Mr. Yerington’s Updates

News and Information from Mr. Yerington’s Classroom

A Great Start

Posted by iateacher on August 18, 2013

Well, I just had to say that the first two days of school were great. I am really looking forward to a great year with this group of 6th graders.

Monday (Tomorrow) we will be going over my classroom expectations. Your child should be bringing home a paper that has all the information on it. They also will have a letter for you to sign and give them to return to me.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me via e-mail, or phone the school.

Thanks

Mr. Yerington

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Welcome New 6th Graders!

Posted by iateacher on August 13, 2013

Hello,

I would just like to say hello to all my new 6th graders as well as the parent’s and guardians.  Some of you I met at Back to School Night and others I won’t meet until Thursday, but I am really looking forward to a great year.  We’ll have lots of fun and learn a lot this year.

If you ever have questions or concerns please make sure you contact me and let me know!!

Thanks

Mr. Yerington

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Welcome to Mr. Yerington’s Class

Posted by iateacher on September 4, 2012

Hello Parents, Guardians, and Students

I am FINALLY getting around to doing my first update for the school year.  About time, right!   Anyway, I think the school year is off to a great start.  I’m enjoying getting to know each of my new students and hope they are enjoying science class.  There are a few things I want parents and guardians to be aware of so let’s get to that:

1)  As indicated on my class information sheet that was sent home the first week of school, I DO NOT give extra credit.  However, I have told students that when they receive a D or F on an assignment they may re-do the assignment ONCE to improve their grade.  Please encourage your child to do this if you notice on Power School they have a low grade.

2)  I told students just today that I am implementing a classroom management system similar to our SPEAR Awards that we used to do school wide.  When I see students doing well or going “above and beyond” they will receive one or more tickets.  These may be saved and redeemed for various rewards such as a homework coupon, a pop or gum pass, the student choosing their own seat for the class period or even teaching the class for a period!  I will also be doing monthly drawings where the student who has the ticket(s) I draw may choose any ONE reward for their one matching ticket!!  I’m looking forward to having a lot of fun with this system!

Finally, what’s going on in class right now??  We have started our Introduction to Science unit.  For those of you who have had students in my class in the past we have changed this unit a bit.  It is no longer entirely book-based.  We will be doing guest speakers, a field trip to Power and Water and more hands on activities.  We will learn the basics of science through a short unit on energy.  It should be a lot of fun.

When we finish Intro to Science we will be heading into our Cells, Brain and Eye unit – of course the highlight of this unit is our brain and eye dissections!!  Watch for more about this in my next issue of classroom news!

Until then, if you have questions or comments please feel free to contact me!

Thank You

Mr. Yerington

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CLASSROOM NEWS – APRIL 2012

Posted by iateacher on April 10, 2012

Hello Parents, Guardians and Students:

Well, here we are in April!  Amazing.  School will be over before we know it!  The main subject of this issue of Mr. Yerington’s Classroom News is to update you on two projects your child is or will be starting soon.  Those would be the moon log and the rover project.

 

MOON LOGS

We started our moon logs on April 5.  Students will observe the moon every night until May 6.  They simply need to go out, look for the moon and draw it on their paper.  They should also include the time they observed.  If it’s cloudy students may write “cloudy” instead of the time and we will go over what the moon looked like each day in class.  The goal here is for students to notice and learn about the phases of the moon from full to new and everything in between!

 

ROVER PROJECT

The other project we are starting is the rover project.  Some students (those in periods 2, 3, and 4) received the information today.  The rest (period 6, 7, and 8) will get it tomorrow.  Students may choose one of two projects, but I suspect “most” of them will choose the rover or probe .  If they choose this they need to build a model of a rover or probe and write a couple of paragraphs describing what planet their rover or probe will go to, what data it will collect, why they choose that planet, how the rover/probe will get their, etc.  The rover/probe may be built out of almost anything: Legos, cardboard, wood, paper, styrofoam, etc!  I am encouraging creativity.  Students will show their rover/probe to the class and talk about it.

Those students who DO NOT wish to build a rover or probe need to find a current article on the internet that deals with a space topic.  They will then write either a a newspaper article (using the who, what, where, why, and how) or a script as if they were a TV news reporter.  This will be presented to the class.

Either project is worth 50 points and will be due May 1.

If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me at eayeringATmachlinkDOTcom

Thanks!

