Monday, October 25, 2010

Bird of the Week - Vl October 25th, 2010

This week's "Bird of the Week" is the Mourning dove. Believe it or not, the Mourning dove is one of the 10 most abundant birds in North America. This medium sized, pigeon like bird is about 9 - 13 inches long with a wing span of approximately 15 - 18 inches. It has a small head with a long pointed tail and a light grayish-brown body. There are black spots on its wings. The sexes similar in appearances, but the males are slightly larger and slightly more colorful, with a bluish crown and pink chest.

Mourning doves feed mostly on ground, especially on relatively bare ground, where they eat seeds. Mourning doves usually feed in pairs or flocks.
In many states in the country, the Mourning dove is a game bird, meaning that it can be legally hunted.

To hear a two minute radio program about the Mourning dove, click here and then click on Play MP3

Photo taken from All About Birds

Friday, October 22, 2010

By Golly, By Gum!

Today, we worked on the "By Golly, By Gum!" activity. The problem we investigated was,"What happens to the mass of gum after it has been chewed for 10 minutes?" This activity provided us with experience in using a balance scale, massing accurately using the metric system, and using the Scientific method to solve a problem.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Liquid Colors

The objective of the Liquid Colors activity are to develop skill in measuring accurately with a graduated cylinder, and to use the metric system in measuring volume.

Bird of the Week V - October 18th, 2010

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.

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.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

ALS Walk For Cheryl - Sunday, Oct. 3rd, 2010

On Sunday, October 3rd  students, teachers, and parents from Parker participated in the ALS Walk For Cheryl.  Cheryl Peach was the manager of our cafeteria for 9 years befor stepping down last spring due to ALS.  In recognition of her many years of service at Parker, Cheryl was honored at an assembly as a Hero Amoung Us.   In addition, more than 60 Parker students, teachers, and parents traveled to the North Shore Mall for this 3 mile walk to help raise awareness and funds to help fight ALS.
   All together, there were more than 140 family, friends, and Parker people on this walk.  Everyone had a great time while raising funds to fight ALS and honoring a wonderful person!

Bird of the Week lV - October 12th, 2010

This weeks "Bird of the Week" is the Downy woodpecker. The Downy woodpecker is the smallest and most common American woodpecker. It is found throughout most of North America from Alaska to Florida. It lives in a variety of habitats from wilderness forests to urban backyards, and comes readily to bird feeders. This small woodpecker is about 6 - 7 inches long. It has a black and white plumage and a small, pointed bill. The male has a small, red patch on the back of its head while the female has a black patch. Can you tell which photograph is of the male?

They eat small insects found on the branches of trees and the stems of weeds. They nest in the cavity (hole) in a tree or tree branch.

Photos taken from Cornell's All About Birds.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Plum Island - Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm Field Trip - October 7th, 2010

Today's trip to the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge was a success!  The weather was windy and pretty chilly, but we dodged most of the rain!

At the Farm, the kids participated in a program called, “Dirt Detectives.”   In this program, the students become archaeologists as they survey a site map, explore interior archaeology via trap doors, excavate a mock pit using actual tools of the trade, process reproduction artifacts in a field lab, and analyze authentic artifacts to learn about activities at the farm in the last 300 years. 

On Plum Island, the kids looked for the bird they researched in class as part of their study on bird migration.  Not all of the kids saw their bird, but some of the birds seen included: Peregrine falcon, Great egret, Snowny egret, Great blue heron, Black-bellied plover, Greater yellowlegs, Junco, and Green-winged teal.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Making Measurements - The Tools and Metric Units

We have been working on Measurement in class.  Measure twice, cut once is out motto!  We learned about linear (length) measurent and how to correctly and accurately use a metric ruler, meter stick, metric tape measure, and a meter wheel.  One activity we did was to blow bubbles on our desk and when they popped, measured the diameter of the footprint they left to the nearest mm.
  In addition, we took a Kiolmeter walk to get an understanding of how long a km is.

We practiced using pan balance scales to determine the mass of various objects.

Now, we are learning how to use a Graduated cyclinder to find the volume of water.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bird of the Week - lll October, 4th, 2010

This weeks "Bird of the Week" is the Northern Cardinal. This medium-sized songbird has a large crest on it's head and a heavy, conical bill. The face is surrounded by black and the male is entirely a brilliant red while the female is grayish-tan with a red tail and wings.

This common bird is a winter fixture at snow-covered bird feeders throughout Massachusetts in the winter and is very popular. The female Northern Cardinal sings, often from the nest. The song may give the male information about when to bring food to the nest.

The male cardinal fiercely defends its breeding territory from other males. When a male sees its reflection in glass surfaces, it frequently will spend hours fighting the imaginary intruder.