Monday, November 21, 2016

2nd Grade is Creating Erosion!

In Second Grade, we have been studying landforms.  Now we are studying different kinds of erosion and how that shapes the landscape.  Our first project was to erode a sand mountain with water.  Drops from an eyedropper = rain, an eyedropper squirt = hard rain, an ice cube was our miniature glacier, and then we flooded the mountain.

The next project was to try "chemical erosion" like what would happen in a cave!  We used Skittles as our mineral, put those on a screen over a dish, and then dripped tiny amounts of water over them.  As they dissolved, they dripped into our dish "cave" from the screen.  We want to see if we can make stalactites and stalagmites! 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Third Grade at Tahoe Lake is doing a huge WEATHER project!

When you are studying weather as a Next Generation Science Standard, it is PERFECT to get to live in Tahoe!  Our third grade classes are going to study weather a lot!  We observe the weather each time we go to the Science Lab and will record the data all year.  

We will do a lot of different lab activities, but this first one was learning how to read thermometers.  We took the temperature of the air in the classroom, the temperature out on the blacktop, and the temperature in a container of water.  We measured the temperature on a Celcius thermometer, then recorded in both C degrees and F degrees on our papers.

TLE Kinders are finding out what Science is!

Tahoe Lake kinders are exploring all kinds of scientists, science tools, how to use our senses to study science, and what scientists do.  We are working on a book for science so we can share what we've learned and what we've used with our families.

We used tools to observe, tools to measure, and used our senses to solve a mystery about what might be hidden in the "feely socks".  We are still exploring!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Mrs. S. Gets to be an OCEANOGRAPHER!

Hi, all!  This summer, I was accepted as one of 24 teachers nationally to participate in the Maury Project - a two week oceanography workshop in Annapolis, Maryland! 
 These photos are from the USNA research vessel.

Note: the colored parts are links are LIVE to photo albums.

This is sponsored by the American Meteorological Society, The United States Naval Academy, and NOAA.  We were trained in physical oceanography including tides, waves, haloclines and thermoclines, El Nino and La Nina, deep ocean currents, surface currents, and how all of these interact with and cause the weather patterns. We also had some neat field experiences, like using the oceanography equipment,  I learned a LOT and am excited to bring that all back to Tahoe!

Coursework was at the U.S. Naval Academy
We visited a salt marsh to study intertidal zones.

We stayed at St. John's College, which is the second oldest college in the country, established in 1696!  Our courses were at the United States Naval Academy, taught by USNA professors. We also visited NOAA Headquarters to see Science on a Sphere, NASA Goddard Space Center to see some of their work, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the Smithsonian museums in Washington D.C. (and you KNOW my favorite was the Air and Space Museum!), a salt marsh, and went out on a Naval Oceanographic vessel to try out some of the research equipment!

NOAA Headquarters to see the
Science on a Sphere in action!
At Goddard Space Flight Center - lecture on how all the various
weather satellites feed us global information

One of our lectures by Don, a retired navy officer, oceanographer, and USNA alumni.

Special visitor to Tahoe Lake Elementary!

On October 13, we had a really special visitor in the upstairs reading room!  One of our students noticed this wee guy (gal?) trying to sneak a nap up near the ceiling. Frank, our janitor, said this was the SECOND time this little brown bat had tried to be a "student" at our school! 

  No sleeping allowed during school hours, though, so Frank set up a ladder, and after Mrs. Scheibner climbed up to take a picture to save for us, Frank climbed up the ladder and gently removed the bat.  He turned it loose in a pine tree outside.  About 30 different students got to see it up close as Frank moved it outside.  This little brown bat was about 3 inches long.
Silly bat - elementary schools are really noisy places to try to sleep!  Besides, it is getting colder, and you need to migrate to a warmer place for the winter!  

1st Grade Scientists are documenting seasonal changes!

 Tahoe Lake Elementary is SUCH a beautiful place, but especially in the fall! 

We are studying SEASONS.

We sketched the changes we were seeing for FALL.  Mrs. Foucek even shared our work on the TLE Facebook page!

Isn't this a pretty amazing place to call your classroom?  We see the evergreens, yellow, red, and orange leaves.


 We loved getting to work outside. We drew what we saw: colored leaves, evergreen pines, the lake, and snow on the mountains on the other side of Lake Tahoe.

Tahoe Lake 4th Grade Scientists are exploring the Structure and Function of animal parts.

measuring our peripheral vision to compare with an owl's
measuring peripheral vision to the left
 We are studying how different parts of an animal are shaped for the way they are used.  We saw a video of how an owl can turn its head to see around it, and then we measured our own field of vision and range of motion to see how our eyes and necks work compared to owls.

measuring how far the human head can turn

measuring range of motion of the neck 
recording our measurements
 We also studied different bird beaks and feet.  It was fairly easy to match which feet or beaks did which kind of job for a bird - but then we had to create our OWN wacky bird and write clues about what we "saw" it doing.  Then the rest of the class had to figure out our unique combination for the bird we created.

deciding on what beak and feet to use for
the "build a bird" project - it depends on
what the bird should do with its parts!

figuring out which beak and which feet do
which kind of job for the bird