Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Jose

Quite a few of the students are VERY interested in these hurricanes and their effects on humans, man-made objects, and the landscape of the areas they hit.  We have talked about it some in class, but this would be a GREAT opportunity to foster your student’s curiosity at home!  Encourage them to research their questions on the internet and/or watch the weather channel or the news to learn more about them.  This is the perfect time to make life-long learning a family affair!



Week of 9/5/17 – Constructive and Destructive Processes

  • We are continuing to learn about constructive and destructive processes.  Last week, we learned about weathering, erosion, and deposition.  This week, we are learning about earthquakes and volcanoes.
  • Thursday, September 7 will be our second 4H club meeting.  If your student has volunteered to give a presentation this month, please be sure they are prepared with their poster and either note cards or a memorized speech.


Constructive and Destructive Processes

The week of August 28, we began working on our first Science unit about constructive and destructive processes.  We will be conducting many hands on activities to help students understand how these processes work to change landforms on the Earth.

Please Note: Due to schedule changes due to early release days, the Labor Day holiday, and IOWA testing, our test date for this unit is still undetermined.  We will update as soon as possible when we know a test date.  Students will receive their study guides 1 week before the test date.


4H Club

We had our first 4H Club lesson on August 17th!  The students were introduced to the club, as well as all the extensions and camps they have available.  Your student should be bringing home information in their folders today.  Each month, 2 students from each homeroom will be chosen to give a 2 minute presentation on a topic that they are interested in.  Students volunteer for this opportunity, so no student should feel forced into speaking if they are uncomfortable.  Students who DO volunteer will be expected to bring in a poster or trifold board with pictures and information about their topic.  Their speech should NOT be printed and posted on the board.  They should either have notecards with bullet points or have their speech memorized.  Our next meeting will be September 7.

Grading Note

This year, we will be grading some assignments differently than others.  If an assignment is used for practice or to judge student progress, the grade will have a “P” beside it.  This is meant to show you and your student how they are progressing on the skills being assessed, but it will NOT go in the gradebook on Synergy.  Assignments that are meant to assess student mastery of skills and standards, and that WILL be put in the gradebook, will have a “G” beside them.  Hopefully this will help keep you and your student very up to date on how they are understanding the content, while also showing their best efforts in their final grades.

Friday in Content

Every Friday, students will be working on becoming informed citizens by reading current event articles.  We will also be practicing for the Milestones by answering a few multiple choice questions (3-5 at most) and completing a constructed response using the RACE strategy.  The second half of our Friday will be Genius Hour.  Genius Hour was started at Google as a way for their employees to explore their personal passions with company support.  Students will work on a personal passion project focused on making a difference in the world with teacher and school support.  Students who complete their Genius Hour projects before March 2018 will be eligible to enter CCSD’s KidTalk competition!  Check out for more information!

Quarter 1 Curriculum Map

Weeks 1-5: Social Studies Lessons (see Social Studies tab)

Weeks 6-7: Constructive & Destructive Forces

S5E1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to identify surface features on the Earth caused by constructive and/or destructive processes. a. Construct an argument supported by scientific evidence to identify surface features (examples could include deltas, sand dunes, mountains, volcanoes) as being caused by constructive and/or destructive processes (examples could include deposition, weathering, erosion, and impact of organisms). b. Develop simple interactive models to collect data that illustrate how changes in surface features are/were caused by constructive and/or destructive processes. c. Ask questions to obtain information on how technology is used to limit and/or predict the impact of constructive and destructive processes. (Clarification statement: Examples could include seismological studies, flood forecasting (GIS maps), engineering/construction methods and materials, and infrared/satellite imagery.)

  • constructive forces
  • destructive forces
  • Collect data on surface features
  • Asking ?’s about technoloy

Week 8: Physical & Chemical Changes

S5P1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to explain the differences between a physical change and a chemical change. a. Plan and carry out investigations of physical changes by manipulating, separating and mixing dry and liquid materials. b. Construct an argument based on observations to support a claim that the physical changes in the state of water are due to temperature changes, which cause small particles that cannot be seen to move differently. c. Plan and carry out an investigation to determine if a chemical change occurred based on observable evidence (color, gas, temperature change, odor, new substance produced).

  • Investigate Physical changes
  • Students construct arguments based on the states of water
  • Investigate Chemical changes

Week 9: Electricity

S5P2. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to investigate electricity. a. Obtain and combine information from multiple sources to explain the difference between naturally occurring electricity (static) and human-harnessed electricity.

  • static vs. human-harnessed electricity