Sunday, May 28, 2017

Letter to my students on the last week of school 16/17



Dear AdVENTURER's,

It is time to say good-bye to some of you. This time around is is particularly poignant for me, as this class of 2025 will be the last group of AdVENTURERs who I had the privilege to teach every day for your complete AdVENTURE experience. That makes you unique in many ways. Aside from the content that we've discussed in class, through this experience you've learned to navigate the ups and downs of relationships. At times you've been friends, and at times you've been enemies, but through it all that sense of family remained. 

As you move on to whatever is next for you, know that each and every one of you has a special place in my heart. Through your insightful comments, your personalities and the laughter and tears we've shared, you have been my teachers. Because you shared your experiences with me as you went from children to adolescents, and allowed me to guide you through this transition, I will be forever changed. You provided me with opportunities to grow as an educator and as a person. You were the ones I thought about every time I decided to try something new and I thank you for your patience and compassion when things did not work out. 

I take ownership of all those times I pushed you too hard. Know that I did that because I believe in you. I could not bear the thought of allowing you miss an opportunity simply because it would be easier to let it go. Each of the talents, skills, and abilities you developed when things were hard will serve you in the years to come. I invite you to continue to concentrate on the things that will have a positive effect on your life. Choose your friends wisely, listen to your trusted adults and mentors, and do the best you possibly can in everything you attempt.  As your memory of me fades, know that I will continue to search for the accomplishments that undoubtedly await you, and I will be forever in the background rejoicing with you.

Know that "once my student, always my student". I can and will always be willing to help. Even if you are graduating (congratulations by the way!), do not hesitate to contact me if you ever need to. You have a special place in my heart, and though you may be gone from my classroom you will always be a true AdVENTUREr.

Always,
Mrs. Garcia

Sunday, May 14, 2017

This Week on the Island 05/15-05/19


Dates to Remember:

  • End of Year Student Exhibition Night 05/24
  • End of Term 6 06/02.

Need help with something? Post your questions on Edmodo.

Classroom News
Do not forget, Birdbrain and Blogs!

  5th Science
This week you will use the environmental accords we discussed last week to create your "dream" city. Put on your scientist's hats as you develop your ideas for exactly what a city must have to be sustainable.



6th Science and  7th Science

This week you will continue on to phase 2 of your End of Year project. Use your notes on the environmental accords to identify their presence in your Urban Village. How environmentally responsible is your work in math? 


7th  Engineering and 8th Engineering

Your e-portfolios are about to be done. Revise them to make sure not only that you have complied with the requirements, but also to ensure that they represent you in the best way possible. For those of you that are ready to move on, you may begin working on this EndOfYear project. I can hear you groaning already, but this is your last chance to really impress everyone with all you can do. Have fun and take your learning to the "next level".


Sunday, May 7, 2017

This Week on the Island 05/08-05/12

Dates to Remember:

  • End of Year Student Exhibition Night 05/24
  • End of Term 6 06/02.

Need help with something? Post your questions on Edmodo.

Classroom News
Do not forget, Birdbrain and Blogs!

  5th Science
We are almost to the end of our "Interactions in Ecosystems" unit. We will start the week analyzing a couple of case studies, figuring out what happens to an ecosystem when there is a natural disaster. We will then begin the Science portion of the End of Year unit, talking about environmental responsibility.



6th Science 

On Monday, we will have our final discussion regarding the "Fish Kill in the Grey Bay". The results of the fish autopsies are revealed. Who is the real culprit? You will then have an opportunity to write a rebuttal letter, putting together everything you have learned. Finally we begin the Science portion of the End of Year unit, talking about environmental responsibility.


7th Science

This week we start by discussing how acids and bases can be neutralized. We will put final touches to your knowledge of middle school chemistry using the LOL platform. We will use that to introduce you to our EOY unit, and discuss human impacts on the environment. 


7th  Engineering and 8th Engineering

Urban Village Website
Building is almost done. I am incredibly proud of the work you are doing, and cannot wait to see the finished products. Make sure you know the fun answers to the EDP quiz you will take. They are 2 and Hong Kong.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

This Week on the Island 05/01-05/05

Dates to Remember:

  • CAASP Science Test (5 and 8 - only) 05/04-05/05
  • End of Year Student Exhibition Night 05/24
  • End of Term 6 06/02.

