Science and the American Century Study

Prior to Thanksgiving Break,  5th graders studied Physical Science concepts such as Sound, Heat, Electric,  and Light Energy.  Between the Thanksgiving and Christmas Breaks,  students will study The American Century:  1900 – 2000.  This unit will focus on important events and inventions of the 20th Century in the United States.  Science concepts will be included as 5th graders move through the decades chronologically.  This week will include the period from 1900 to and including the events leading up to World War II.


Physical Science concepts covered this week include forms of energy and types of matter that make good insulators or conductors.  5th graders constructed their own insulators on Monday, 11/6/17,  in an attempt to trap heat energy in a standard sized soda can filled with hot H2O.  They used pieces of matter brought from home,  or those provided in the classroom.  Monitoring thermal energy loss over a 15 minute period,  they learned what homeowners already know.  Keeping heat energy in–or out for that matter,  can be a challenge.  Study now moves to matter that will insulate or conduct electrical energy.   Student grade sheets by early next week should have the following entries:

Assignment                                               Grade

  1.  Life Science Common Assessment          ______
  2.  Unit 1:  Physical Properties of Matter        ______
  3.  Unit 2:  Boil / Freeze                                  ______
  4.  Unit 6:  Energy                                           ______

5th Grade Physical Science Study

Students will examine concepts of matter,  states of matter,  relative density,  mass,  weight,  and other Physical Science concepts this week relating to matter.  Vocabulary can be found in student lab folders.  Hands – on labs will cover these ideas.

Grade Sheets by Friday,  October 27th, 2017:

Assignment                                                        Grade

  1.  Life Science Common Assessment            ______
  2. Unit 1:  Physical Properties of Matter           ______                                                                                                            *Common Assessments cannot be corrected for a higher  grade.  

Home Stretch for Life Science

5th graders have studied Science lab safety,  procedures,  tools,  and Life Science concepts since the beginning of school.  There will be a Life Science Common Assessment on Wednesday – Thursday,  October 18th & 19th,  2017.  The majority of this 22 -question assessment will cover Life Science concepts.  Some Science lab procedures,  safety,  and tools questions will also be asked.  Students can take their lab folders home at any time to review concepts.   While we do not completely drop Life Science ideas,  the focus will shift towards Physical Science concepts beginning the week of 10/23/17.

The last three entries on student grade sheets are as follows:

Assignment                                              Grade

#7:  Comparing Structures / Functions                ______

#8:  Ecosystem Talkers                                        ______

#9:  Unit 27:  Food Webs / Metamorph.               ______

Grade #9 will be the last grade for this first 9 week period,  and will be entered into Skyward by next Wednesday,  10/18/17.  Students are beginning the assignment today,  Thursday,  10/12/17.

Inherited or Learned

This week,  students examined Inherited Traits through a hands – on lab experiment in which they created a Reebop creature using inherited physical characteristics passed from parent to offspring.  We will continue examining this concept and begin comparing it to the idea of learned behavior / acquired trait.

Grade sheets in lab folders:

  1.  Science Lab Equipment / Safety
  2. Scientific Inv.,  Reasoning,  Ecosystems
  3. Living / Nonliving in Ecosystems
  4. Life Cycles Within Ecosystems
  5. Unit 30: Characteristics
  6. Unit 31:  Inherited Traits
  7. Comparing Structures / Functions (next week).

Stayin’ Alive

The week of 9/18/17 – 9/22/17 will see 5th graders studying characteristics,  structures,  and behaviors on organisms that allow for survival in a given ecosystem.  These features actually determine which ecosystems an organism will call home.  Polar bears have NEVER been observed in the Nature Center behind our school for a reason.   Hands – on labs and investigations include the Structural Inherited Traits Spinner activity,  Comparing Structures / Adaptations / Functions lab,  and possible Nature Center observations.


Grade #4:  Life Cycles Within Ecosystems

Grade #5:  Unit 30:  Characteristics

5th Grade Life Science Study Continues

5th Graders will continue Life Science Investigations with hands – on observations and activities.  Tuesday / Wednesday- students will complete GRADE #2:  Scientific Investigation / Reasoning,  Ecosystems, Equipment.   Then, 5th Graders examine the role of PRODUCERS in EcoSYSTEMS,  and how they work.  Comparisons of Living / Nonliving parts of the EcoSYSTEM on Wednesday / Thursday.  Second 1/2 of period Thursday and Friday’s class will likely include GRADE #3:  Living / Nonliving in an Ecosystem.


          ASSIGNMENT                                                                GRADE

  1.  Science Lab Equipment, Safety                                         _______
  2.  Scientific Investigation, Reasoning, Ecosystems               _______
  3.  Living / Nonliving in an Ecosystem                                     _______

We will begin studying characteristics on living organisms that allow them to survive in an EcoSYSTEM next week.

5th Grade Research/ Life Science Begins

The year has started out solid in 5th Grade Science.  Students have completed several lab stations covering Scientific Method, equipment, and safe lab procedures.  This week,  Life Science study begins.  Weather conditions may keep us from going out to the Nature Center (behind the school),  but students will begin understanding what an EcoSYSTEM is,  all of the parts it involves, and the concepts of System and Cycle.   5th graders have completed their first graded assignment for the first 9 weeks.  Grade Sheets,  filled out by the student,  located in the lab folders.  should look like this as of Tuesday,  8/29/17:

ASSIGNMENT                                                                GRADE

  1.  Science Lab Equipment, Equipment, Procedures     _____

Lab folders may be brought home at any time to view lab activities,  graded work,  or to study vocabulary concepts.

5th Grade Science / Decades Wrapping Up

5th Graders are finishing up their school year with a look at The American Century by the decades.  Next week,  we will study the 1990s–important events and pop culture of the last decade of the 20th Century.  Students should have 9 grade entries on their Science lab folder grade sheets,  unless they were a part of the Math / Reading bootcamp.    Grade #5 – Matter and It’s Properties – will also count as grade #9 because it is a large and important concept in 5th Grade Science,  which warrants the extra weight of this grade.

We have had a good year in 5th Grade Science.  All the best to each and every student as we dismiss for the Summer and begin a new school year in the Fall.


5th Graders across the State will take the Science STAAR test on Wednesday, May 10.   White Oak 5th graders have worked hard this year through hands – on labs, outdoor investigations,  and in – class projects to understand the concepts that will be tested.   They are ready to show what they know.  Please discuss with your child what they have learned this year.  Show and review examples of Science concepts in everyday life,  around the house,  and in your neighborhood.  This helps students solidify the knowledge they have as they connect it to their environment.

Please help your child to be successful by making sure they get plenty of rest the night before the Science STAAR (Tuesday).   They should eat a good breakfast and come to school ready to master this test.

Thank you for your support of 5th grade Science this year.  They will be ready on Wednesday.