Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Electricity Four!


Electrician of the week is DECLAN!

Yesterday and continuing today, we made squishy, sushi, glowing, squeaking, spinning circuits. We started by making circuits that explained what we were doing. Here’s exactly what we were up to.

Some awesome scientist-mom invented this Play-and-make-electricity-doh. One dough had a lot of salt in it (like, a LOT A LOT) and water with lots of minerals that conduct electricity. The other dough had sugar, oils, and purified water. (Suggesting, don’t eat either). The first dough conducted electricity and the second dough was an insulator. 

We had LED’s, motors, noisemakers, and one battery pack per pair. Each partnership got one glob of each type of dough. We started by doing five assigned activities on a worksheet, conducting the electricity into the LEDs through the dough, and discovering  more about fascinatingness! Our favorite project was the SUSHI CIRCUIT!! 

Then we let our knowledge go wild!!

First, we tried to make a dragon from Wings of Fire named Tsunami. Her stripes light up, and she roars. Operation failure. The current wouldn’t carry.
Then we tried to make the word Peril (after the dragon, we’re obsessed by the series). Same problem, it didn’t work.
Then, finally, we made an O with rocks. When the battery was turned on, the rocks glowed because of LEDs hidden under them and the dough of the O whistled.

First we made a Tsunami (same one by the way) with two glowing stripes and three LEDs on each stripe. Also, it had a working annoying squeaker. Then, we made a present that glowed!

Now, finally, for the quote of the week.
“If the electricity can only go one route, the bulb is either off or dimmer than it should be.”


Friday, December 18, 2015

Electricity Three!

by Arin, Josh, and Declan
Electrician of the week is JOSH!!

Today, we learned a new language. Yeah, in, science class. We learned the language of the electricians. The language of symbols used in electricity when talking about bulbs and batteries and the like. Then we used it.

We made and drew circuits using this language. The circuits we made had to be made out of nine electric objects. We could chose from:
  • Wires
  • Batteries
  • Bulbs
  • Battery Holder
  • Bulb Holder

Some images change when they are crossed or connected (wires) positive or negative up (battery) or on a holder or not (battery and bulb).
See the picture below for the key to the secret language.

“The more batteries, the bigger the glow. This can be balanced out by the number of bulbs added to the circuit.”

Next week we’ll be discussing conductors again, but this time with squishy circuits!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Electricity 2

by Arin, Joshua, and Declan

Today, in fourth grade, we were working on a sort of circuit tester for the project we will be conducting next week.

We made a cool and yet disconnected circuit using all of the materials we used last week. The battery was in a holder with a wire sticking out of each side. One wire was connected to a bulb holder, while the other dangled disconnected.
Another wire was connected to the bulb holder, and that one also hung dangled. So there was not enough electrical current to make the bulb light up. (Oh, right! The bulb was screwed into the bulb holder!) Once you connect the two dangling wires, the bulb list up, because that is a complete electrical circuit. 

The word circuit is an old-fashioned word for ‘go around’, which makes perfect sense. A circuit goes around!

A circuit can be made with not only electrons passing through a wire, but also can be made with water passing through a pipe or hose.

Next week, we will use the dangling wire points to touch them to a surface, and see if it makes the bulb light up. We will be talking about conductors, those surfaces that do make the bulb light up. It does work on the clip of Declan’s watch, like we have tested in preparation. 

“Positive and negative sources are opposites, meaning they each need to be connected or opposed to each other,”


Look at the photo below showing four stages of wiring connection to make the bulb light. Only the bulb in the last picture lights up.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Electricity One

by Joshua, Arin, and Declan

In science, we just started an Electricity Unit and classmates are practically zapping each other with excitement.

“No, I zapped myself with a wire,” says Declan.
There were injuries, sparks and heat here and there.

Yesterday, we tried to light up a lightbulb using three out of five electricity-related items that were supposed to make the bulb light up. The items were:
Battery Case
Lightbulb Holder
The correct combination for lighting the bulb is shown in a photo.
First you need a D battery, a bulb, and a wire. (Be careful of shocks and burns!) Touch the wire to the negative side of battery. Then take the other side of the wire and touch it to the silver part of the bulb. Then the very bottom of bulb to positive side of battery. It will light up!

You need a positive and a negative charge from the battery to power the bulb

Look down to see photos of work and experiments that worked and didn't

Come back next week for new powered-up information!!!

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Ballerina Chicken

By Shae

November 20th, 2015, about ten students witnessed a Ballerina chicken in action right in front of the school building.

“Like literally, she was dancing,” says fourth grader Arin Andrews.

Indeed, this chicken about every five minutes would leap into the air like a graceful butterfly. Some say, she lives only about 15 seconds away at  the home of Niema, a girl in 3rd grade, and her sisters.

The following video shows the short musical: “The Butchers and the Vegetarians.” Here are the following actors:
               Sage and Sarah,
              Nora and Joanna
              and Shae.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


by Alex

You only get to do SAFE in 4th grade. It's really fun and our last day was on 10/20/15. On the last day we got to go in the SAFE trailer and they have not real smoke in one room and you have to do 
what you would do to get out of a real fire. And in one room you get to find things that aren’t safe. 
But you only get to do safe in 4th grade so when you're in 4th grade remember you will have SAFE!

You will also get one whole lesson about how cigarettes are bad for you. And on the last day of 
SAFE you will get to practice calling 911. But if you were the person who called 911 outside when you were doing the SAFE trailer, you don't get to call when you're inside.

Monday, November 16, 2015


By Arin

Blog readers may be interested in the books that are being read in grade four. Fourth, fifth and sixth graders participate in the MCBA, Massachusetts Children’s Book Award, twenty-five books on a list that kids can read and vote on.

