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News and Notes Email - Oct 9, 2009

Greetings from 204

The week that was:

This week we started - but didn't bring to completion - most of our projects.

We are in the midst of:

Reading projects about the dog books.  Each child is working on 3 projects related to their books from a menu of choices.  They may be working alone or with a group on any or all of the three.  Please ask what they've begun and how it's going.

Science planting and observation:  We planted terrariums with radish, clover, barley, pea and corn seeds.  They are in a "closed system" in order to self water for now - we are watching for germination.

Some were able to pollinate their Wisconsin Fast plants this past week with the "bee on a stick" method.  Please ask your child if their fast plants are progressing as planned - or if they needed to be "adopted" by another group in order to observe the whole life cycle carefully.

Mississippi River trip journals: a compilation of work from before, during, and after our Monday trip on the River - still more additions needed.  Monday turned out to be a lovely day for the trip on the river and the walk downtown from there.  Hope your child enjoyed the trip through the lock and their learning stations.

Writing work on a memory of a person/time/or place.  We took time today to share work to date and they are really coming along well.  Please ask your child to tell you about their choice of topic, and whether they are happy with their work so far, or want to start again with another idea.

(Either is OK, but re-starting would require some at-home time.) This is also a continuing project. 

The week to come:  Due to swimming we will mostly work to finish the book projects and river journal projects.  If there is time I want to add some bug investigations (these involve controlling the variables in an environment so that the effect of individual factors can be observed and learning that each organism has a set of preferred environmental conditions).  I'm not very hopeful this will fit in our time in the room next week.

Please remember!

     * Swimming on M, T and W next week

     * Turning in Wolf Ridge sheets ASAP

     * To check out all the work on our Barton Room 204 website by Ruby.

 You are now able to see photos, pdf's of the permissions slips and word work, etc.  It's the place to go with questions.

Good to know:

The following is a great resource for kids learning new vocabulary - it will pronounce the word for them, give a "kid friendly" definition in writing, and show a picture.  Please mark this at home for easy reference for future Word Work.

Two interesting science related upcoming community events for families and kids:

Minneapolis Central Library at 300 Nicollet Mall and the Hennepin County Library System will host Chemists in the Library on Saturday, October 17, 2009, 2:00 4:00 p.m. This group, sponsored by the MN Section of the American Chemical Society, presents hands-on science activities appropriate for all ages.  A volunteer group of chemistry students, teachers and professionals are eager to share science with all ages.

Come and have some science fun!   

The program is in the Children's Library, downtown Minneapolis Central Library.  Young people can drop-in and experiment for as long as

interest and time allows.    612 630-6281 or 612 630-6284

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is pleased to announce the first ever Science Matters Community Event for twin city-area elementary teachers, parents, and families to build awareness about the importance of science learning during the elementary school years. Held in conjunction with the NSTA Minneapolis Area Conference on Science Education (October 2931), the event will take place on Saturday, October 31, from 911 am, at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Exhibit Hall B. The program is FREE and features hands-on science activities that will excite and inspire teachers and parents, and demonstrations that will spark students’ enthusiasm for science. Participants will discover their snack food personality profile, engage in live animal presentations, learn how to make perfume and produce electricity using model wind turbines, and hear from national and local speakers about the importance of quality science education. 

The Science Matters Community Event is graciously sponsored by 3M and the ExxonMobil Foundation and co-hosted with Twin Cities Public Television. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. and the doors open at 9 a.m.

The first 150 participants through the door will receive Science Matters tote bags filled with items donated by companies and organizations exhibiting at the NSTA Conference. Following the event, participants are invited to browse the NSTA Exhibit Hall, where more than 100 companies and organizations will showcase state-of-the-art science materials and products. Participants are encouraged to fill out the registration form and bring it with them to the event. This form can be downloaded from the Science Matters website at


Oct. 12,13 & 14  204 YMCA swimming days remember those suits and towels Oct. 26-28 Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center Middles Team Camping trip

Looks like we'll be needing a real jacket to accompany our "wonder-filled" weekend.



Kathy Scoggin

Barton Open School

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and science."

- Albert Einstein