Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Wondrous Week of November 14th

It's a great time of year to consider reasons to be thankful.  I'm thankful for the opportunity to spend my days with the great students at Ellis!  I'm looking forward to a productive week of learning and fun.

In math, we will be spending our time discovering how to multiply and divide fractions.  We will start by using our fraction bars to do the should be able to multiply and divide fractions without even picking up a pencil!  After we have used the fraction pieces, we will then move on to doing it the paper/pencil way. You will have some math homework and a quiz on multiplication/division of fractions on Thursday. Here's a video some crazy college kids made about multiplying and dividing fractions that you may find enjoyable.  DUDE!

Get ready for a super fun week in science!  We will be talking all about fossils!  Mr. Brandon and I will give you a lesson on Monday.  After your lesson, I will give  you a choice sheet to guide your investigations into the world of fossils.  You will need to complete your short choice sheet by Friday, November 18th.  You will also have a quiz on the fossil note on Friday. Your choice sheet and the quiz will be your first science grades for the second term, so do your best to start the term on a good note.  Here is a copy of Monday's Powerpoint:

1.       What is a fossil?
a.      the remains of physical evidence  of an organism preserved by geologic processes
                                                              i.      trace fossil- any naturally preserved evidence of animal activity (footprint, burrows)
                                                            ii.      mold- a cavity in rock where a plant or animal was buried
                                                          iii.      cast- an object created when sediment fills a mold and becomes rock
                                                           iv.      index fossil- fossils of organisms that lived during a relatively short well-defined time.  They can be used to date unknown fossils discovered nearby.  (ammonites, trilobites)
2.       Where can fossils be found?
a.      rocks- hard parts of organisms are preserved in hardened sediment
b.      amber- hardened tree sap (amber) can trap and preserve insects
c.       petrification- a process in which minerals replace an organisms tissues
d.      asphalt- thick pools of asphalt can bubble to the surface of the earth trapping organisms in them (La Brea asphalt deposits in Los Angeles California)
e.      frozen fossils- cold temperatures slow down decay and can preserve organisms trapped in ice.
3.       How can we use fossils to interpret the past?
a.      fossil record- an incomplete history of organisms on earth created by discoveries of fossils
b.      environmental changes- fossils of certain plants and animals can show how climate and temperature has changed in areas over millions of years
c.       changing organisms- fossils can show how organisms have changed and adapted throughout history
d.      continental drift- similar fossils on different continents help support the theory of continental drift

A few other notes:  this Friday is picture retake day.  It is also a dress-down day for everyone.

See you Monday morning!

Mr. Trent

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