Because earthquakes can cause walls to crack, foundations to move and even entire buildings to crumble, engineers incorporate incorporate into their structural designs techniques that withstand damage from earthquake forces, for example, cross bracing, large bases and tapered geometry.
Today students learned how engineers construct buildings to withstand damage from earthquakes by building their own structure with toothpicks and marshmallows. Students tested how earthquake-proof their buildings were by testing them on an earthquake simulated in a pan of Jell-O.
Students worked in engineering pairs to present their earthquake-proof homes to their boss. Luckily after the students tested their structures, their boss gave them an opportunity to redesign, rebuild, and test again. Students learned that re-engineering is an important part of the design process.
I. Volcanoes are found all over the world, especially along Earth’s plate boundaries
a. Pressure builds up inside the earth causing hot molten rock from Earth’s mantle to push through the surface.
b. Dried lava forms igneous rocks like pumice and basalt.
c. Example: Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991 and so much volcanic ash was exploded into the air that the temperature of the whole Earth dropped by 1 degree Celsius for a few months
d. Dormant volcanoes have not erupted for a long time.
e. Active volcanoes have erupted recently.
II. There are all different types of volcanoes
a. Cinder cone volcanoes—formed when ashes and cinders are blown out of a single vent, quickly forming a small cone-shaped mountain
b. Composite/stratovolcanoes—formed at convergent plate boundaries, where one plate is pushed under the other. The plate melts into magma which is forced through the surface through multiple cracks or vents. The lava is viscous—thick and slow moving.
c. Shield volcanoes—often form underwater at divergent plate boundaries or over “hot spots.” The lava is runny and made of basalt.
Ask your student the direction their streams and channels traveled during our representation of 500,000 years of rain eroding away a plateau!
As we approach midterm of Q3, I'd like to post some updates on what is going on in our classroom and at WES.
Science--we are finishing up our unit on landforms with studies of glaciers, slope, landslides, volcanos and fossils. How fitting that yesterday when we rubbed sandy ice cubes (glaciers) against tin foil (earth) to represent glacier erosion, there was an epic glacier collapse in Argentina. The students loved seeing and hearing about their lesson happening "live" in another part of the world. Check my tweets to link to the video and ask your student to describe the erosion and deposition taking place.
Writing--in writing this quarter,we are working on persuasive essays. While I persuade the kids to do their homework, they're convincing me why students should have longer recess. At the same time, we have another writing project going on. Our class read a series of persuasive picture books including I Wanna Iguana by Karen Orloff. This book is about a little boy who wants a pet iguana and uses various arguments to convince his mother why he needs the iguana. Our class in turn picked their own "strange" pets and worked with a partner to role play "parent" and "child." The partners wrote persuasive letters back and forth,and let me just say some of these arguments are quite entertaining. We are working on publishing our writing using the StoryKit app for iPad. This app involves typing stories and adding pictures to an online "book." Students can even record their voices reading their stories. We'll be sharing our stories in a few weeks with the first graders in Ms. Montjoy's class and the students are very excited. Speaking of StoryKit, some of you may have received our practice "books" in your inboxes based of Mark Teague's Dear Mrs. LaRue. I'd love to hear your feedback!
Valentines Day--2-14-13. Last week I sent home a class list for students who would like to bring in Valentines to share with classmates. Brining in Valentines is not required, but I do ask that of you do bring in Valentines cards that you make sure ALL students are included. Fourth graders have fragile feelings and I'd love to keep their thoughts positive about this day to celebrate friendship.
Lost & Found--I've sent several children to root through the lost & found already, but it is still super full. If your student lost something, send them to find it before Friday as the lost & found will be donated then.
As always, feel free to email or call with any questions, comments, or concerns. Thanks for your continued support at home!
Mrs. Ana Rhyne
I teach 4th grade math and science at Weatherstone Elementary School. I graduated from Meredith College with a BA in Spanish and K-6 licensure.