PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Science-Seasonal Effects on Trees

Ms. Seitz, BSI Science Teacher on November 10, 2016
One thing I love about living on the East Coast is experiencing seasonal changes. In their continuing exploration of trees, kindergartners are learning how seasonal changes affect trees. During a reading of the beautifully illustrated book, “Sky Tree: Seeing Science Through Art,” by Thomas Locker, students illustrated and labelled their own trees through the seasons.

From walking sticks and grasshoppers to ladybugs and spittlebugs, the world is just full of terrific, interesting insects. First graders have investigating the structures of these amazing creatures in preparation for a trip to the Environmental Study Center on Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, where they will get to study some real life specimens.

Luster, shape, size, color, and texture are just some of the properties of rocks second graders have been studying and using to sort rocks into groups. Recently, students learned that rock sizes even have specific names from the enormous boulder to microscopic clay particles. For the record, the sizes are: boulders, cobbles, pebbles, gravel, sand, silt and clay. Students should also be on the lookout for a favorite rock that they would like to share with the class.

Liters and milliliters are on the minds of third graders these days as we continue our unit on metric measurement. Students investigated whether the 355 mL label on a typical can of soda represents the volume or the capacity of the soda inside the can. What do you think? Ask your child what they discovered. Next up: measuring mass using balances and gram pieces.

Fourth graders learned about a salt marsh ecosystem and the ways of the marsh’s early inhabitants, the Lenni-Lenape, during a trip to the Salt Marsh Nature Center with Ms. Seitz and Ms. Stewart. Students got very attached to burrs (prickly seed cases) found along the trail, sticking them onto their coats and pants for fun. Did you know that burrs inspired a man named George de Mestral to invent Velcro? Click here for photos!

Fourth graders are also working hard on their food web projects, which are due next week (402 on 11/14/16 and 401 on 11/16/16). Students who are working with a partner should make sure to get together this weekend to put the finishing touches on their work.

Fifth graders have begun their observational studies of birds and will soon be recording data while viewing bird feeding activity via a live cam set up at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, New York. Please allow your child ample time to view the feeders via the Internet. Students will have a short quiz on bird identification on Nov. 17, 2016.

Ms. Seitz, BSI Science Teacher on November 10, 2016