Need help with something? Post your questions on Edmodo.

Classroom News
Birdbrain and Blogs Resume!

  5th Science
This week we will continue learning how matter and energy is transferred in an ecosystem. We start off the week by exploring energy loss at each step of the energy ladder. Why is there so much energy lost at each rung? We will then continue exploring food chains and prepare to take the CASSP Science test on thursday and friday.



6th Science 

We have learned that there are many possible answers to the mystery surrounding the fish kill in the Grey Bay. We will finish our Sedimental Journey, and move on to the happenings in Parallel Park. There are more suspects to meet before we make our final determination. Keep your evidence handy, some things may not be what they seem.


7th Science


We continue studying chemical reactions as we determine how energy is "captured" or "released" by molecules. We will have a couple of labs to increase our understanding of how energy moves, and then take on acidity. Be ready to prove your knowledge and provide evidence that a chemical reaction occurs.


7th  Engineering and 8th Engineering

Urban Village Website
You have begun building. Make sure you have your materials and rationale for each of your choices. Make your best effort to illustrate exactly what needs to be done, and price out your solution. Who knows, perhaps your solution  will actually be built!


Sunday, April 23, 2017

This Week on the Island 04/24-04/28

Dates to Remember:

  • CAASP Science Test (5 and 8 - only) 05/04-05/05
  • End of Year Student Exhibition Night 05/24
  • End of Term 6 06/02.

Need help with something? Post your questions on Edmodo.

Classroom News
Birdbrain and Blogs Resume!

  5th Science

This week we will study how matter and energy is cycled through living things. You will learn about photosynthesis and begin to talk about food chains and food webs. Just like every cook needs ingredients to make a meal, plants need some ingredients to make their own food. Thise ingredients are readily available, or are they?



6th Science 

This week we will start our Ecodetectives unit. You will meet Juan Tuno, and learn about his efforts to stop the closure of the water slides. You will uncover the mystery of the water fleas and their role as bioindicators. Be ready to put on your detective hats and join us as we become environmental detectives.


7th Science


This week you will begin your participation in a study on game based learning. You will study how the rate of a reaction can be controlled and how energy is transferred in a chemical reaction. To cement that knowledge, you will be using different playlists and experiments that will illustrate the concepts. Lots of different things to explore.


7th  Engineering and 8th Engineering

Urban Village Website
This week you will begin the "build" phase of our End of Year project. You have already determined what needs to be done in the space you selected. It is time to share your ideas with the building company that will bring them to life. Listen carefully to what they want in your interviews, and determine what can and cannot be done.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

This Week on the Island 04-10/04-14

Dates to Remember:

  • Mrs. Garcia's gradebook closes 04/12.
  • End of Term 5 04/14.

Need help with something? Post your questions on Edmodo.

Classroom News
No Birdbrain or Blog this Week!

  5th Science



You are putting final touches on your severe weather project. Make sure you complete your product and are ready to present to the class. Presentations begin on Thursday!




6th Science 

You are putting final touches on your climate change project. Make sure you complete your product and are ready to present to the class. Presentations begin on Thursday!



7th Science


This week you will learn how to balance chemical equations. It seems hard, but if you stay focused it will be a breeze. Prepare for some lab-work as you create precipitates and use catalysts to change the rate of the reaction!


7th  Engineering


This week you will complete your cavern builds. Make sure you have all your work ready so that we can test your products. Will Alabraskans survive?

8th  Engineering



We will finish hearing about your Genius Hour projects. You did a wonderful job on them, and I hope you are proud of your accomplishments. To celebrate, and because is it poetry month, you will have the opportunity to take a quick breather this week as you compose an original poem in response to the "Science, the Poetry of Reality" project. Time for some creative writing!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

This Week on the Island 04/03-04/07

Dates to Remember:

  • Mrs. Garcia's gradebook closes 04/12.
  • End of Term 5 04/14.

Need help with something? Post your questions on Edmodo.

Classroom News

  5th Science



You continue with your severe weather project. Whether you decided to work with a team, or are working individually, keep checking the rubric and the requirements. Your goal is to develop an understanding of the different types of severe weather and be able to share your knowledge with the class.




6th Science 

We have done a lot of work on how greenhouse gases drive climate change. This week you will start on an interesting research project where you put what you have learned to the test. Choose a sector of interest and be ready to dive deeper into the content. How are the effects of climate change reported in the media? Who should you believe? Prepare your product to inform your classmates!



