Well, winter is almost over, and has just about passed us by! It has been very pleasant passing a winter without interruptions to the schedule caused by snow and ice. We added more snowflakes to our door than we actually got on the ground!
Here in life skills we started our New Year talking about goals. Each of the students chose (or had chosen for them!) a goal that they need to work on improving, either at school or at home. Some are working to improve an academic goal, some a social goal, and some a behavior goal. Some of the students are making really great progress on their goals. Others still have some work to do!
In science we have started studying the ocean. We are currently talking about the ocean bottom. We’ve learned that the bottom of the ocean has some of the same geographic features that exist on land, like mountains, volcanoes and canyons (trenches). We have also talked about the continental shelf and slope.
We have looked at sand through magnifying glasses and talked about how sand particles are pieces that have been broken from rocks and shells by moving water. We made sediment bottles to look at how pieces of different sizes settle on the bottom.
We have also talked about the properties of salt water, showing that it is easier for things to float in salt water by watching a piece of potato sink in a glass of tap water, but magically float in a glass of salt water.
Currently, we are talking about some of the things that live on the ocean floor. We are learning that there were once animals that lived in the beautiful shells we find on the beach. We have talked about clams, whelk, and hermit crabs. Crabs, horseshoe crabs, lobsters and shrimp are yet to come. We have started an ocean mural on the wall outside the classroom. It’s not too terribly exciting right now. So far, we just have the ocean floor (with the continental shelf and slope), and some enthusiastically colored shells scattered on the ocean floor. As we study each new element, that will be added to our mural, until we have an ocean full of creatures!
A mural that will soon be teeming with ocean life!
We also had a special treat last week. We were able to visit the Mobile Science Ag Lab that was visiting the school. It is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.
The topic was healthy snacks vs. unhealthy snacks. The students worked in pairs to examine the amount of fat residue left by various foods in order to determine the healthier snacks. They really felt like real scientists!