Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mining for coal (chocolate chips)

We did an experiment using chocolate chip cookies in Science today.  We are learning about fossil fuels, renewable and nonrenewable resources.  We also discussed the importance of conserving our land and how mining can destroy land so that we can get to the resources and have them available for us to use.  The students were given a piece of land (cookie) which was rich in coal (chocolate chips).  They were also given a fine precision instrument (toothpick).  They were to remove as much of the coal as they could without destroying their land.  It was not an easy task!!
We discovered how difficult it is for mining companies to remove natural resources such as coal without destroying the surrounding land.  All in all it was a valuable experiment as well as a tasty one!
Mining is hard work.

Drawing the land before mining.

This is not easy!

Dig, dig, dig!

Will I ever get them all?

Can I just eat it?

Detail drawing of my land.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Super Mathematicians

Congratulations to Chase O. and Kailee W.!  They have "rocketed" through their subtraction facts and made it to the Milky Way!

We have been working on a supplemental math facts program called "Rocket Math" and Kailee and Chase have completed their rockets in the subtraction area.  This is a big accomplishment.  We take a timed test everyday in which they must complete 35 problems correctly to move on to the next level.  Every level gets a little more difficult.  All of Mrs. Hoffman's students are working hard to complete their rockets.  We are making progress every day!  Mrs. Hoffman is incredibly proud of all her hard working students!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Paleontologist visits

We have been studying rocks and fossils and last week we were lucky to have a visit from Barb Beasley, a paleontologist from the Forest Service, visit us and bring samples of fossils.  She talked to us about fossils and showed us samples of fossils found at Toadstool Park and other places.  She taught us about invertebrates, vertebrates, and plants that can be found in fossil form.  She showed us a model of a giant pig's skull that lived in this area millions of years ago.  She also had a model of a saber tooth cat skull and an ancient crocodile skull.  We really had fun looking at her fossils and many students decided they wanted to be paleontologists when they grow up!