4th graders are finally getting to the planning stage for their bridges. After experimenting with building techniques, reading about the history of bridges, and reviewing the building site, they have gotten together as Bridge Building Companies and made decisions as to what style of bridge will be appropriate to the parameters of the Bridge Challenge. They are busy measuring, budgeting and making design decisions before they start writing checks and to buy land and materials from the supply warehouse.
Field Trip time
4th grade participated in a field trip without having to take a bus. Mass Audubon came to us to share Soil Science. We did three stations which tied to different themes and objectives we have studied throughout the year.
Students created man made and natural grass barriers to keep wave action from eroding the beach. Students connected their knowledge to their bridge building techniques to keep erosion from undermining the piers of their bridge.
Students compared the composition of three different types of soil. They decided that sand, compost and clay to hold water make the best mix for plants to grow in our Charter vegetable garden. Students also recalled that the sandy soil in Ancient Greece created the ideal environment for olive trees to grow. Another student recalled that weathering of rocks and minerals provides part of the abiotic material we find in soil.
Students looked at several decomposing logs and recorded the insects, and fungi helping to break down biotic material that becomes part of the soil.
4th graders experimented with the feeling of the forces that a bridge has to endure by shaping bridges with their bodies.
“The cantilever bridge I could just hang out here. I feel pulling on my arms and hands but my feet don’t move because they are pushing together with the other part of the bridge. This is easier!”
“We can put our cantilevers together and make a huge bridge!”
Keep checking back as we construct our own model bridges for Exhibition!
Students continue to work on their Community Service Learning project. They have started seedlings and have planned succession plantings in order to be ready to set plants in the Charter vegetable garden as soon as the warm weather is ready for them. They have measured and drawn their ideas for a map of where the plants will go in order to take advantage of the sun and water needs of each type of plant. Check out our progress!
4th grade reviewed what they already know about the water cycle by playing a game. We are preparing to address 4th grade curriculum standards through the following questions:
How does the water cycle impact the environment?
How does energy from the sun affect the weather?
How does heat energy (temperature) change the state of a liquid/solid/gas?
How do you measure and describe weather?
4th Graders participated in a “Math Mystery” problem solving exercise posted around the 4th grade wing. In order to solve the mystery they had to use their math skills at solving double digit multiplication (and sometimes three digits by two digits) to determine the clue that would help them eliminate suspects to find the culprit. Stay tuned for next week’s problem solving project-planning how much food they need to bring on a mission to Mars!