Monday, October 31, 2011

Bird of the Week lX - Monday, October 31st, 2011

This week's "Bird of the Week" is the Dark-eyed junco. I selected the Junco for this week's BOTW because I saw my first one of the season on Sunday!  The Junco is a medium sized sparrow that is gray with a black hood and a white belly. It has white, outer tail feathers that are quite visible when it flies. It's eyes are dark, it's legs are pink, and it's bill is "whiteish". The male and females look similar with the females being a little more paler and browner.

Male junco.
The first photograph is of a male and the second photograph is of a female.

Female Junco

Junco's are the "snowbirds" of our area, appearing around here only in the winter. They are very common at back yard bird feeders and will sometimes appear in flocks of 25 birds or more. The Junco feeds primarily on the ground, scratching the ground looking for insects and seeds.

Photos taken from All About Birds.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Finding volume

She is being extra careful!

We have been finding the volume of various things the past week.  We found the the volume - the amount of space matter takes up - of water using a graduated cylinder.  We used various sized graduated cylinders.

Add caption

Measuring and recording data for their set of Wood Blocks.

We have just finished determining the volume of a regular shaped object - a rectangular prism - using a ruler.  We drew rectangular prisms and used the formula V = L x W x H to get the volume.  The units are cubic centimeters ( cm3 ).
Comparing their results.

A full se of class data for the Wood Blocks!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bird of the Week - Vlll Monday, October 24th, 2011

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

Photos taken from All About Birds.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New England Aquarium's Women in Science program - Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

We were fortunate again to be selected to participated in this years New England Aquarium's "Women in Science" middle school program.  Assistant principal Beth Beaulieu, parent Deb Gilburg, and myself escorted 9 girls into Boston for the day-long program.  The girls worked cooperatively on a problem while they ate breakfast.  After an explanation of the day, we headed into the aquarium with a leader and visited 4 different areas.  These included the Fur seal demonstration, the touch tank, the Penguin exhibit, and the veterinarian center.  At each place, the girls were tasked with observing and recording various things.  They used various pieces of equipment to help them. 
Upon completion of this, we gathered together to discuss our findings and to reflect on what we did.  After lunch, we returned to the aquarium where we had free time to explore exhibits of our choice.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bird of the Week Vll - Monday, October 17th, 2011

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.

Friday, October 14, 2011

By Golly, By Gum!

By Golly, By Gum experiment sheet.


Getting ready to mass the 5 pieces of gum.

Massing our gum.

Today we practiced using the balance scale and the scientific method by doing the fun experiment, "By Golly, By Gum".  Did question posed was, "What happens to the mass of gum after chewing it for 10 minutes?  We decided that we would first mass the gum, second, we would chew the gum for 10 minutes, third, we would mass the chewed gum, and last, we would compare the results.
We collected a lot of data, and on Monday we will graph it and learn how to read a food label.

Ready, set, chew!

School's pretty cool when I can chew gum!

Recording the data.

Massing the chewed gum.

Here is all of the data we collected in this class.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Using a Balance Scale

Yesterday and today, the students were introduced to the Pan Balance Scale.  The students learned how to first "balance" the scale before using it.  Then we discussed the metric units of mass and then we practiced massing various objects.