Thanksgiving students looked at pond water and found many cool things swimming in the water.
They also started a miniature landfill using material they would typically throw in the garbage.
They placed some of the material in Ziploc bags, to simulate garbage placed in garbage bags, and
then placed similar material under soil to simulate an unsanitary landfill. Each week students
simulate rain on the landfill. At this point students can see different types of lichen growing on
the soil in their miniature ecosystems. We will compare the decomposition of these materials just
before winter break in December.
We are currently studying populations and ecosystems. Students are looking at the
factors that limit a population’s growth, and what happens when a population reaches the
carrying capacity. Using our math skills we will calculate how many horses can graze on pasture
before they use up all the resources in the pasture. We will discuss with students if they feel,
based on their calculations, if the earth can support the current world population having the same
eating habits as they do. We will discuss what the projected world population will be in the year
2015, 2030, and 2045 and determine if the earth could support these populations.
After the holiday break Life Science students will begin studying the systems of the
human body beginning with cells and cellular functions. We will cover the integumentary
system, skeletal system, muscular system, circulatory system, lymphatic system and finally the
Earth Science students are currently exploring weathering of rocks which leads to soil
formation, then erosion, and finally deposition. They are looking at the different types of erosion
including mass movements, wind, and ice. 8th graders are working in groups ranging in size
from two to four students. These groups are researching a portion of the unit and presenting the
information to their peers using several different methods including making short movies on the
computer. With the presenters that have currently shared their research, I am really excited to
see the remainder of the presentations. After all the presenters have finished students will take
oral examinations over the material presented.
Every morning one 8th grade student researches and presents the day’s weather in our
morning announcements. This has truly been a fantastic experience for our students and many
have become very comfortable in front of the camera. There may be someday we will see one of
our very own students doing the local news and making it their career.
After break, we will begin studying rivers and issues associated with rivers. Students
will find the watershed to which they belong. We will investigate the major rivers of the world
and the importance of rivers. We will discuss flooding causes and effects. Students will look at
several environmental issues related to flooding. They will then determine what motivates
people to choose sides when controversial issues regarding the environment arise.