Tuesday, October 29, 2019

10.29.2019 - Tuesday -

10.29.2019 – Tuesday –
* note: apologies for the late update but the wildfires have caused power, here at home, to be off for extended periods *

I.      Math – Rate (Speed) , Distance , Time and Unit Rate.
a.     Warm up / class work: We began with practice on mixed numbers and improper fractions and converting between the two.
b.     Practice adding and subtracting fractions that have different denominators.
c.     Homework: Instead of going forward to Unit 2, Lesson 15 we spent more time of calculating speed, distance, or time – depending upon which was needed.  Rate = Distance / Time.  Distance = Rate x Time.  Time = Distance / Rate.

II.    Science.  Human Body Systems
a.     Current Events” Two notes on the California Wild Fires.
b.     Complete our video and notes on the heart.
c.     Begin digestive system with an eye towards showing how the body systems work together.
d.     Digestive System Anatomy color-in sheet.

III.  STEAM – Scientific Method and the disciplines of engineering.
a.     We watched a bit of “October Sky” – based on the book “Rocket Boys” by Homer Hickam.

b.     Yesterday we built paper building and today the focus was on researching before beginning a build.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

10.22.2019 - Tuesday -


  1. Math:  Ratios and Unit Rates. (With a bit on Conversion Factors.)
    1. Class practice: Calculating UNIT RATES - Ratios where the denominator is one (unit.) For example; If someone spends three dollars for four pounds of bananas, how much do bananas cost per pound.
    2. We touched on conversion factors as students use them, frequently, both in science class and algebra.  It’s also related to cross products and cross cancelling.
    3. Homework - Unit 2, Lesson 9.

II    Science:  Continuing with human body systems, focusing on the nervous system.
      A.  Current Events: CNN 10 happened to have a brief story on adaptive technology, which was a good place to give an example of what can happen when a person’s spinal cord is damaged.
      B.  LAB: Students performed a lab on reaction time. We tested a hypothesis as to who has faster reaction times and will relate this to both the scientific method and the nervous system.
      C.  Homework - Reading on the nervous system from our science text and averaging our results from today’s lab.

III.   STEAM:  Transition to unit on water, boats, and waves.
       A.  A change of lesson as building groups are changed for the new unit. An overview of forces using Bill Nye - One of the major forces we will be studying in this unit is buoyancy.

Monday, October 21, 2019

10.21.2019 - Monday -

10.21.2019 – Monday –

I.  Math:         
         A.  Class work (warm up) :  A review / preview. Students were asked to use rulers and draw a square with an area of 25 square centimeters. A rectangle with a perimeter of 25 centimeters; then a square with an area twice as large as the previous square. (Practice with perfect squares and approximating square roots. Students should know their perfect squares through 100.)

         B.  Class work and homework:  Students had some notes o interpreting speed and time graphs which relates to the UNIT RATE from our work on LESSONS 8 and 9.

         C.  Algebra corner:  Some students and parents have expressed interest in introducing algebra concepts. While it’s not tested on, or the focus of the class, we’re incorporating an algebra tie-in each day. Today we briefly showed the speed (rate) = distance /  time equation.

II.  Science:
         A.  Current Events: Two on the all-female spacewalk. Since the last Apollo Mission visited our moon in 1972, humans have not been more than about 250 miles form Earth; although we have sent robot explorers beyond our solar system.

         B LAB:  We’re studying the NERVOUS SYSTEM. We had some notes on the brain and the central and peripheral nervous system.  Then we moved into a lab activity where students tested their threshold for feeling nerve stimuli along our forearms.

         C.  We touched on reaction time and will do a brief lab on nerve impulses tomorrow. We did the classic test of trying to catch a dollar dropped between two fingers for reaction time. (Nobody won the dollar J - Homework is text pages 143 through 145.


         A. Students wrapped up their bridges and some students began on the next unit, which is on boats and waves. Bridges have been painted and named.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

10.10.2019 - Thursday - Science and Math -

10.10.2019 - Thursday - Science - 

  1. Current events:  
    1. The Nobel Prize is currently being awarded. We learned a bit about Alfred Nobel and the origin of the prize.
    2. One note on recycling and plastics. Ninety one percent of the plastic EVER thrown away has NOT been recycled.
II.  Eight facts on one of our eleven body systems -  the skeleton.
A.  Adults have 206 bones
B.  Skeleton is made of living tissue.
C.  Broken bones can repair themselves.
D.  Bones ‘anchor’ the muscles and tendons.
III LAB - Part one of an investigation into our respiratory and circulatory systems. We took our resting heart rate and our heart rate after exercise.  We’ll use these number tomorrow to chart and check independent vs. dependent variables.

