Category: Science Gr2-Gr5

Science Gr2-Gr5

One thing I love about living on the East Coast is experiencing seasonal changes. In their continuing exploration of trees, kindergartners are learning how seasonal changes affect trees. During a reading of the beautifully illustrated book, “Sky Tree: Seeing Science Through Art,” by Thomas Locker, students illustrated and labelled their own trees through the seasons.

From walking sticks and grasshoppers to ladybugs and spittlebugs, the world is just full of terrific, interesting insects. First graders have investigating the structures of these amazing creatures in preparation for a trip to the Environmental Study Center on Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, where they will get to study some real life specimens.

Luster, shape, size, color, and texture are just some of the properties of rocks second graders have been studying and using to sort rocks into groups. Recently, students learned that rock sizes even have specific names from the enormous boulder to microscopic clay particles. For the record, the sizes are: boulders, cobbles, pebbles, gravel, sand, silt and clay. Students should also be on the lookout for a favorite rock that they would like to share with the class.

Liters and milliliters are on the minds of third graders these days as we continue our unit on metric measurement. Students investigated whether the 355 mL label on a typical can of soda represents the volume or the capacity of the soda inside the can. What do you think? Ask your child what they discovered. Next up: measuring mass using balances and gram pieces.

0567846c-5f53-4cce-a388-8361de700419Fourth graders learned about a salt marsh ecosystem and the ways of the marsh’s early inhabitants, the Lenni-Lenape, during a trip to the Salt Marsh Nature Center with Ms. Seitz and Ms. Stewart. Students got very attached to burrs (prickly seed cases) found along the trail, sticking them onto their coats and pants for fun. Did you know that burrs inspired a man named George de Mestral to invent Velcro?  Click here for photos!

Fourth graders are also working hard on their food web projects, which are due next week (402 on 11/14/16 and 401 on 11/16/16). Students who are working with a partner should make sure to get together this weekend to put the finishing touches on their work.

Fifth graders have begun their observational studies of birds and will soon be recording data while viewing bird feeding activity via a live cam set up at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, New York. Please allow your child ample time to view the feeders via the Internet. Students will have a short quiz on bird identification on Nov. 17, 2016.

Science Gr2-Gr5

Urban Nature Studies Elective – Grade 5

This week students enjoyed a farm to table experience, growing oyster mushrooms in the classroom and then prepping and cooking them (along with other ingredients) to make delicious mushroom tacos. Frankly, I have never seen so many kids enjoy mushrooms like this–in my own home, they are abhorred by my husband and sons alike and I am sadly, the only mushroom lover in the house. I eat them and I photograph their beauty. Read More

AnnouncementsScience Gr2-Gr5

New York State Grade 4 Elementary-Level Science Test

The New York State Grade 4 Elementary-Level Science Test is a two-part exam that tests students’ content knowledge and science performance skills. The Written Test consists of multiple-choice and open-ended questions while the Performance Test consists of hands-on tasks set up at three stations that each student must complete. Students will perform investigations and take data during these investigations and will be asked to think critically as they use their data and evidence to answer questions in their test booklet.

The performance assessment takes place first–in my room, 407–and is scheduled for May 25-June 3, 2016. Students will take the written exam in their homerooms on June 6, 2016.

I recently gave each student a small booklet of vocabulary words that they may encounter on the test. If your child has lost this list or you would like to see the list, just click here.

Some parents have also asked meBarron's about test prep books. The only one out there is from Barron’s and is available at your local bookstore or from Amazon for less than $9. You can also access tests from previous years (all the way back to 2004) by going to the New York State Education Department’s website. Students also took a mock test in March and should use them as a study guide.

Please remind your children to read all questions and directions slowly and carefully during the test. Sometimes students miss a single word like “not” or a phrase like “choose the best answer” and end up getting an answer wrong not because they don’t understand the question, but they simply rushed through their reading. They should also double check all their answers.

I feel that the kids are ready for this test and I will be cheering for them on the sidelines!



AnnouncementsScience Gr2-Gr5

Week of April 4, 2016

Due to the New York State ELA tests, the fourth and fifth grade science schedule will be affected this week. Third graders and second graders will have their regular schedule.

Fifth-graders will get their nutrition quizzes back on Monday, April 4. Please sign them and have your child return them to class. When science resumes, we will explore the digestive system.

Fourth-graders received their graded water quizzes on Friday. Please sign them and have your child return them to class. They also received their mock New York State science test results. These mocks are used to inform my teaching and to familiarize the students on the format and tone of the New York State science test, scheduled for the first week in June. These mocks may be kept and studied as the exam content is similar from year to year.

Third graders have been having a blast creating wind-up toys. At this point, everyone has a successful wind-up with some students having created two or three wind-ups! Next up is a quick study of simple machines, followed by life science studies, with a focus on plant and animal adaptations.


Second graders have started a new unit on forces, motion, and balance. This week they are learning how to use counterweights to balances a series of different shapes.

And in my Budding Botanists mixed arts, students enjoyed a visit from Gateway National Recreation Area rangers who worked with students to transplant native plants that we collected from Floyd Bennett Field, then germinated in the science classroom. Later in the spring, the budding botanists will finally transplant their seedlings directly in the growing pollinator garden at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.