Greetings! The fourth graders (and I) have been super busy getting ready for the state test, but having fun in the process!
The past couple weeks we have been studying water, its properties, and the water cycle! They experimented with different materials to see which absorb water the most and which do not. They also observed what happens when you drip water on a penny. Even though it will not be absorbed, it did not drip off because of surface tension. Ask them what happened when we added salt water or soapy water! They even made their own model thermometers in class and saw how heat makes the water expand, and cold makes the water contract!
Yesterday and today we looked at the water cycle by first experimenting with the process of evaporation, and today we observed condensation. Each table made their own model of the water cycle and observed the process right before their eyes! Unfortunately, we were super busy and I did not get a chance to take pictures 🙁 BUT, I told the students to try it again at home using SALT water instead of green water, like we used in class today. Check out this link, to see how to conduct a similar experiment. They can even taste the water at the end that is in the small cup! See what they notice!
As they also learned today, even though the Earth is mostly made up of water, fresh water that we can drink, is not so abundant. I hope our kiddos can make a difference in conserving water, because we so often take it for granted! Over the weekend (easier when they are not in school) I am asking the students do a little homework to keep track of just how much water, on average, they use! Perhaps we can figure out some ways together to conserve our precious water!
Check out some great photos of our previous classes!
Finally, I know many of you are wondering about the State Test. Here are some things you should know:
- Don’t stress! The kids are going to do great!
- Performance Tasks (Hands-on): Thursday, May 23 and Friday, May 24
- Written Assessment: Monday, June 4
- Most kids said “This is so easy!” after I handed out last year’s written test for practice. Here is a link to view additional exams from previous years. You can download and print more exams for additional practice
- Some parents have asked for a test prep book. Although I do not think it is necessary, this is a good option if you wanted. Barron’s New York State Science Test
- If you have any specific questions or concerns, just reach out!