Columbia Science Blog

Plate Tectonics Prezi -- a great resource!

posted Mar 29, 2012, 11:54 AM by David E. Lawrence

Here is the link to the Prezi I created to help give you the "big picture" of Plate Tectonics and our four main learning targets:

I will continue to add details to it, so please check it out often!

Next quiz: Greenhouse Effect, Wed 1/11

posted Jan 10, 2012, 10:21 AM by David E. Lawrence   [ updated Jan 10, 2012, 10:22 AM ]

Science Quiz: Friday December 23rd

posted Dec 20, 2011, 9:59 AM by David E. Lawrence

Extra Help Session will be on Thursday afternoon from 2:55 to 3:55.

Check out Photographer Li Wei's Work -- Amazing!

posted Oct 21, 2011, 11:52 AM by David Lawrence

Today in class, we had a spirited discussion about the difference between OBSERVATIONS and INFERENCES. During our discussion, we looked at a number of thought provoking images to see if we could separate our direct observations from the inferences about "what the heck is going on" in the photos. It wasn't easy!

One of the most interesting photos came from a terrific Chinese photographer named Li Wei. Here is a link to his site if you would like to view more of his photos. They're amazing!

Using Data to Answer a Question

posted Sep 12, 2011, 6:45 AM by David Lawrence   [ updated Sep 12, 2011, 8:22 AM ]

Today in Columbia Science, students shared their scatter plots that they finished over the weekend. We first examined our graphs to ensure that they were constructed properly and had all the necessary parts (such as a title, proper scale, axis labels, etc.). Next, we used our graphs to begin drawing conclusions to answer our question, "Do taller people have longer arms than shorter people?".

We also introduced the concept of a "trend line". I normally do not introduce the idea of trend lines until 8th grade, but this particular group of 6th graders were up to the challenge! We discussed the idea of drawing a single line that might best represent the trend that they were seeing in the data, and came up with something that looked like this:

We also introduced the concept of "outliers" in data -- those data points that seem to be significantly different from the rest of our data. We discussed some of the reasons that might cause a dot on the graph to be an outlier. Some ideas generated by the students were measurement error, graphing error, or the fact that some taller students might simply have shorter arms, and some shorter students might actually have longer arms.

Tonight, our students will be writing short papers (1/2 page to 1 page long) in which they will use the data and their analysis of the scatter plot to support their conclusion.

Do Taller kids have longer arms than shorter kids?

posted Sep 6, 2011, 9:56 AM by David E. Lawrence

Height Chart
Today we began our unit on measurement by asking ourselves the question, "Do taller kids have longer arms than shorter kids?" Each student made a prediction, and then we discussed how we would go about examining this question.

Each student worked with a partner to measure their arm length and their height to the nearest tenth of a centimeter. They collected data on a table, and then shared their data with the rest of the students in the class.

Soon, we will learn how to graph this data in order to use it to help us answer our experimental question. I am excited to see how this all turns out! 

Hello 6th Graders!

posted Sep 2, 2011, 7:57 PM by David E. Lawrence

I'm so excited to be your science teacher this year! We have a ton of really exciting experiments and activities planned for you -- I think you are really going to enjoy our year together.

I'm going to use this blog to discuss the things we are doing in class, share some interesting science news, slip in some helpful advice about surviving 6th grade with a smile, and maybe even post some pictures of all of you young scientists at work!

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