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 - janette.gallup@franklindiscovery.org

2017 Science Fair

10 Awesome Ways to Volunteer in STEMRec

10 Awesome Ways to Volunteer in STEMRec

With the school year more than half over, a lot of families are asking how they can get their volunteer hours done in time. Never fear, STEMRec has got you covered; read on to find 10 awesome ways you can volunteer in STEMRec!

Contact Cindy Trueblood at cindy.trueblood@franklindiscovery.org to discuss any of the following.

  1. Sponsor a Lego Contest
Are you a Master Builder or do you want to inspire future Master Builders? If so, you should consider sponsoring a Lego contest!

Last week, a FDA family sponsored a lego challenge in STEMRec. The theme of the contest was “Things that Fly”. There were three categories in which students could win prizes for their entry: Most Creative, Funniest, and Best in Show. When the challenge was judged, our sponsoring family ended up awarding three honorable mentions, in addition to the category winners, because there were so many delightful entries they couldn’t choose just three! Our students had a blast and are already asking when we are going to offer another one.  

To sponsor a lego contest, simply come up with a theme, decide on the categories for judging, and purchase some prizes to give to the winning entries.  

   2. Teach a Lesson
Do you have a real-world skill that you could share with the students? If so, consider teaching a lesson at one of our stations!

We are looking forward to Mr. Halverson, a branch manager at Zions bank, coming into STEMRec to teach some lessons on money management. In fact, Mr. Halverson has committed to come every Wednesday for the next 5 weeks to teach the Jr. Achievement course to one of the crews. Too much of a commitment? The Social Studies station would love to have some families share about a country they are from or have a lot of experience with. They are also looking for historians or reenactors that would be willing to share their expertise. Come for a 45 minute period or stay all day; it’s up to you!

To teach a class, pick a topic you would like to teach, plan your lessons, and contact Cindy to coordinate.  

  3. Run an After-School Club
Did you know we have after-school clubs for FDA students? Do you have a fun idea for a club you could run? If so, you should consider running one of our after-school clubs!

Clubs run from 3:15 - 4:00, on Monday/Wednesday and Tuesday/Thursday. This commitment would be for an entire block. Some examples of clubs that we’ve had in past blocks are: Dance Club, Chess Club, Sports Club, Art Club and Book Club. Help us expose our students to more awesome things through clubs!

To run an after-school club, choose a club focus, plan your meetings, and contact Cindy to coordinate.

     4. Be a Drop-In Station Helper
Do you need a flexible way to get hours or have a schedule that limits a scheduled commitment? If so, consider being a Drop-In Station Helper!

We are always happy to have helping hands in STEMRec manning stations and corralling kids. No notice is necessary….just drop in and stay as long as you would like! STEMRec station hours of operation are 9:15 - 2:30.

Make sure to stop at the front desk to get a visitor’s badge when you get here.

    5. Prepare Materials for a Station Master
Are you a whiz at preparing materials? Do you prefer your volunteer hours to be more “behind the scenes?” If so, you should consider preparing materials for the Station Masters!

Here’s an example: The Social Studies Station is looking for people willing to print pictures of the Civil Rights movement to include in a museum they are creating for a challenge. Volunteers are also needed to set up the museum on Saturday, February 17. From running copies to setting up challenges, this opportunity has something for everyone!

Contact Cindy for details on available prep opportunities.

    6. Prepare A Self-Directed Challenge
Are you a pinterest lover? Do you like to be creative?  If so, you should consider preparing a self-directed challenge students can complete on their own.

We are always looking for fun, informative, and interactive challenges in math, science, engineering, literacy, social studies, art, and music. Examples of previous self-directed challenges that have been successful are “Invite a Greek God to Dinner” and writing get well card for sick children the Primary Children’s Hospital

  7. Donate Needed Materials
Can’t make it to the school because you work full-time or have toddlers at home? No problem! For every $10 you donate, you can count one hour of volunteer time.

With 500 students passing through STEMRec daily, we are in constant need of consumables such as pencils, markers, crayons, paint, watercolors, paint brushes, batteries (mostly AA), masking tape, glue (all kinds), popsicle sticks and plastic bins (students are hard on these). NO donation is too small and ALL donations are appreciated and help immensely.

Want your donation to be more enduring? Buy materials that can be used again and again for years to come. Our technology station recently purchased several Raspberry Pi computers from a generous donation made to STEM Rec from an FDA family.  With these materials, students will be able to learn basic programming and electronics skills. We are always looking for fun engineering / technology materials. Our students love bionicles and K’nex, and we could certainly use more of those. What are your favorite building toys? Perhaps your donation could introduce students to new and exciting ways to look at engineering. Are you a book lover? Our Social Studies is looking for the series of books entitled,You Wouldn’t Want to Be. The possibilities are endless!

   8. Give STEMRec a deep clean
Do you have a love of all things clean? Do you adore Clorox wipes? If so, consider helping give STEMRec a deep clean!

Not super glamorous but so, so necessary; just think of all the germs going around this winter! If you’d like to organize or participate in a deep clean, this is the job for you. Cindy would be happy to meet families at the school in the evening when children are asleep.

Contact Cindy for details on this project.

    9. Organize a Service Project
Do you enjoy helping people? Do you want to inspire a new generation of helpers? If so, consider organizing a service project!

One of the most satisfying ways to unite as a school community is to serve other people.  Service provides an opportunity for students to learn a sense of responsibility for those around them. It’s empowering for them to know they are important enough to make a positive impact in the world.

Do you crochet? Knit? Sew? Woodwork? Would you be willing to teach a group of students these skills and make baby hats, blankets or toys for a local hospital? Who would like to help students get our garden ready to plant, or organize a group to plant trees that our school and neighborhood can enjoy for years to come?  What about making placemats for “meals on wheels”? Turn your passion into a project that students can be a part of.

 10. Be a Station Master Benefactor
Do you love taking care of others? If so, let us tell you a secret…..Cindy keeps a snack drawer in STEM, not for the students, but for the for the Station Masters! They work really hard, and a little bag of crackers or a breakfast bar goes a long way in helping them hang in there. Sometimes she brings in donuts or cookies, or other little things to let them know they are appreciated. They love it and it adds to the overall good feeling of our room. Feel free to bring in snacks or treats to add to our snack drawer to take care of the people who take care of your children. And we’ll let you in on another secret… a $10 snack donation counts as an hour of volunteer time!

Friday, February 2, 2018

STEM Rec Challenges / February 5 - 9

STEM Rec Challenges
February 5 - 9, 2018

Matter expands. When an object's temperature increases its molecules vibrate more and spread out. In other words: matter expands with heat (usually). Students will experiment with making gases and solids expand or contact at different temperatures.

Mission Impossible: This week in literacy, students are going to need all the help they can get with a top secret mission! We're focusing on handwriting and calligraphy skills. Students will practice their best writing in hopes of completing their mission.

Social Studies
Jim Crow Laws. In honor of Black History Month, social studies is starting a series of challenges about the American Civil Rights Movement.  This week we'll learn about Jim Crow laws and how those laws would impact kids at the time.

Snap Circuits. The first week of every month, Miss Anita will be available to help students progress with their snap circuit challenges.  

Build a shape. Students will be learning about all types of polygons and the different characteristics that they have. They will learn the difference between concave vs convex, regular vs irregular etc. To finish the challenge, each student will draw shapes using what they learned and name the shape.


Clementine Hunter. Since February is Black History Month we are going to be learning about an artist named Clementine Hunter, a folk painter often referred to as the black Grandma Moses. Students will be painting and using chalk to complete their own folk paintings.