7th Science


Super fun times are ahead of us as you continue your exploration in chemistry. This week will be all about how atoms are rearranged during a chemical reaction. You will start by learning how to count atoms, and then discover the different bonds that can be formed. Are all bonds created equal? What's up with that "magical" 8 we've been hearing about?


7th  Engineering



This week you will finally get to build your shelter. It will be messy, but with effort and perseverance you will save the people of Alabraska!

8th  Engineering



It is finally done! Your Genius Hour project is ready to be shared. we will listen to you as you tell us all about your work. Proudly show what you know and help others understand your passion.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

This Week on the Island 03/27-03/31

Dates to Remember:

  • Cesar Chavez Day 03/31 - No school

Need help with something? Post your questions on Edmodo.

Classroom News

  5th Science



This week you will start your Severe weather project. Read the assignment carefully and ask questions as you go along. I cannot wait to see what you come up with.




6th Science 

We continue to work on climate change. This week we will focus on the different ways that humans are adding carbon to the atmosphere. You will explore the effects of climate change in ecosystems and in humans. You will also get an opportunity to think hard about how your own actions are contributing to the problem. What will you do about it?



7th Science



After an in-depth study about the periodic table visiting Castle Mendeleev, we will begin studying chemical reactions. Follow the different paths to understand how a molecule is formed, and how different reactants produce products. Get ready to use that knowledge in a challenging game.


7th  Engineering



Impending doom is upon us, and only your team of engineers can help us! Discover how your knowledge of earth science can be applied to to avoid a mass extinction. Will you be able to save the people of Alabraska? Identify the problem this week, and determine how big a shelter you will need as you are introduced to the Asteroid Impact project.

8th  Engineering



This is the last week! Use your time wisely to prepare for your Ted-talks. It is now time to show all that you accomplished!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

This Week on the Island 03/20-03/24


Dates to Remember:

  • Country Western Day - 03/24
  • Cesar Chavez Day 03/31 - No school

Need help with something? Post your questions on Edmodo.

Classroom News

  5th Science



Now that you know how water is recycled, you will start the week exploring how much water is actually available for use. Is it more or less than you thought it was? By wednesday we will start to make the connections between water and the atmosphere. You will get a chance to prove that air is really there is a fun lab, and finally discuss what does all of that have to do with the weather.


6th Science 

Once we learn how to read weather maps on Monday, we will begin our discussion on the effects that carbon has on the weather system. You will get an opportunity to become a carbon molecule and decide what role you play in keeping the Earth warm. what can you do to curb carbon emissions, and why is this important? Find out as you graph carbon trends!



7th Science



We continue to study matter, adding isotopes to the mix. You will explore the periodic table in depth, and learn how to use it as a tool for investigations. Everything you ever wanted to know about a particular element is right at your fingertips. Stay focused as there are many concepts to learn and discuss.


7th  Engineering



Impending doom is upon us, and only your team of engineers can help us! Discover how your knowledge of earth science can be applied to to avoid a mass extinction. Will you be able to save the people of Alabraska? Identify the problem this week, and determine how big a shelter you will need as you are introduced to the Asteroid Impact project.

8th  Engineering



Need I say more? You have been put in charge of your own learning. It is time to hunker down and develop your idea. Show us what you are capable of doing. You can do it!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

This Week on the Island


Dates to Remember:

  • Wear Green Spirit day - 03/17
  • Cesar Chavez Day 03/31 - No school

Need help with something? Post your questions on Edmodo.

Classroom News

  5th Science



As we continue the study of Earth Systems, we will talk about another material that is recycled in the earth system. Water! You will play a fun game where you become a molecule of water and experience what it "feels" to travel through the cycle. Take care of your notes as you will need them to create a fun comic strip.





6th Science 


Now that you know the difference between weather and climate, we will start developing more in-depth ideas about the weather. How do winds develop? How is this related to storms, and where does it all happen? These are some of the questions you will be able to answer by the end of the week!



7th Science



This week we start studying matter and how it reacts. You will build atoms and molecules, and determine the different properties of materials. How does matter change? Is it melting or dissolving?What is up with rust? Chemistry is so much fun!


7th  Engineering

Your bridges are about to be done. How will they behave during testing this week? Which structure will withstand the most weight? As you prepare for the week, make sure you have all your documents in order.

