K – 5 Lessons in the Discovery Lab

Posted by Laurie Sullivan at 6/9/2013

This month each grade level is participating in the “Send your Name to Mars” project. Families may participate in this activity too. Visit http://lasp.colorado.edu/maven/goingtomars/send-your-name Last week Kindergarten students learned about Taylor’s 10th birthday celebration….a flight in an ultralight with the whooping cranes! The students put photos of themselves in model ultralights and led paper whooping cranes on a pretend migration from Wisconsin (Discovery Lab) to Florida (their classroom). You can read about Barrett’s Kindergarten Whooping Crane project here: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/crane/Sullivan_Home.html This week and the following week the students will conclude their study of this endangered animal in the Discovery Lab. First graders are finishing up their Animals in Space Toontastic animation projects. Second graders are concluding their study of endangered sea turtles and how people and nature impact sea turtles in helpful and harmful ways. Third graders are wrapping up the year by reading the iBooks created by each of the Barrett third grade classes after their field trip to Patuxent Wildlife Refuge. If you would like to download a PDF version for your computer or the iBook version for your iPad, please visit http://tinyurl.com/BarrettNature. Mrs. Flores’ students and Ms. Smith’s students will participate in a videoconference with NASA at 8:30AM on Wednesday June 19th, which also happens to be my birthday 🙂 This week fourth graders will attend a presentation on watersheds and the Chesapeake Bay by Mark Bryer from the Nature Conservancy. Also, during the last week of school, on Tuesday June 18, the 4th graders will complete one last engineering design challenge.

I am really going to miss teaching Barrett’s wonderful fifth grade students. I have known most of the students since Kindergarten! For our last Project Discovery time together, the students completed a NASA Explorer School project. I thought this was a special way to end our time together, as I feel we are fortunate that in 2005/06 Barrett was selected as the first elementary school in Virginia to be a NASA Explorer School. During the lesson each child made a working model End Effector (hand) for a robotic arm. I hope the students shared their End Effector at home. I overheard one student say, “BEST…LESSON…EVER!” It made my day 🙂