0.10.2019 - Math - 

  1.  Math - Text pages 23 - 28 and the “Are You Ready For More?”  
  2. Notes:
    1. Ratios:  We reviewed the number system from Natural Numbers through Whole and Rational Numbers and, finally, a bit on irrational numbers.
    2. A few notes and examples on cross multiplication.
    3. An introduction to algebraic expressions.

Monday, September 30, 2019

09.30.2019 - Monday - Recap

09.30.2019 - Monday - 

  1. Math - Nets and Surface Area.
    1. Warm up:  Students constructed a rectangular prism and a triangular prism (nets cut-out). Students are to calculate both the VOLUME and the SURFACE AREA of each in the notes.
    2. Prisms: Description / Clarification:  Imagine taking a polygon and moving it “through space” so each vertex makes a line.

          II.  Notes and examples of “Nets” 
                      A.  Cutting and unfolding three dimensional figures and labeling / measuring the lateral sides and base.

          III.  Homework
              A.  Pages 122 through 126 from “Open Up Resources.”


  1. Science:  - Photosynthesis and the (obvious) importance of the sun!
    1. We had a few notes on proteins and how the DNA directs cells to manufacture proteins in the ribosomes.
    2. Proteins are important molecules for a wide variety of functions.  The are, in turn, made from smaller molecules called Amino Acids.  
    3. Amino Acids link in chains (Polymers - “Many Parts”) to for proteins.
    4. “The Martian” - A run down of the science from the movie.
      1. The biology
      2. The physics.

          II STEAM.
             A.  Our second paper airplane “fly off.” This one going for “hang the” over distance.
             B.  Begin our unit on bridges.

Friday, September 27, 2019

09.27.2019 - Recap -


I.  Math: 
            A.  Two-part assessment today:
                        1.  Quiz on triangles. Acute, Obtuse, and Right.
                        2.  Check on the classwork / homework:  Students were building cubes and tetrahedrons in class and were asked to calculate the volume and surface area for each. The assessment checked to be sure the work in their books was completed.

            B. Computer work day – Students had tome to begin lesson 14 on using “nets” to find surface area.

II.  Science:
            A. Brief, open-note quiz on the differences between plant and animals cells. Next week we’ll be working on structure and function of each organelle.
            B.  A 17 minute clip from “The Martian” focusing on the science crosscutting concepts of systems and, specifically, how Watney’s “HAB” on Mars is a small, self-contained system. Our Earth is a larger version of the “HAB.” 
            C.  Final focus on proteins as building blocks in our bodies. We’ll be learning what organelles make proteins.

            A.  Some more flight testing today; this time going for maximum “Hang time.”

            B.  We continued our theme of VARIABLES in any science and engineering practice.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

09.26.2019 - Thursday -

Summary and tomorrow’s quizzes

I.  Math: We built paper prisms and measured their volume and surface area to the nearest centimeter.
            A.  Open note quiz tomorrow. The focus is;
                        1.  Triangles
                                    i) Acute
                                    ii) Obtuse
                                    iii)  Right
                                    iv)  Total measure of interior angles.
            B. Naming angles.
            C.  Area formula. (2 dimensional)
                        1. Square
                        2.  Rectangle
                        3. Triangle
            D. Surface area.
                        1.  Cubes
                        2.  Rectangular prisms.
            E. Polygons.
                        1.  Edges
                        2. Vertices

II.  Science: 
            A.  Current Events: California Sea Otters.
            B.  Tomorrow’s open notes quiz: We’ve only begun learning the functions of the organelles inside plant and animal cells. Tomorrow quiz will only focus on;
                        1.  Consumers vs. Producers
                        2.  The organelles that are UNIQUE to plant or animal cells. (Which ones do they share and which ones do they NOT share.)
                        3.  The one organelle with which students should be familiar, and know the function of, is the nucleus.

                   C. A bit on “The Martian” to introduce PROTEINS.  Tomorrow’s focus will be on PHOTOSYNTHESIS.

            A.  An experiment to continue with VARIABLES. Does changing the weight on the end of a string cause the pendulum to swing faster or slower. (Or no change.)

            B.  Video clip on running an experiment to determine the diameter of Earth.