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Second Quarter Project Based Learning


The kindergarten will be answering the question, “What is a family”.  They will be exploring what families can do, what they are, and what they may look like. We will discover where families live and how our classroom families may be the same or different.


The first grade will work through the process of identifying a problem, creating a model, testing and revising multiple times to build models for two different challenges. In one challenge, they will look at what gravity and drag have to with slowing a reindeer down. Students will work with a partner to create and test a reindeer parachute. In the second challenge, the teams will look at what it takes to build a stable "chimney" out of gumdrops and toothpicks. They will explore what gravity does to keep us down, how to create stability, use STEM principals and figure out how to keep their "chimney" up.


The second grade is learning about simple machines.  By building models and completing experiments, they will see how each simple machine makes work easier.  A final project will be explaining how simple machines help us around the school.


The third grade will explore the question, “What's it like over there?”  Students will learn about and compare people, cultures, and physical features of places around the world. Our exploration will include Christmas traditions, languages, and more! We will document our findings and create an informational brochure which showcases our discoveries.


The fourth grade will dive further into the world of persuasive writing. Students will work together to create their own restaurant and persuasive advertisements for their restaurant. Throughout the project, the students will have the chance to create job applications, menus, employee awards, and more while all working as a team. 


The fifth grade conducted research about the renewable resources of Solar and Wind energy.  Students became the expert and had to research a town and then make recommendations as to which renewable option was the best choice for the city.  Students had to support their decision with data, and then list the benefits and drawbacks of their decision.  The culmination was to present their final conclusions, data, and information to their classmates.


The sixth grade will explore Latin American culture!  Every student, as a part of a group, will be responsible for bringing Latin American culture to our class.  The class will be divided up into three groups, with each group representing a particular area of Latin America (Central America, South America or the Caribbean). Students will answer the driving question, "What are examples of Latin American culture and how do they affect people in Latin America and us here in the United States." 


The seventh grade will be answering our driving question: How are Newton's Laws of Motion at work in our everyday lives? To explore this question, we will be making Rube Goldberg machines to accomplish a simple, every day task. The students will be working with a group to brainstorm a task to accomplish, write a materials list for the supplies they will need to provide, make blueprints for how the machine will look and work when done, and build the actual machine before testing it and making revisions if needed. By doing this project, students will be experiencing Newton's Laws of Motion on a first-hand basis and seeing how forces can be manipulated or diverted to get work accomplished.


The eighth grade will be doing a project titled "How do you read a book?". For this project, we will focus on read aloud skills and expressive reading. The students will practice with several different texts that are provides. At the culmination of this project students will choose their own short story to record themselves reading. Throughout the project, we will also learn about how literary elements effect expressive reading. 


Winterim, our annual two week journey into Project Based Learning, starts after the New Year and runs from January 8 to January 19.  Students will be creating new projects which will be on display at the Wonders of Winterim on Sunday, January 21 from noon until 3 PM.  Look for additional details concerning the Wonders of Winterim in upcoming Newsletters.

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