Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Making measurements - Massing an object

Today was the second day the students practiced using the pan balance scales to find the mass of an object.  We discussed the various metric units to use in measuring mass.  They measured the mass of various objects to the nearest gram (g).

The students were shown how to balance the scale, or zero the scale, before using it.  The students created their own data chart to record theri measurements.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bird of the Week - lll

This week's "Bird of the Week" is the Tufted titmouse. This small, gray songbird has a short tuft on its head and and its black eye is prominent in its pale gray face. The male and female look alike. It's song is a loud, whistled "peter, peter, peter, peter" and is one of the first bird songs of spring. The tufted titmouse eats insects and seeds.Tufted Titmouse Photo

The tufted titmouse is a common backyard visitor, frequenting feeders in the winter and nesting in holes in trees.

First photo taken from Cornell's All About Birds and the second one is with permission of Barbara Miers.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Plum Island Bird Migration Field Trip

Today's field trip to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge (Plum Island) and to Sandy Point State Park at the end of the refuge, was very successful!  The weather was super, the kids were great, and the birdwatching/beach combing was very good!
We slowly drove down the 6 mile Refuge road looking for the birds the kids researched in class.

In the morning we saw lots of Great egrets, several Snowy egrets, Gadwall (duck), Green-winged teal, and Double crested cormorants.  The morning crew also found a dead Harbor seal.

  The afternoon group saw the same, but also Sanderlings, Semipalmated sandpipers, Pergrine falcon, Short-billed dowwitcher, and a deer!

At Sandy Point State park, Gary Dow, the Park interpreter, gave the kids a great, short talk about migration.

  We them walked the beach looking for some of our birds and anything else we might discover.

  We ate lunch on the beach!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bird Migration Research

The kids have been researching a bird they selected from a list of birds I gave them.  The list I gave them was of birds they would have a chance of seeing at Plum Island on Friday's field trip.  The students are researching basic facts about their bird including field marks, diet, problems or issues they face, and migration.  They are also filling in a migration map and obtaining a picture of their bird.

They are using books about birds including field guides as well as using the laptops to visit 4 bird identification sites I gave them.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bird of the Week - ll

 "Chicka-dee-dee-dee. Chicka-dee-dee-dee." This is the call of the Massachusetts state bird, the Black capped chickadee. This little bird is a back yard favorite and is easily recognized. It has a small, short bill with a black cap, black bib, and white cheeks.

The Chickadee lives in Reading all year round. They nest in cavities (holes) in trees and will also nest in nest boxes. They feed on insects, seeds, and berries. They love to come to back yard feeders, often hanging upside down to feed. In the winter, they will often gather in small flocks travelling around the neighbor hood looking for feeders and natural foods.

To learn more about the Black-capped chickadee and to hear it song and call as well as a short video of it, click on the link above.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Making Measurements

In science, we make many measuremnets.  We measure the length, mass, volume, density, and temperature.  We will be learning how to use the proper tools to make these measurements accurately and the correct units that go with these measurents.  All measurements in science class will be in the metric system

We have begun by measuring length.  We have discussed the metric units mm, cm, m, and km.  We have been using metric rulers, meter sticks, metric tape measures, and a meter wheel.  "Measure twice, cut once!"

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bird of the Week - l

This week's "Bird of the Week is the Blue jay. This is a very common back yard bird here in Reading and a frequent visitor to feeders. This large, showy, noisy, blue bird has a crest with white spots in the wings and tail. The upper parts of the the bird are various shades of blue. The male and female birds look alike.
While many Blue jays migrate, others live year-round in our area. Some people don't like Blue jays because they are loud and aggressive and occasionally eat the eggs and nestlings of other birds. Blue jays can mimic the calls of certain hawks.
To learn more about the Blue jay and to hear it's song, click on the link:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Day 2 Science safety

After taking care of some administrative items, we began our work about Science safety. We talked about how much of Science safety is based on good, common sense. A list of Science Safety rules was passed out and we began reading and discussing them. We spent some time going over some of the safety equipment in the room.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

1st Day of School 2009!!

Wednesday, September 2nd. The first day of school for the 2009 - 2010 school year! The kids got off to a great start. Our students spent the morning in Homerooms getting lockers, schedules, agendas, and other paperwork. They went to the cafeteria for an overview on how the Caf operaterated and Caf rules.

We went to the multi-purpose room to do an activity called, "Cross-Over". After lunch, the kids followed a modified version of their schedule so that they would see their 4 subject teachers. Only 2 kids got lost! So it starts again!