This year, science has been scheduled into two sessions of four to five-week learning blocks so students can have a more frequent and concentrated science experience.
The fourth graders began their year in science by learning about systems. What is a system? A system is a complex whole made up of interacting parts. With this definition, students looked more closely at common objects (like a tape dispenser) or more complex systems, (like our musculoskeletal system), to figure out how the different parts work together to make a whole system operate.
During this unit, they took wind-up toys apart and tried to rebuild them, created different types of simple machines (including a windmill that had to lift a small weight) and built a model of a leg that bends and flexes!
In October, students in third grade began to learn about urban birds that inhabit the same environment as they do—the city of Chicago. Third graders are learning how to identify the birds by their size, shape, field marks and color patterns. They are also closely examining two very important traits of birds—their feathers and beaks—to analyze and discuss how these bodily features help the birds survive, how they change and adapt over time and how the data they collect gives real-world scientists multiple lines of evidence to explain how animal species evolve.