Here is an easy way to demonstrate how fossils are formed! Most children think that fossils are bones that are buried in mud which hardens around the bone over millions of years, and when the fossil is excavated the bone and the impression of the bone in mud are found. This is partially true, but what they don’t realize is that minerals seep into the bone and fill in the spaces to create a mineralized bone that is quite different in composition from the original. This is also how petrified wood is formed. This process is easy to model, as follows:
Take a sponge and cut it into a fun “bone” shape. Put it in a margarine tub or similar-sized disposable container that has several small holes punched in the bottom. Mix 4T very warm water with 4T Epsom salts or other bath salts until completely dissolved. Set the margarine tub in another shallow container and pour the mixture over the sponge “bone.” Let it sit for 24 hours, empty the shallow container, and repeat the process. Do this every day for a week, then allow it to sit an additional 48-72 hours without adding more liquid, and let it dry. The sponge will have hardened into a rock-like model!
This models the process of hundreds of thousands, even millions of years of rain and minerals leaching into the ground and gradually replacing bone material while maintaining the shape and even details of the surface texture. Note that the liquid passes through the sponge on the way down, and can be drawn back up again from below as the surface dries.
It was a PAWSitively fabulous first month in the Computer Labs. The children enjoy coming to the lab, which makes it all the more fun for me. As you may recall, we began the school year with the STAR of SRI reading assessments. And now that September has come to an end, we have only two weeks left in the first quarter! Wow! Time flies when you’re having fun.
As a reminder, you may provide your child with their own set of headphones if you like. Your child may keep the headphones in their backpack and bring them on lab days when they are needed.
In my monthly blogs, I will be breaking it down for you by grade level. I work with individual teachers who have specific expectations of what they wish to accomplish during their time in the Computer lab. Many classes on one grade level may do the same lessons, while individual teachers may choose to do something else. Be assured that your child is being instructed in the Technology Literacy standards we have here in Cobb County.
I post at the end of the month so you can see all the wonderful things we have been doing! Let’s start with our youngest and newest Tritt friends.
Pre-Kindergarten: Mrs. Lide’s class came to the lab so they could begin acclimating to a new room, new teacher and applying the rules of the classroom to a new environment. We worked on number, color, shape and pattern skills.
Kindergarten: The focus for Kindergarten this quarter is demonstrating mouse skills. We utilized an online resource called Track Star that offers links to websites selected by educators to practice using the mouse. Kindergarten was also introduced to our drawing program, KidPix, where they created original illustrations using drawing tools, and stamping their name on their “page” with the text tool. This can be a difficult task as they learn to apply their small motor skills to maneuvering the mouse and seeing it transfer to the screen! Some Kindergartners were introduced to Megamath, a math game software designed by Harcourt Math that correlates directly to math lessons from the curriculum.
1st Grade: First grade used the KidPix art software to create an original illustration. We discussed how to use the fill bucket, and how open and closed shapes affect the outcome of your piece. Some first grade projects included drawing their favorite weather (science integration), homes and animals. First graders also used Megamath, a math game software designed by Harcourt Math that correlates directly to math lessons from the curriculum. It’s excellent individual reinforcement and the students love it.
2nd Grade: Second grade’s focus this month was creating an original illustration with KidPix, adding graphics and text. I read The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big, Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood. The students selected their favorite scene and recreated it on KidPix, inserting a caption to go with their picture. The students did a great job and the illustrations were adorable. Students also used KidPix to create graphic organizers and add stamps or stickers to reinforce their lessons on States of Matter and Healthy and Unhealthy food choices. Second graders also used Megamath, a math game software designed by Harcourt Math that correlates directly to math lessons from the curriculum.
3rd Grade: Third grade jumped right into publishing their color poems with Microsoft Word. Kidspiration, a webbing software, was implemented and the children filled in a graphic organizer about the three branches of government. Students also used Dance Mat Typing or Type to Learn, a program for keyboarding and Megamath, a math game software designed by Harcourt Math that correlates directly to math lessons from the curriculum, reinforcing math skills.
4th Grade: Fourth grade began using Microsoft Powerpoint to integrate lessons taught in the classroom. Presentations included book reports with plot, summary, character traits and recommendation as well as non-fiction reports on Native Americans. Fourth graders also used Megamath, a math game software designed by Harcourt Math that correlates directly to math lessons from the curriculum. Mr. Eichler’s class also learned how to use Adobe photoshop 5.
5th Grade: Several Fifth grade classes integrated their social studies unit on the Civil War in their use of the computer labs. Some fifth grade activities this quarter included a Civil War Brochure created with Microsoft Publisher, a Civil War timeline with TimeLiner XE, PowerPoint presentations, and Microsoft Word for publishing. It is already evident that the fifth graders will enter middle school with a great foundation in the Microsoft Office programs!
The results of the Classroom Contest are in! The following classes will enjoy a Reptile Wrangler Field Trip sometime soon!
First……….TIE!!Lupiani & Baker