8th  Engineering



Need I say more? You have been put in charge of your own learning. It is time to hunker down and develop your idea. Show us what you are capable of doing. You can do it!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

This Week on the Island 03/06-03/10

Dates to Remember:

  • Wear Green Spirit day - 03/17
  • Cesar Chavez Day 03/31 - No school

Need help with something? Post your questions on Edmodo.

Classroom News

  5th Science



As we continue the study of Earth Systems, you will make some observations on different types of rocks. They may all look the same, but are they? What processes are at play as one rock is changed into another? What happens to rocks over long periods of time? These are some of the questions you will be able to answer as we explore how matter on Earth is recycled.






6th Science 


Your response to the thermos challenge is almost ready. Who will win and make Mrs. Garcia's coffee stay warm the longest? Remember that you need to be able to explain how your product works. What types of heat transfer are being avoided? what types are inevitable?



7th Science




You are almost done explaining just how organisms interact in an ecosystem. Can an endangered species become invasive? Why or why not? How is your species affected by changes in the environment? These are the questions you will be able to explain as you present your projects on Wednesday 


7th  Engineering

This week you will build your bridges. As you construct them, keep track of your work. It is not enough to build, you will need to be able to explain your choices. Get ready to test on Thursday so that you have all the information you need for your final report.



8th  Engineering



Need I say more? You have been put in charge of your own learning. It is time to hunker down and develop your idea. Show us what you are capable of doing. You can do it!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

This Week on the Island 02/27-03/03


Dates to Remember:

  • End of Term is 03/03. My gradebook closes 03/01.

Need help with something? Post your questions on Edmodo.

Classroom News

  5th Science


We continue the study of Earth Systems, by looking inside the Earth. You will learn about the different plates and how they move using the WISE platform. You will explore how different plates interact to create volcanoes, mountains and earthquakes. Be on the lookout for interesting ideas as you work extra hard to complete all the assignments.



6th Science 


After a brief re-cap of what you learned about heat, you will move on to how to limit the transfer of thermal energy. You will be presented with a design challenge. Work with all the information you gathered before as you explain your choices.






7th Science


This week you will work to identify the relationships between organisms in different contexts. Once you are comfortable with this idea, you will receive a challenge. You will have a choice of project to complete, showcasing your knowledge of how organisms interact with each other. 


7th  Engineering


Monday you will have a final work hour to complete your filming of the Hero's Journey video. You will then move on to an interesting design challenge on bridges. How will you ensure that your work is stable and keeps its shape?


8th  Engineering


Verify that your project has been approved by looking for the corresponding Level 1 badge. Start by developing a plan and make sure to keep us informed of your progress.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

This Week on the Island - 02/13-02/17


Dates to Remember:

  • February Break is 02/20-02/24. Enjoy your time off.
  • End of Term is 03/03. My gradebook closes 03/01.

Need help with something? Post your questions on Edmodo.

Classroom News

  5th Science


We begin the study of Earth Systems, by looking inside the Earth. You will learn about the different plates and how they move using the WISE platform. Keep up with the workload, as there are many cool things to explore. By the end of the week you will have a clear understanding of why there are earthquakes in California, and what is all this "hoopla" about faults.



6th Science 





This week is all about understanding the relationship between heat, temperature and matter. You will move through several activities developed in the Wizer.me platform, aimed at deepening your understanding of how matter behaves when energy is added. What does this have to do with popcorn? You will have to wait and see.






7th Science




This week is all about tracking how matter and energy flow through ecosystems. You already know a lot about it, in a different context. It is time to connect two pieces of information and create that mind map that will allow you to think deeper about concepts. Let your ideas cycle through, and put your thinking to good use.  



7th  Engineering


We have partnered up with the 5th grade to create Hero's Journey videos. You will be meeting with your partners and decide on the different shots you need to fully explain their story. Be prepared with your script and shot list, so that you can pay homage to your partner's journey.


8th  Engineering


As a class, you decided to tackle the Genius Hour project. This week, you will need to convince us that your idea is worthy of your time and effort. Read the IGNITE presentation instructions carefully (found both in Schoolloop and Edmodo), as the requirements have changed a tiny bit. Prepare to IGNITE us with your passion for your topic, and everything will be well. Remember to document your research using the CITE-IT rubric you created. These will be checked often!