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8/26/2019-8/30/2019 Middle School Science

To our 6th grade families, welcome to Junior High! To our 7th and 8th grade families, welcome back to another school year!


Looking Ahead To Next Week:

9/2: Labor Day NO SCHOOL

9/3: A Day

9/4: B Day

9/5: C Day FALL FEST

9/6: D Day 1P EARLY DISMISSAL, FALL FEST 


6th Grade Science

Wow! This week flew by and I’m already excited about the progress we are making diving into our first lessons. We’ve started our first Unit entitled ‘Earth’s Surface’ and dug into Lesson 1 (‘Earth’s Spheres’) and Lesson 2 (‘Weathering’). In order to make connections among Earth’s five spheres, we held class outside to make some observations and connections among the spheres. We identified a cicada molting laying in the dirt, a spider crawling up a tree, leaves blowing in the wind, and the formation of rust. We were able to identify parts of the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere! We did not identify the cryosphere but ask your student if there is any way the cryosphere might be connected. As we moved onto weathering, we modeled the effects of both water on carbonate rocks and acid rain. Below is a picture of the effects of the acid rain model! We have to wait over the weekend for our ice wedging model to freeze. Make sure to remind your student that we will play a review Jeopardy game on Tuesday and there will be a Quest on Wednesday for Lessons 1 and 2. Have a wonderful weekend!


7th Grade Science

It’s been great to see our now 7th graders! We off to a great start with our first Unit entitled ‘Cells’ with investigations into Lesson 1 (‘The Characteristics of Cells’) and Lesson 2 (‘Chemistry of Life’). Always a student favorite, I went out to collect some pond water to see what prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms live in our local pond! This year I collected water from Lake Ida. We were able to find paramecium, Euglena, stentor, volvox, and desmid specimens. The students were shocked that all these little creatures live in our ponds (and a little hesitant to dive right back in to a lake!) and excited to replicate Anthony von Leewenhoek’s experiment. We also observed onion cells dyed with iodine and cork ‘cells’ (Hooke’s observation.) I always love starting the year following in the footsteps of the scientists who originally experimented with early microscopy. Make sure to remind your student that we will play a review Jeopardy game on Tuesday and there will be a Quest on Wednesday for Lessons 1 and 2. Have a wonderful weekend!


8th Grade Science

I cannot believe last year’s 7th graders are now our new 8th graders! I love having 8th grade homeroom and getting to know our students even better. This past week we jumped right in to Unit 1 (‘Matter’) and started Lessons 1 (‘Introduction to Matter’) and 2 (‘Properties of Matter’). We starting an investigation about density and buoyancy to get at the big question concerning ships. If ships are so heavy, how can they float? Through the creation of density towers, we were able to calculate the relative densities of five different liquids and see how those density calculations were observed in the physical density tower. Next, we dropped objects of varying sizes into the density towers to see where they would float. Some stayed on top, some sunk to the bottom, but the most interesting ones floated on a level somewhere in the middle of the column! We really tried to find answers through phenomena to the question of what determines buoyancy: mass, volume, or density? Ask your student if they know the answer! Make sure to remind your student that we will play a review Jeopardy game on Tuesday and there will be a Quest on Wednesday for Lessons 1 and 2. Have a wonderful weekend! (Extra points to anyone who can explain the weird phenomena in the picture at the top of the newsletter!)


Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend and please email me at sberk@stcletusparish.com with any questions or concerns!


In peace,

Ms. Berk