Thursday, December 8, 2011

Weekly Update 12/9/11 by CiCi, Hannah, Morgan, Sammi, and Jasmine

Sigma Supermodels Strike a Pose!

This week's bloggers:  Cici, Hanna, Jasmine, Sammi, Morgan

We made a presentation to the faculty and staff at Thomas this Monday about what our Sigma program is about.  We had a fun time preparing for the presentation and getting to share what being on the Sigma team is all about. 

This week in LA and social studies we read a picture book version of The Epic of Gilgamesh (a very long poem) and discussed what makes Gilgamesh a hero.  We talked about the idea of heroism and then talked about ways that Maniac Magee from our class novel is a hero, too.

Two Heroes
Our two heroes helped their communities solve their problems over 4,000 years apart!  What do they have in common?  They both do things for other people.  Gilgamesh went on his quest in memory of his friends, and Maniac was trying to help people from different races get along.

Some awesome new pencil sharpeners were donated to our class by Smith Marketing Group.  We are testing them out.  We are collecting data on how well each of the four different sharpeners works based on ease of use, quietness, and sharpening results. We are going to graph our results and give the feedback to the marketing company to then give to the Bostitch Company that makes the sharpeners.

In social studies we are studying Ancient Sumer (modern-day Iraq).  Below we are making inferences about Sumerian civilization by carefully observing Sumerian artifacts.
Katherine and Andrew

Kyle's graphic organizer of inferences he made about Sumerian civilization.

Max's version

For Sigma Team Community Project two of our groups are working on healthy lunches at Thomas.  We have been emailing Mrs. Coletta Hines-Newell, our district's food service director, with questions about school lunches.  On Thursday she came to Thomas to visit us and to answer our questions.  She also told us a lot about what she does in her job.  She goes to Washington DC at least once a year to talk with congressmen about healthy lunches.  Also, she works for two other school districts besides ours.   We are very excited that she is going to use our suggestions for changing the traffic patterns and location of foods in the cafeteria. Also, she is going to offer V-8 Fusion as a drink choice after break.  We are really excited that our idea for V-8 is actually going to happen!!
Mrs. Hines-Newell answering our questions.
Our talk with Mrs. Hines-Newell

In drama we created story maps for our pantomime stories.  We talked about how a good story needs to have a BIG problem or conflict in reading, writing, AND acting.  Here we are making noises to exaggerate the suspense leading to the climax of a story.

It was an exciting week in science.  Cici presented the popular topic of Mentos and Diet Coke.  Here is the result.

 Our solar ovens are finally complete.  We are going to see if we our modified Pizza Hut containers can trap light energy and make chocolate melt.  Hopefully it will be sunny enough!

Katherine, Lauren and Lucas take a break and appreciate the power of static electricity.

Finally we continued to look at phases of matter in science.  Here Josh and Hannah look at food coloring and how fast it moves through waters with different temperatures.

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