Thursday, April 2, 2009

This week we’ve been investigating fake “rocks” we call mock rocks.  On Monday we observed them carefully and created scientific drawings.  On Tuesday we took them apart and separated them into all the components we could see (red & green gravel, oyster shells and “gray matter”).  On Wednesday we added water to the gray matter and shook it to To separate the materials in the gray matter we added water and let dissolve the material.  We discovered there was sand and flour once the material settled.  We noticed the water was yellow (not clear) and inferred that there were more minerals to discover in the water.  So we poured the liquid carefully into evaporating dishes and waited.  Today observed the evaporating dishes with magnifying glasses and microscopes.  We know we have kosher salt based on our comparisons with our crystal identifcation sheet.  Tomorrow we will decide which of the other 5 crystals on our sheet was in our mock rocks.  The kids have really enjoyed doing the work of a geologist! 

We have started collecting interesting earth materials to observe.  Several students have  brought in rocks, minerals and crystals for us to add to our classroom collection.  Tomorrow we will begin making crystals thanks to Kyle P’s donation of a crystal kit.  Growing crystals will connect so beautifully to today’s lesson!

We have started a new math unit . . .  area and perimeter.  We had a blast yesterday making patterns with floor tiles and figuring out the area and perimeter.  Unit 7 tests went home yesterday.  They were terrific!!!  We really understand fractions.