Carrie's Weekly Update 10-24-16

posted Oct 26, 2016, 9:27 AM by Cynthia Friedman


Conference sign-up is going high-tech thanks to Jen Hackstadt! She has set up conferences through Sign Up (parents should have already received an email with the link to schedule conference(s)). Conferences are 20 minutes with 5 minutes in between. Please reserve lunch time and evening conferences for working families with limited scheduling options.

Carrie’s Class:

Jon’s Class:


Math -

Our students would benefit immensely from increased adult support in the classroom.  It is preferable that the adult is comfortable with math up through Algebra 1, but not absolutely necessary. We can still use someone to work with small groups checking answers (against a key) and recording scores, while we give lessons.  

Our math periods are from 9:25 am to 10:25 am and 11:25 am to 12:25 pm, Monday through Thursday.  Contact me if you are interested, and we can discuss details.  Thanks!


What is the difference between an observation and an inference?  

This week, the students were given a box with a mystery object in it.  They were not allowed to look in the box, but were to devise ways to interact with the box so their senses could gather information about the object’s shape, composition, size, thickness, etc. They were to describe their test in enough detail to allow someone else to perform the test exactly as they did.  Students then recorded the information gathered by their senses using adjectives such as scratchy, rough, smooth, continuous, repeated, vibration, heavy, etc.  They then reported what they inferred about the object from this sensory information.  Finally, they hypothesized what the object was and estimated their confidence in their guess.  Table groups then shared their process and results, and reevaluated their guess based on new information from their peers.  Perhaps they did not change their mind entirely, but they may have adjusted a detail, or became more or less confident.  This activity illuminates numerous key aspects of the scientific process: creating tests, making unbiased, disciplined observations, and clearly differentiating those from inferences. The group consultation step parallels how scientists conduct their investigations, share information with other scientists, and adjust their approach to incorporate the valuable contributions of other scientists. All of which deepen their understanding of their research.  This activity sets us up for next week’s investigations into how scientists gather information about the interior of Earth, when it cannot be directly observed.


Art MW

Early this week we brainstormed ideas for greeting cards.  We will continue to brainstorm and share ideas until we each settle on an image to reproduce on print blocks.  Our goal is to create products for sale at the RCO craft fair on Saturday on December 3rd.  

Later this week, we began preparations for our Jordan Schnitzer field trip. Each student chose one of the current exhibits to summarize and research. We then introduced relevant concepts such as lithographs, cubism, multimedia, celadon glaze, Min-hwa traditional Korean painting, and multimedia arts.  

Thank you to everyone who jumped on the opportunity to chaperon for our museum visit!  The first two responders, Lela and Khrystal, will be chaperoning this time.   Stay tuned for future opportunities.

Art Supplies Welcome!

Have some old art supplies laying around needing a home?  We could use donations of any number of the items listed below.

  • Ink Pads

  • Watercolor paint

  • Printing ink

  • Charcoal

  • Oil pastels

  • Sheer Curtain Fabric (silk screening)

  • Road  maps

  • Old white sheets (for batik)

  • Acrylic Paint

Taylor’s Elective Updates

Nature Walks M/W

This week, we have been discussing how to be prepared for outdoor adventures. We discussed, and wrote in our field notebooks, a list of useful items to have in our backpacks for a day trip. Some of the most important items were a first aid kit, proper clothing, food and water, and small but useful items in case of emergency camping such as a small tarp, duct tape, and a flashlight.We talked about how to distribute weight in a hiking backpack. We also discussed some useful planning practices to keep ourselves safe before we leave for an adventure. We talked about writing an itinerary and telling a friend or family member our planned route and when to expect us home or a call that we are back. Next, we did an experiment using wet synthetic/wool hiking socks and wet cotton socks to see which would keep one's feet warmer. Then, we talked about and practiced building a quick shelter out of a tarp, duct tape, and the available branches and rocks.

Mythbusters Tu/Th

This week, we have been working on a video write up of our smoke bomb experiment. The students have planned the content and organization of the video, keeping in mind the purpose of a write up is to communicate clearly and precisely enough that the experiment could be duplicated. The students also designated tasks into editing, script writing, voice-over, data compilation, and creating a tutorial. We plan to share our results with the rest of the middle school program next Friday!

Carrie and Taylor