The S.T.E.M and Arts blog by Aurelius Raines II

The S.T.E.M and Arts blog by Aurelius Raines II
"Producers, not Consumers"

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Doing Great Things

So Much To Say!

So much has happened. So let's get caught up.


"What's up with all of the papers, Mr. Raines?" 

I understand that it seems like the students have been doing a lot of writing. I and Mrs. Johnson have been trying to make writing "the new normal". The amount of writing the students are doing is normal for students who excel at writing. The only way to make better writers is to make them write. They should be writing short essays daily in order reinforce skills learned in grammar and vocabulary.  

6th and 7th Grade
We are moving into lessons on ENERGY. Students will be responsible for reading Unit 2 Lesson 1 in their textbooks.
Turn on all of your TV's and games
and watch how much your
meter speeds up

I will break reading assignments into small chunks with longer due dates so that the reading gets done. Since gaining information from text is an area of need for our students, this is something that they  must practice at home as well as at school. You will see an incredible improvement in comprehension if you read and discuss the text with your child. 

Last week's assignment asked that you review your household energy usage with your child. Please share  that knowledge with them by allowing them to see the energy report on the electric and gas bill. Show them where the energy meter for the house is. It is important that they become aware of how  their daily activity effects energy usage. It would be great for them to keep a record of the car's fuel and odometer readings before and after commutes to school. Who knows? It may even get your child to TURN THOSE LIGHTS OUT!

8th Grade
We are picking up on our studies of genetics. We've started by reading about Mitosis. This week, we will be learning about Meiosis. In meiosis, we discuss the
Here is an example of triplets.
Does one of these triplets stand out
to you?
creation of sperm and egg cells which sets us up for understanding the roles that chromosomes and DNA play in heredity. 

Since we will be discussing the reproductive process, it would be wise to talk your child about the finer points of human reproduction. If they have not had "the talk" then some of subjects discussed in class may become confusing. (I have an excellent film that I can share with you if you find the subject difficult. It is tasteful, age appropriate, and fun to watch) 

Talk about genetic trends and traits in your family. Discuss your thoughts on the behavior of your family members and whether those behaviors are learned or genetic. 

Below is a quick lesson on Mitosis created by Trinity. 

Let's get caught up with what we've been doing.

Joshua learns to make servos move with Arduino

Kennedy adds clamps to nail polish shelf that she designed
and manufactured

Raymond puts the finishing touches on his sculpture
designed to remind him of home

Amar jumps rope to get
his heart rate up

Cambridge brainstorm ideas for devices to
help the disabled

Students try out the Innovation Studio at MSI

Students dissect pig hearts. Then it's time for lunch!

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