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Mr. Pendleton

ABOUT ME

I have taught at the Lyme school since the year 2000. Previous to my time in Lyme I taught at the elementary level in several Upper Valley Schools in both Vermont and New Hampshire. Before my time in education I was a historical interpreter at a living history museum.

GRADE SIX SCIENCE

The sixth graders were introduced to the routines of middle school science in their first science classes of the year. They were given the sixth grade science book called Scott Foresman Science, yellow science folders, and little blue spelling books that fit nicely into the pockets of the science folder to use as science notebooks. They learned how to make a book cover from a grocery bag to protect their science text.

After that, the children began their first unit in middle school science by studying the effects of thermal energy on matter. We had many discussions about what matter is made of and how the particles of matter behave when energy is added or taken away. We used Data Loggers to compare the Celsius and the Fahrenheit temperature scales, saw how changes in thermal energy caused the expansion and contraction of a balloon on a bottle, and recorded and graphed palm temperatures that we measured with Data Loggers.

At the end of the unit the kids explored how insulation when they did the Ice Cube Survival lab. In this activity the boys and girls each chose one type of insulating substance to surround an ice cube in order to see how long it would “survive”. During the lab the children practiced using metric balances and using percents and graphs to analyze results. We followed up the lab with great discussions about conduction, convection, and radiation.

In the next unit the sixth graders will be exploring mixtures, solutions, chemical reactions, and acids and bases.

Please check in with your child about science assignments. These are posted on Google Classroom. If they need help, please encourage your child to see me. I am available during the call back period, morning break, from 7:45 to 8:00 every morning, and after school.

GRADE SEVEN SCIENCE

The seventh graders quickly settled in to the science routine over these first weeks of school. They were given the seventh grade science book called Glencoe Life Science, yellow science folders, and little blue spelling books to use for notebooks. The kids quickly covered their science books and were ready to learn science!

The seventh graders began the year learning what science is and what scientists do. They reviewed the scientific process and practiced using metric balances. We learned about scientific classification methods and how dichotomous keys are created. To do this the kids worked through classifying a variety of objects: plain paper shapes, colored paper shapes, household objects in tuna cans. After much practice the children worked in lab groups to make their own dichotomous keys for a collection of garden seeds. As further practice we will soon go outside to use a field guide to identify local trees.

Another part of the unit dealt with the traits and needs of living things. This topic led to the first major lab of the year. In this activity the children worked in cooperative groups and used scientific processes to plan an investigation into the conditions that are most suitable for the hatching and growth of brine shrimp. The kids worked hard on this assignment and had lots of fun!

The children will be beginning a study of cell parts and functions and viruses next week. In order to do this they will be developing microscope skills as they explore these topics.

Please check in with your child about science assignments. These are posted on Google Classroom. If they need help, please encourage your child to see me. I am available during the call back period, morning break, from 7:45 to 8:00 every morning, and after school.

GRADE EIGHT SCIENCE

The eighth graders settled in quickly to the science routine during the first weeks of school. They were given the eighth grade science book called Glencoe Earth Science, yellow science folders, and little blue spelling books to use for notebooks.

After relearning how to cover their science books the children reviewed the scientific process and learned how scientists work like detectives by gathering evidence to solve mysteries in the natural world. Ask your child how scientists used clues from drowned forests in the states Washington and New Hampshire to a learn about a historic devastating tsunami in Japan and Pleistocene glaciation in New England.

The first lab that the children undertook this year was an exploration of how changes to a pendulum’s mass, length, or angle of release would affect the period of the pendulum’s swing. As a follow up, Abbe Murphy graciously hosted a field trip to the Lyme Congregational Church. At the church, the boys and girls saw how the pendulum regulated the antique clock and bell system high in the church tower. As bonuses, the kids had fun playing Quiz Bowl and learned a little bit about the architectural history of the church.

Currently the children are leaning about matter. We began at the atomic level with a review of the parts of an atom. Isotopes and Ions were investigated and types of atomic bonds were discussed. The kids made simple models of helium and lithium atoms. An on-going lab is an investigation into the battery life of Duracell and Ace D cell batteries in common flashlights. The children have been testing these every class period since the beginning of the year. After many hours the batteries continue to work.

As the quarter proceeds the kids do several investigations into properties of matter, particularly density and buoyancy. These concepts will be helpful as when we begin our study of minerals.

Please check in with your child about science assignments. These are posted on Google Classroom. If they need help, please encourage your child to see me. I am available during the call back period, morning break, from 7:45 to 8:00 every morning, and after school.