We are now a couple of weeks into our new science unit on Land, Water, and Human Interactions. The overarching theme for the unit will focus on how the human impact (building structures) caused changes to land and water quality. Students have looked at how building on different types of terrain can cause potential concerns for water quality (assignment #1). We continued by analyzing how the property of dissolving solids can potentially cause issues as solids enter various water sources (assignment / lab #2). We concluded last week by participating in a lab that focused on erosion control and what we can do to mitigate potential problems.
The second part of the unit has focused on developing our technology skills, especially in the Google suite. Students have created tables and graphs in Google sheets along with writing formulas to help calculate data. The class spent this past week working on enhancing our Google slides presentations by incorporating the use of more advanced formatting options to create a professional look. We look forward to continuing to build further background knowledge in Google documents this week.
Google Classroom Checks
The science team wanted to remind parents and students about the importance of continuing to review Google Classroom on a regular basis, especially as we transition back to the cohort model after Thanksgiving break. Students need to read and reread the directions on the assignments to make sure they are completing and attaching all of the necessary parts of the assignment. Our hope is to keep any “snowballs” of missing work at a minimum.
Communication Methods and Private Comments
Likewise to the Google Classroom checks, we encourage students to reach out to us with any questions that they may have about their assignments. During the school day, Webex is the preferred tool of communication, while email would be better at night. One form of communication we highly discourage students from using is the private comments on the assignments. Those comments do not have notifications and will not be seen until the assignment is reviewed.
Live Stream of Class
We are now several weeks into live streaming the launch of our lessons. Students can access our classroom call via the space created for their class in Webex. It is important that students log in at the scheduled times that can be found on the Saratoga website. The time they are scheduled to be “in science class” is one of the best chances for them to reach out to both peers and staff about any concerns they may have about what they need to complete. Students who do not work on the assignments during the normally scheduled science time may not be able to get immediate feedback due to our commitments to other classes or regularly scheduled meetings.