October 9-13



 “Nocturnal Animals” are lurking in our room in this month.  We will have a black box exploration center this week.  Students will enter with our blacklight flashlight and discover animals that are awake during the night.  There will be a scavenger hunt using glow sticks and we will learn how animals find their way in the dark.  We will also discuss owls and how they hunt.  What do they eat?  Each student will dissect an owl pellet and count the bones and skulls of the animals their owl had for dinner.  We will make baby owl sponge paintings in the art center.  The fox is another animal that hunts at night.  We will be taking our pictures in a fox mask and completing a writing assignment as we imagine: “I’m as sly as a fox when …” Remember, we will be going on a full day field trip to the Phoenix Zoo on October 26.  Sign up in room 1 if you wish to join us!



“Aerodynamics” continues as our thematic focus.  This week, students will add scientific observations to their pilot’s log as we experiment with Bernoulli’s principle by making a working hovercraft.  We will fly loop flyers and send student made boomerangs through hula hoop targets.  How does wing design affect flight?  We will do experiments to learn about lift and drag.  Students will create their own hot air balloons using a blow dryer and imagine a creative writing exercise about flying in a hot air balloon.  We will create our own balloons to float around the room.    Later this month, we will be going on a field trip to Falcon Field to see real planes.  Parents are welcome to join us on October 30th .  We will leave at 9 AM and return after a picnic lunch.  Sign up in room 2.



           What will “Future Cities” of the future look like?  Perhaps people will live on other planets!  On Monday, we will go on a full day field trip to Biosphere 2 outside Tucson. Make sure to arrive prior to our 9 AM departure.  Due to the trip, students will be picked up at 4:30 on Monday.  Everyone needs good walking shoes and a sack lunch.   Later this week, we will begin building the models for our individual team prototypes of the cities of the future.  We need lots of junk raw material to inspire our engineers.  Please send egg cartons, cardboard boxes, plastic caps, plastic deli containers, spools, gears, and gizmos!  Students must address issues or waste disposal, clean water, housing, transportation, entertainment, government, and more during this interesting, problem solving experience.  We are also learning how to work in teams and listen to ideas of others. 



           Students are creating Botany journals as they learn to identify and classify plants by their leaf structures.  They are also making seed collections.  In class, we have dissected flowers and discussed plant reproduction.  Some plants grow from seeds but others can reproduce through budding, cuttings, and rhizomes.  Students will try growing a sweet potato from the root and reproducing a plant through a cutting in our botany labs this week.  We will also welcome a master gardener from the UofA master gardening program who will talk with us about soil chemistry.  We will amend our garden soil and prepare for planting our fall organic garden.  Later, we will harvest our crops to use in our hot lunch program!  On Thursday, we will go on a full day field trip to Boyce Thompson Arboretum.  We will hike the trail around the pond and identify the hundreds of amazing plants that grow there.  Students will enjoy a picnic lunch before returning to school prior to 3 PM.  Make sure to wear walking shoes and sunscreen.  Bring a hat. This will be a great way to learn about Botany by spending a day in nature!



          We are developing personal goals for Health and Wellness.  This week, we begin an exercise plan to increase our individual fitness and build cardiovascular fitness.  Research shows that regular exercise also affects student performance in academics, mood, and ability to handle stress.  In addition, we continue our reading of The Odyssey and work with Chemistry, math, and Spanish.  Students are completing writing about their recent trip to Utah for their scrapbooks.  You can see photos from the trip in the office.  What an incredible trip!  And congratulations to our thespians.  We took 6th place at the competition for our ensemble and scored two 3rd place rankings and two 4th place rankings in Duo/Trio scenes and four 4th place rankings in monologues.  As a small school, we were competing against schools who brought hundreds of students.  There were 3,500 students from around the country competing so we are very proud of our team!  More important than the competition was the team commitment of our class and the outstanding learning opportunities as we worked with professors in workshops, attended plays, hiked in nature, and grew personally through this experience.



          Reminder, no school next week.  Have a great October Break!



          Conferences will be held following October Break.  We are excited to share your child’s progress with you!  Please stop by the office to select a convenient time for your conference.