Third Graders Study Lost Cities as Part of Remote Learning

As soon as stay-at-home orders switched daily school to remote education from home, Kathleen Shook, third grade teacher at The Learning Center Charter School, immediately switched gears on how to continue enriching E-STEAM and PBL projects for her remote class.  As a result, students embarked on an extensive project based on lost cities of the world.

A targeted E-STEAM education approach ensures students engage in science, technology, engineering and math regularly. PBL is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, complex question, problem, or challenge.

The premise of the lost cities project came from a book the class read together about cities in history that are no longer inhabited either by means of disappearance, natural disaster, or mysterious episode.  Students researched lost cities and chose ones to focus on depending on their interests.  Petra, Atlantis and Great Zimbabwe were popular choices.

At the conclusion of the project, students designed and built models of their chosen lost city.  Many used recycled materials while others used both technology and materials found in nature to build outside forts.

“Not being able to be in the same room with my students is challenging to be able to gauge how my students are delving into a subject,” said Shook.  “However, I know from experience that PBL projects like this harness student curiosity and allow a deeper exploration and understanding of studies.”

The lost cities project included science, reading, writing and social studies components.

“What we could have learned about lost cities in one lesson on one day is nothing compared to the deeply engaged learning that we participated in during our PBL unit with lost cities as our overall theme,” said Shook.

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2nd Grade Studies Butterfly Life Cycle During Remote Learning

As part of remote learning for second graders, students have studied the life cycle of a butterfly. The studies included texts, interactive videos, reading aloud, directed drawing, and digital art. This allowed students to learn science, reading and writing standards!

Additionally, Ms. Stephanie also was able to share the process with her students via photos and video chats of the Painted Lady butterflies that she documented throughout the life cycle process.

Outdoor Science Activities During Remote Learning

During this remote learning environment that our students and staff have been experiencing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, elementary science teacher, Ms. Emily, has included activities in her science lessons that get students outside exploring the outdoors.

Students were tasked with an outdoor challenge to build a fairy fort or a troll tower to welcome tiny outdoor friends. Students had a wonderful time at home interacting with the great outdoors to create beautiful dwellings.  

Additionally, students were also guided on how to take tree and leaf rubbings to help properly identify trees in nature.

6th Grade Science – Earth Structures

Sixth grade students learned about Earth structures, natural disasters and layers of the Earth recently. As a final project for the unit of study, students worked with partners and chose to make, among others things, a video, a children’s book, a 3D model, a Google slide, and a crossword puzzle in order to show understanding of the science standards. They then presented to class what they learned and what their project was about. 

1st Grade Explores Dyeing Fabrics

As part of an ongoing exploration of science in first grade, students experimented with dyeing different types of fibers with both artificial and natural dyes.

They dyed wool fiber and cotton string and were very surprised by some of the results. They hypothisized that the Kool-Aid dye would result in brighter colors than it actual did. They also thought that the purple cabbage would result in a similar purple dye when, in fact, it did not.

All of their findings were on display in the classroom at our annual School Maker Faire in March.

3rd Grade Solar System Art Installation Update

You might remember a few weeks ago reading about the third grade classes making a Solar System art installation in their classroom for display during our annual School Maker Faire.

The entire classroom was turned into the Solar System. QCodes were placed among different parts so that a visitor could scan the code and learn about that particular object found in our Solar System.

There were facts and visual representations of so many interesting things found in our Solar System. The hands on activities were also enjoyed by all who visited as well. Way to go students!

Third graders Gear Up for 5th Annual School Maker Faire

Third graders at The Learning Center Charter School read a book about Vincent Van Gogh early in the school year and immediately wanted to try their hand at replicating his famous art. 

Teacher Kathleen Shook tapped into the student interest and has allowed the class to continue their exploration of famous artists.

“After we spent time making Van Gogh replicas, we journeyed into independent studies of artists that interested us,” said Shook. 

The class has spent time looking at photography as art and as a way to tell stories. They have explored different art forms including pottery, metal work, graffiti, hieroglyphics, and ultimately took an interest in installations, or whole rooms that are transformed into art projects. In fact, the class decided to incorporate science into an art project by taking their studies of outer space and transforming their classroom into an art piece that shows off the Solar System. 

The final Solar System art installation will be unveiled at the 5th Annual School Maker Faire on March 12th from 3:30-6:30.

A School Maker Faire is a place to show what you’ve made and to share what you’ve learned with others.  Schools host Maker Faires because they are a perfect combination of part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new. School Maker Faire exhibitors, or “makers,” are primarily students—either as individuals, clubs, classes or groups.  Maker Faire exhibits can be from any discipline — from science to art to gardening to engineering to craft.

“We have begun planetary research that will lead us into art, and we hope to use QR codes to make the exhibit interactive and educational,” said Shook. 

The community is invited and encouraged to be part of the 5th Annual School Maker Faire set for March 12th from 3:30-6:30 on the campus of The Learning Center Charter School located at 945 Conaheeta Street in Murphy. Visit www.naturally grownkids.org to learn more or call 835-7240 to register to be a Maker at the event.

2nd Grade Science – Making Slime

Recently, students in second grade finished a unit in science learning all about the properties of matter. They made slime to see if they could use what they had learned to determine if slime is a solid or a liquid. Interestingly, they couldn’t decide whether it was a solid or liquid because it had certain properties of each.  

3rd Grade Science…and Snack

Third graders recently enjoyed DIY microwave popcorn grown in the TLC garden. An heirloom breed called pappys gems was grown and students microwaved it simply in a brown paper bag avoiding the chemicals often included in microwave popcorn. A science lesson with a snack was a hit for all!