franklin Discovery Family,
We have a new and exciting opportunity for Franklin Families. On Monday evening, May 7th, FDA will host its first annual “Entrepreneur’s Market”.  This is an opportunity for your student(s) to learn about setting goals, deepen their understanding of financial and business concepts, inspire creativity, improve communication, and foster leadership.   
Students who choose to participate could work alone, with siblings, or team up with classmates to come up with a product they can sell at the fair.  The night of the fair they will sell their product to delighted Franklin Families who come out to support their entrepreneurial endeavors.
Things for consideration when picking a product to sell…..
  • Student interest.
  • Who is your customer?
  • What products are they interested in?
  • How much will it cost to make the product? (Cost of goods)
  • How will you advertise / display your product?
  • How will you determine the selling price?
  • What will your profit be?
We would like to encourage the art of giving back by donating a certain amount (or all) of the proceeds back to the school in order to purchase a chosen item (students have requested more swings). And remember, all donations to the school can be taken as a tax write-off.
We hope you will consider participating. We think this project is an excellent opportunity to engage with your children in interesting and educational ways.
If you are interested, please fill out the attached form and return it to the school by Friday, April 27.  Any questions, contact Cindy at
Cindy Trueblood & the STEM Rec Team

Franklin Discovery Academy
Entrepreneur’s Market 2018


Due April 27

Name  ____________________________________________________________________
Grade  ____________________________________________________________________
Mentoring Teacher  __________________________________________________________
Product to be sold   __________________________________________________________
Number of units to be produced  ________________________________________________

Selling price per item  ________________________________________________________

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

STEM Rec Challenges / April 16 -20

STEM Rec Challenges
April 16 - 20

We will be celebrating planet Earth this week in preparation for Earth Day!

Soil & Compost. This week at the science table we will be discussing one of our most precious resources on Earth: soil. We will talk about why soil is important and learn about composting as a method to safeguard this resource.

Spelling Bee!  Students will continue to offer spelling games and practice with a few extra earth related words added in. The spelling bee will be held this Friday, April 20th during STEM. Parents are welcome to come and watch. All students who take part will get a participation award, but the last one standing will receive a grand prize!

Art  & Engineering
Pollution affects our lives.  Engineering is teaming up with art this week to make bird feeders.  But don’t think this is all, they will also engage the students on a serious discussion about pollution and how it affects our world environment, especially in Utah Valley.

Social Studies
Recycling Relay. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - three great ways we can eliminate waste and protect the environment! Students will discuss the waste we create and how to carefully management it to make sure it does not harm our environment and our health. And of course, we will make it super fun by having them sort recyclables in a relay.

The earth is lava. The earth is lava is a game in which players imagine the ground is made of lava and thus have to avoid touching the ground or they might get burned!  Lots of fresh air and sunshine for all the students who participate.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

STEM Rec Challenges / April 9 - 13

STEM Rec Challenges
April 9 - 13

Resources. In preparation for Earth day April 22, our next unit will be focused on conservation of our most critical resources on planet Earth. This week we'll discuss what a resource is, why it is essential to guard these resources, and ways to conserve.

🎉Drum roll please…..Presenting Franklin Discovery's first ever Spelling Bee! Welcome to a two week long spelling party.  Over the next few weeks, literacy will be offering spelling games and practice for students who want to improve their spelling skills. Different challenges will be offered every day to assist students in the practice of their words.

Students who wish to participate will sign up April 9th. The actual spelling bee will be held on Friday, April 20th during STEM. All students who take part will get a participation award, but the last one standing will receive a grand prize!

Collage Art. Students will be learning about some really fascinating collage artists who are from Europe including Michelle Reader, Ptolemy Elrington and a few others. Student will then use pre-existing recycled material (once destined for landfill) to create their own piece of art.

Irrigation Systems. Students will be researching and constructing a water system for the Franklin Garden.

Social Studies
King Arthur.  Swords in rocks. An aquatic lady handing out kingship. It's a wild ride through the tale of King Arthur and his rise to power as the King of Camelot.

Math Bingo. This fun game will allow student to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division while filling out their bingo card. And, the winner gets a prize!!

Monday, March 26, 2018

News from the Garden

News from the Garden

Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles
of nature, is a help.  Gardening is an instrument of grace.
  • May Sarton

Spring has sprung and it is time for us here at Franklin Discovery Academy to get serious about
planting our very first garden.  We are super excited for this new adventure and looking forward to
benefits the following studies mention.

  • A school garden supports student inquiry, connection to the natural world, and engages students in the process of formulating meaningful questions.

  • Students involved with school gardens generally take pleasure in learning and show positive attitudes towards education.  

  • Children who are familiar with growing their own food tend to eat more fruits and vegetables (Bell & Dyment, 2008), and are more inclined to continue healthy eating habits through adulthood.  

  • The school garden serves as a “safe place” for students. Studies show that large numbers of students report “that they feel calm, safe, happy, and relaxed in the school garden”.

  • Students participating in a garden program had increased self-understanding, interpersonal skills, and cooperative skills when compared to non-gardening students.

We need your help. The following items are needed to help make our garden a success.  Many of
these materials may be lying around in your garage. Please consider donating if you can do so.  Every
$10 in donated materials counts as one hour volunteer time.


PVC Pipe - ¾” pipe / if you have a large amount of ½” that would work too
PVC primer & glue
Starter Plants
Fencing for Vines
Tomatoes cages

Starter Plants

  • Onions (green & white)
  • Peppers (green & jalapenos)
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Peas
  • Green beans
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Pumpkins
  • Strawberries

Herbs (all kinds)

  • Rosemary
  • Cilantro
  • Mint

Flowers (all kinds)

  • Lavender
  • Sunflowers

Thursday, March 22, 2018

STEM Rec Challenges / March 26 - 30

STEM Rec Challenges
March 26 - 30, 2018

Enzymes and catalysts. Some reactions occur spontaneously while others need activation energy to get going. This week we'll talk about how catalysts and enzymes change how much activation energy is required and how they make chemical reactions possible. Students will compare a reaction - hydrogen peroxide decomposition - with and without an enzyme present.

Literacy has several great activities sponsored by the FSO. STEM Rec would like to thank the FSO for all the time and effort they put forth promoting literacy in our school this month.  We are so grateful.

“Once upon a Time…” The FSO has prepared bags with various object that will have to be incorporated into a collective story made up by students attending the literacy challenge this week.  The stories will all begin with, “Once upon a time…” We cannot wait to see what stories our students come up with!

Read Out Loud. On Wednesday, parent volunteers will come into Stem Rec and read a story out loud while dressed up as one of the characters. Super fun!

Book Sale.  Students can bring in books to be sold in the Fox Dot store for insanely cheap prices.  The books will be for sale this week only and the remaining ones will be donated to the school library.

Social Studies
Are you Royalty or a Peasant? During the Renaissance in Europe, there was a social hierarchy system which was followed.  Students will learn about those social classes by playing an interactive card game that has them moving around based on their “class”, which could change every round.

Snap Circuits. The first week of every month the wild and wacky world of snap circuits continue.

Alberto Giacometti. This week in art, students will be traveling to Switzerland where they will be learning about Alberto Giacometti, one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century. They will be looking at his amazing sculptures and making a version of their own.

Franklin Ninja Warrior Challenge.  Students will test their strength, agility, speed and endurance in the ninja obstacle course. Only the bravest will survive.

Remember…..Spring Break is April 2 - 6, 2018. Have fun and see you back to school on April 9.  

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