If you read at least five of the chosen books, you can participate in the MCBA party at the end of the MCBA year! 

Some favorites of this year are…
Athlete vs. Mathlete
+20 more!

MCBA lists can be gotten from the Spear Library and any of the local libraries. This year the schools have combined the school-board-made list with some books that the schools (Leverett, Shutesbury, etc.) have recommended. Some of the school-added books are:
Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble
Better Nate Than Ever
The Power of Poppy Pendle

There are also lots of games and contests that are included in the very awesome MCBA years at SES!!! We keep track of how many books each kid has read in the year. I have read 14 and I am getting ready to read Wings of Fire.

Here’s a funny ending: my fourteenth book that I read, Counting by Sevens (a tragically sad tale) is about math. And 7x2=14! Talk about counting by sevens!
And adults, some of these books are books that parents/guardians would enjoy. Here are two especially that I have read: 
Counting by Sevens
The One and Only Ivan


A question brought up by Joshua Goodhind
Post written by Arin Andrews

Last year, these three specials were longer, Art, Music and P.E.

When we were in third grade, there were four very important specials. They were Art, Music, Computer/Library, and P.E.. P.E was forty-five minutes long, Music was 1 hour, and Art was 1 hour. This year, we’re cut short on time with these three specials.

P.E is now forty minutes. Fourth graders agree that it’s too short to get real exercise. It feels like it whizzes by way to quickly.
⛺️Art is now fifty-five minutes. It’s also been cut short by five minutes. Though the period is longer than the P.E period, it still feels like it’s not long enough.

Music is fifty-five minutes too. That’s barely enough time to go into the real perspective of music and learn all the things you need to know.

Computer/Library, strangely enough, has not changed its timing. It always has been an hour, and it’s never changed. The question here is: what’s the motivation to change and not change the timings for these specials that we love?

One more thing, they don’t seem to be exchanging the specials for other things. There are no more special clubs at the school than there have been in past years. There are no more time-consuming activities than usual. Is it just because they don’t think kids get enough work time done???
If you come up with any answers or information about the topic, find a way to tell the bloggers and Josh; we really are wondering about this meddlesome question.


JOSH—he’s curious too.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Gilbert!!! (by Sara)

In March, after a discussion our class decided to get a fish. We were hoping to get the fish that Monday but we realized we never asked our principal Ms. Mendonsa. In the afternoon we saw Ms. Mendonsa in the library and asked her if we could get a fish. She said she thought it was a great idea to get a class fish.

The next Monday we were hoping to see the fish but Ms. Scott said that she could write a persuasive letter to Petco to get a free tank, heater, and filter and also a coupon for a fish for free instead. We asked Ms. Scott what kind of fish we were getting and she said either a betta or a goldfish.

On Monday we finally got to see the fish and its amazing tank and all the cool things Ms. Scott bought with her own money for the tank. It took a while to name our betta fish because there were a lot of wonderful names like Cookie, Bubbles, Clyde, Jewel, Mr. Hercules Devil, Finn, Gilbert, and King. Eventually the class decided to name him Gilbert.

He is super colorful and seems to think swimming under the filter is a game. He blends in with all the colorful plants that Ms. Scott bought for him. I hope he is happy in his new home!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Word Problems...

Cereal! Cereal! Cereal!

We are beginning our study of breakfast cereals, learning to think critically about their history, advertising, and nutritional values! Students will bring empty boxes of cereals they eat at home into school, and we'll analyze and compare these based on nutritional values like sugar, fat, protein, calories, sodium, and iron. We are excited to share our findings with the school through the line plots and bar graphs we'll create!

A great resource for all things cereal is the Mr. Breakfast website. Check it out!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The December Play (by Sara)

In December the whole school acted in a play based on the book Switch On The Night. Each class performed an amazing part in the play. The preschool wove through the crowd carrying lanterns and singing This Little Light Of Mine. The kindergarten did a wonderful dance to a fun song about animal noises. They also had really cool costumes that looked like the animals they were playing. 

The first grade did a stunning performance. They wore amazing glow in the dark shorts and moved around the stage slowly so they looked like animals of the night.The second grade educated us about bats. To do that they used cardboard puppets behind a white curtain so they could show shadow puppets while they spoke. The third grade also did a really cool performance. They acted out a story about animals and they even used animal puppets which were really cool.
I think the fourth grade did one of the best performances though.We all acted out things in space like planets or stars and many other things. All of us wore really cool finger lights and bracelets that lit up. The main characters were actually huge puppets that the 5/6 made. The 5/6 did a bunch of back stage stuff like holding lanterns and bringing the puppets on stage. At the end of the play the whole school sang And At Last I See The Night which is a song from the movie Tangled. The performance was great and really fun!!!!! 

Smencils! (by Ana and Makenna)

 This year were going all out on our library!

We are going to be selling Smencils for one dollar each for our class library to have bean bags. Any extra money is going to unicef:)

Smencils are pencils that come in different smells, like for instance fruit, soda and sweets! Also we are going to be reorganizing the class library and we got new books. We got poetry books and new magazines !!!!!!!!!! 

First Field Trip (by Nichole)

On October 28, 2014 we went on our first field trip of the year. It was a sunny day and we were walking to the M.N. Spear Library. It took about a half an hour but we made it! Finally when we got there we all ran around on the big yard a little bit and then we went inside.

The library is small but has a lot of books. The librarian read us some books and was nice. Some people got a library card. Some didn't. We looked at cool books, then we went outside again and ran around for a little bit. Then we had some snacks. We had capri suns, cookies, and muffins. After the drinks and food we left and walked back for a half an hour. Then we got back to school.