We are preparing for our first math league meet which is Monday, November 14th. After working on practice questions for about a week, the time has finally come. Once a month we go to Immaculate Heart of Mary and compete for an hour with our teams. At PRIED we have two teams, the 6-7th grade team and the 8th grade team. I am so excited for this to start.
We have just finished learning about the three branches of government. We were each assigned one or two partners and a branch of government. My group was assigned the Executive branch, and after some research, we started to brainstorm ideas for our presentation. Two groups did an iMovie, and my group did a puppet show. After each group presented, we were sent a google doc that had information about each branch. We were supposed to study the document so that we would be ready for the test in two days. I learned that the president’s cabinet is part of the Executive branch along with everyone inside it. I also learned that the Executive branch is in charge of implementing and enforcing laws. In all, this was a really fun and educational project.
This week we visited a beautiful and healthy ecosystem called The Laurels for a science field trip. In science we’ve been talking a lot about what makes an environment, habitat or ecosystem healthy. One thing to look for is biodiversity which means a variety of species in the same ecosystem. We definitely found this. We saw plenty of plant species, bird species, and mammal species, even some fungi! We took a nice hike through the chilly woods and got a glimpse of one of the cleanest streams in the Christina River watershed. Although it was cold, it was a wonderful fall day for a hike in the woods. Afterwards, we visited a park to test a new type of ecosystem; a pond. Ponds support very different types of life than streams or forests because the still water doesn’t provide enough oxygen for the same macroinvertebrates found in a flowing gurgling stream. Because of this we found some strange and unique critters below the surface such as fish, slugs, a dragonfly nymph, and my personal favorite, the fairy shrimp. Not only does this creature have a magical name, it really is a quite magical sight. It has a rubbery texture and it’s completely transparent! If you look closely you can see the organs inside such as the heart and stomach. As for the land animals that feed off of these pond creatures, there was everything from geese to a very friendly family of ducks to blue herons to kingfishers. The birds there were absolutely beautiful, and the variety of birds was quite a surprise considering the lack of biodiversity below the surface, but a good indicator that things might start looking up for this little pond. This field trip was a nice way to get outside and explore ecosystems first hand, as well as also figuring out what indicates a healthy and unhealthy environment.
A couple weeks ago we finished our first art project. What we had to do was use recycled art materials to spell out PRIED ART. I did the letter “A,” and I used cardboard, paint, plastic lids, plastic cups, sea shells, thimbles, and erasers. It took us about one month to complete this project. The project took a lot of trial and error. I think that the finished product looks great!
Last week my peers and I went on a science field trip to the Laurels and to Anson B. Nixon Park. At the Laurels we went for a hike and observed many birds and types of plants such as cardinals, white oak and low brush blueberry. At both the Laurels and Anson B. Nixon we took soil samples and found out that the soil at the Laurels was much lighter than the other soil sample. At Anson B Nixon we explored the ponds and caught critters in the ponds. We only found very few animals concluding that the pond was pretty unhealthy.
This week I started a new cover story lesson. I have to write to someone related to my magazine topic. My topic is marine animals, and I chose to write to someone who is a Marine Biologist. In my letter I told her some things about myself, and I asked some questions about her job. These are some of the questions I asked her. What is your favorite part about being a Marine Biologist? How long have you been a Marine Biologist? What is your favorite marine animal? I am really excited to send the letter, and I hope that she writes back.
Last Wednesday, we went on a trip to the Laurels. While there, we walked around and recorded different things. One of these was all the living things we saw. Some of these were things I’ve seen before, but some I’ve never even heard of! This includes things like Witch Hazel and Beech Drop. It was really interesting to look at every little living thing in this forest and to really see how many there are. We also recorded things such as the temperature of the air, soil, and water, and also took soil samples. After going there, we went to test a pond in Kennett by collecting microorganisms. When we were there, we did about the same thing we did in the Laurels. Sadly, this pond was very polluted so we couldn’t find much in the water. Although we were not able to find much in the water, we did see things like a Great Blue Heron, a Kingfisher, some geese, and a few ducks. Overall, I think this was a very interesting field trip, and I hope we can go to the Laurels again!
We have been participating in the Stock Market Game. The Stock Market Game allows students from different schools to perform trades in the stock market. Each school competes against both students of their age, and students who are younger and older than they are. This game is great for schools because it helps students learn the value of money and how to make smart trades in the stock market. The game gives each team $100,000 in imaginary money to start, and when the competition is over, the top five teams with the most money get to go to Washington DC. We had a financial advisor come into our class to teach us about the stock market so that we knew the different kinds of shares you can buy such as a mutual fund or a stock. He also taught us what was a safe buy and what was a risky buy. In all, this game is a great way for us to learn about the stock market.
During this school year we have implemented design thinking. For our first project we will be teaming up with Special Spaces. In this project we will raise money and then create a bedroom with the money for a child with a disability. We are going to be doing a babysitting fundraiser and maybe some others. We want to do a yard sale, a bake sale, and a raffle to make money as well. We are also going to send letters to stores to see if they can donate to us. After we make around $3000 we will find out what this child likes and what their needs are. Next, we will help to design and build the room. When we finish we will show the child his/her room. I am really excited to be doing this project, and I can’t wait to start building.
A few weeks ago we went canoeing for science. The reason we went on the canoe trip was because we wanted to see how good the water quality was in the Brandywine creek. We found macroinvertebrates to tell if the water quality was good or bad. We used nets to get the macroinvertebrates and scraped off rocks so they would get on the net. We took the macroinvertebrates off the net by using paintbrushes and then organized them into ice cube trays. We used charts and found out the water quality was excellent. I think this was a very good learning experience.