MONDAY 02/11
3rd Grade- Goal: Maglev Worksheet Continuation
The third grade was introduced to more definitions for understanding. Today’s definitions were Levitation, Suspension, and Electromagnetic Propulsion. These definitions took the entire class period due to their complexity and the importance of having the children actually understand these concepts and be able to communicate that understanding. In order for them to walk away from this project and really understand what they did and why, it is necessary for them to receive a complete background and firm foundation to build on.
4th Grade- Goal: Skimmer Design Challenge Continued
Today the fourth grade worked through the design process with their sails, as well as working on better recording skills. The goal for this week is to get everyone to finish (min.: 2 sails, 6 tests). A worksheet has been prepared, to show understanding, however I have chosen to go through this as a class together to keep everyone on task and finish at the same time. By doing it together I feel they will help each other and that the end product will be more complete.

TUESDAY 02/12
3rd Grade- Goal: Building Understanding by Creating Electromagnets with Maya Heiland
The third grade reviewed, with Maya, the basics of magnetic properties, then moved on to understanding Earth’s permanent magnets, where to find them, why they work and how well they work. This took longer than anticipated, although we had really great conversations around Astronomy, our Earth, and its magnetic forces. We explained to the children that they were essentially learning principles of quantum physics and they thought this was fantastic, a real confidence booster for them. We then presented Electromagnets and the children were able to assemble theirs in less than five minutes! Due to class ending we needed to wait until another day to really explore with the electromagnets.
4th Grade- Goal: Skimmer design Challenge Continued
The fourth grade continued to move through the design and record process. One student, on Thursday of last week, discovered the most optimal way to get the sail to go further and in a straight line. It was encouraging to see everyone stop what they were working on to cheer, watch and compliment this student. I really find it breathtaking when things all come together like that and the true team spirit and love/enjoyment of learning is achieved! Now, this week, it has been fun to watch everyone improve their designs and gain a better idea of what they need to do to take their own skimmer to the next level.

WEDNESDAY 02/13
3rd Grade- Goal: EMS vs. EDS Maglev Worksheet Cont.
Today the third grade learned the differences between and all about Electromagnetic Suspension (EMS) and Electrodynamic Suspension (EDS). This took the entire lesson period, however the understanding was quickly absorbed due to all their background information. The children drew simple pictures on their worksheets to demonstrate their understanding and they viewed many different real life examples to help make the leap from classroom to the real world. They really enjoy learning and going beyond when it is simplified enough for them to grasp. They will be ready on Wednesday, the 20th, to begin construction on their Maglev kits.
4th Grade- Goal: Skimmer Design Challenge Continued
Today the fourth grade continued the processes they have been working on all week. Some of the designs are really interesting, more and more are able to travel in long straight lines, yay!
THURSDAY 02/14
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY
3rd Grade- Goal: Playing with Magnets and Electromagnets
Today the children had a discovery and understanding session with the permanent and electromagnets. They had all hands on learning today and enjoyed it immensely. At the end of class they were given the homework assignment of conceptualizing an aerodynamic design for their train bodies. This will set the ground work for finishing design ideas on Wednesday.
4th Grade- Goal: Skimmer Design Challenge Continued
Today some of the children did not attend due to classroom parties. This means they will have to catch up on their own time. The majority are now on the final stages of their last sail testing log and so we will commence the exit worksheet on Wednesday, the 20th. I was told that if some of the students don’t finish, to simply move on. This means I will continue to allow lunch recess that week for makeup testing, if they choose to come in.

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