Sunday, September 25, 2011

Can you believe it's the last week of September!?!

This first term of the school year is going by so fast!  Get ready for an exciting week.  First, i'm sure you are all excited for our field trip to Tybee's Burton 4-H Center.  We will be leaving first thing Tuesday morning to make it out to the island for a day of marsh and beach fun!  Did you read the article in the SMN about the baby turtle being nursed back to health at the center?  Check it out before our trip on Tuesday...and cross your fingers that we get to see this cute little turtle!  We will be getting into the ocean to do some work with a seine net, so wear something that can get wet.  You may also wish to bring a change of clothes and a towel.  Lunch will be provided, so you don't need to pack anything to eat.  You may wish to bring a bottle of water.

In math, we will be taking a look at factors.  We will talk about using factor trees to help us discover the prime factorization of numbers.  In addition, we will be practicing finding the greatest common factors of sets of numbers.  While we will not have a quiz this week in math, be on the lookout for a few nights of homework.  HERE is an online practice program about factors you may want to check out.

In science, we will be getting our hands dirty talking about soil.  We will have a lesson on Monday, and will work on a followup choice sheet for the next two weeks.  This Friday (Sept. 30) will be a vocabulary test on these words:

soil- a loose mixture of rock fragments, organic material, water, and air that can support the growth of vegetation
soil structure- the arrangement of soil particles
soil texture- the soil quality that is based on the proportions of soil particles
bedrock- the layer of rock beneath soil
humus- dark, organic material formed in soil from the decaying remains of plants and animals
leaching- the removal of substances that can be dissolved from rock, ore, or layers of soil due to passing of water
parent rock- a rock formation that is the source of soil

Next Friday (Oct. 7), we will be having a test on what we've learned about soil.  Here is a study guide you can use to help you prepare:

Soil Study Guide

Weathering (rock materials are broken down)
1.     chemical weathering (weak acids, air)
2.     mechanical weathering (ice, plants, abrasion)
Soil (loose mixture of rock, organic material, water, and air)
1.     residual soil- remain above parent rock
2.     transported soil- blown or washed away from parent rock
3.     Soil Horizons (See diagram)
4.     Soil and Climate
a.    Tropical Rain Forest- Nutrient poor soil because of leaching, thin topsoil, and lush vegetation with great demand for nutrients
b.    Desert- low rate of weathering means soil is created at a slower rate
c.     Temperate Forest and Grasslands- Some of the most productive in the world because of high level of weathering (moderate rain, freezing temperatures).
d.    Arctic- Slow soil formation.  Little rain and cold temperatures cause animals/plants to decompose slowly.  Little humus.
5.      Soil Conservation
a.    Ways to stop erosion (loss of topsoil)
                                                       i.     contour plowing- plow across the slope of hills
                                                     ii.     crop rotation- planting different crops from year to year to use less nutrients

Mr. Brandon will stop by to help us this week.  In addition, Ms. Fe knows a lot about soil, so you may wish to ask her for some help in your studies.  

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!  See you tomorrow morning!

Mr. Trent

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