6th Grade STEM — Learning About Pollination

2017091395132345

Sixth graders have been learning about pollination. They listened to a presentation by a special USDA representative about what pollination is and why it is so important.   2017091395132355

Students learned how pollinators are an essential link in agriculture. Animal pollinators, especially bees, are critical for producing more than one-third of U.S. food products. In addition to bees, other pollinators, including butterflies and moths, beetles, flies, wasps, birds, and bats are necessary for pollinating more than 80% of plants in nature.

2017091395132402

In addition to what the class learned in the presentation, they have gone on to build their own 3D models of pollinators based on what traits an efficient pollinator needs.

2017091395132413 2017091395132602 2017091395132614 2017090595133414

7th Grade Science — Biological Inheritance & Gene Tracing

2017090695084256

Recently, seventh grade students have been studying biological inheritance and genetics. They have followed a horse pedigree, completed gene surveys and are currently creating aliens based on Punnett squares.  The Punnett square is a diagram that is used to predict an outcome of a particular cross or breeding experiment. It is named after Reginald C. Punnett, who devised the approach. The diagram is used by biologists to determine the probability of an offspring having a particular genotype.

2017090695084323 2017090695084354

2nd Grade STEM Bins

IMG_6805

Second graders were recently introduced to STEM Bins, a hands-on form of engineering for elementary students. STEM Bins contain a large variety of materials.  When a student opens the bin and sees the contents he or she is encouraged to think imaginatively.  Students have the chance to design and build real world things such as working tools, bridges, mazes or traps.  However, they can also design something the world has never seen before.  STEM Bins promote creativity and engineering by using 2D and 3D shapes, lines, and angles.
IMG_6804

As the second graders were introduced to STEM Bins, they worked together collaboratively as they thought about what to build as well as when they improved upon designs together as their structures took shape.

FullSizeRender

Second graders will continue to use STEM Bins throughout the school year.

IMG_6798 IMG_6800 IMG_6802 IMG_6806

Exciting New Math Approach Takes Hold at Learning Center Charter School

Students at The Learning Center Charter School are experiencing a new approach to math this school year, termed Guided Math, due in large part to second grade teacher, Stephanie Hopper. In spring of 2016, she began researching math curriculum. The more she researched, the more she realized that no magical math curriculum exists. She saw that it’s not the curriculum but the approach to math that better meets the needs of the school’s diverse population of students.

Learning Center Charter School - Guided Math

Guided Math is now what kindergarten through fifth grade students at the charter school do each day. Math class begins with a math warm up and is soon followed by a whole group mini lesson which focuses on a specific math standard.  After that, students work in smaller groups following a rotation schedule according to STACK. STACK stands for 1) Small group with the teacher, 2) Technology, 3) Apply what they have learned; 4) Create using critical thinking skills through math journaling, and 5) Kinesthetic, or in other words, hands-on games and activities. These rotations allow the students to experience direct instruction as well as student-centered activities and hands-on learning. The teacher is able to work with small groups of students to further enhance the direct instruction and work closely with those who are struggling and those who are ready to be further challenged. After the daily rotation is complete, the class comes back together as a whole and reflects on the lessons of the day.

Ms. Hopper says that student response to Guided Math has been great and is a perfect addition to the school’s Four-Blocks English Language Arts Program. Fourth grade teacher, Chris Conroy says, “My experience with Guided Math so far is that students are much more engaged in their work. They enjoy helping their fellow group members and love the rotations. The Guided Math approach gives students the opportunity to learn the math standards in many different ways and allows the teacher to monitor each individual child and provide differentiated instruction and lessons. It’s a win-win learning experience!”

 

Thanks for Making the Annual Parent Fair a Success

1

The annual Parent Fair was held August 17, 2017 from 1:30-6:00 pm and served as way to inform and to provide parents of enrolled students with all of the “start-up” details for the upcoming school year. It also provided an opportunity for parents and the community to explore the full range of Learning Center offerings.

2 3

1st Graders Spend Time Outdoors Observing Living and Nonliving Things

IMG_7142

First grade scientists recently ventured outside with Ms. Katie, Ms. Becky, and Ms. Emily as they began learning out in the field in The Outdoor Learning Center (TOLC.) They observed and recorded living and nonliving parts of our environment.  They discussed that all living things grow, eat, react, reproduce, and move. Students were fascinated to learn the different ways plants move! They also noted several ways that plant and animals show signs of life by reacting to stimuli.

IMG_7143 IMG_7144