Mr. Yerington

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Classroom News – March

Posted by iateacher on March 20, 2012

Hello parents, guardians and students

Once again, I find myself behind on updating the web log.  Sorry about that.  I love this time of year when the cold grays of winter melt into the beautiful colors and warm weather of spring time!  Of course, the time change and loosing an hour of sleep always throws me off, but oh well!  Enough of that – let’s find out what’s new in Mr. Yerington’s class!

As I mentioned to some of you at parent-teacher conferences we are in our last major unit of the year.  This is over Planetary Science.  We are starting by finding out where exactly WE are located.  To that end, right now, as I type this post my students are drawing maps of West Middle School.  Tomorrow we will view Google Earth images of West.  We will keep increasing our elevation until we are viewing the whole planet – showing students how our little corner of the world is really VERY small!

From there we will talk about evidence that ancient people used to figure out that the Earth is, in fact, round and not flat as was believed for years!  Next we will discuss day and night – we’ll talk about how day and night happen, time zones and more.

Next we move into the moon.  We will be keeping a moon log in this portion of the unit.  Students will need to go outside each night and look for the moon.  They will then need to draw what it looked like so they can see the phases.  We will also talk about moon craters and will even simulate moon craters in class! Then we will label some of the more prominent craters and maria found on the moon.

Next, one of the big highlights of this unit we’ll talk about landing on the moon.  What had to be considered in order for humans to set foot on the moon?  We will view a documentary with footage and interview from the actual Apollo astronauts!

Our other “big” project in this unit will be to design and build a “rover” and show it in class.  More details will be on my blog later.

Well, that about sums up March and probably April as well!  See you next time!

Mr. Yerington

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Classroom News – January 2012

Posted by iateacher on January 24, 2012

Dear Parents, Guardians and Students:

Well, once again I find myself behind on updating the blog.  Sorry about that!  I meant to do a post right after winter break and that didn’t happen!  Anyway, here’s what’s been happening and what’s coming up in Mr. Yerington’s science classroom.

We just finished up with our Levers and Pulleys projects.  I think it was a lot of fun and gave the students a chance to explore a topic they were interested.  Most of the groups did SUPER on both their project (working together in class) and their presentation.  Speaking of which, a little explanation on the grading of those projects might be in order.

First, students received a “project” grade.  This came from three areas.  a) The teacher – I kept track of how often students were “on-task” in class.  I tried to get around to each student at least three times each day.  I then gave them 5 points if they were on task every time I checked, 3 points if they were on task 2 out of 3 times and 1 point if they were on task 1 time.  Then at the end of the work time in class I figured the grades like any other.  b)  The student themselves – each student wrote down what they did to help their group and then assigned themselves a grade based on what they did.  I was very pleased because it seemed the students were VERY honest with themselves as well as me!  c)  Their group – each student also graded the other members of their group.  Again, they had to justify the grade telling me what the students did or did not do to deserve the grade.  The teacher grade, student grade and group grades were then averaged to arrive at a final grade.

Second, the students received a presentation grade.  This was based on a rubric I gave the students before we started the project.  I graded them on participation, factual content, grammar and punctuation, evidence of learning, and presentation skills.  The presentation grade was the same for each member of the group.

And now – coming up…

We will be starting mixtures and solutions next.  Students have been asked to bring their own goggles or safety glasses if possible.  There will be some available for those that do not have their own, but if students invest in a pair now they will have them all three years of middle school.  In mixtures and solutions we will be learning what mixtures and solutions are,  and how to make them and take them apart.  Then we will move into the concept of saturation and will test several chemicals to find out how soluble they are in water.  Next we’ll move into concentration and find out how concentration effects solutions.  Finally we will spend a little bit of time on chemical reactions.

That just about sums up what’s going on.  As always if you have questions or comments please let me know!

Thanks

Mr. Yerington

 

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Levers and Pulleys Test – 2011

Posted by iateacher on December 7, 2011

Attention Parents, Guardians and Students:

We are almost done with our Levers and Pulleys unit.  The final test will take place next Friday, December 16.  First, there is an online version of the test which you can access here.  Second, the following items will help guide you (or your student) in what to study:

VOCABULARY

  • lever
  • lever arm
  • load
  • fulcrum
  • effort
  • spring scale
  • Newton
  • diagram
  • advantage
  • pulley
  • simple machine

OTHER

  • Be prepared to correctly read a spring scale
  • Be prepared to correctly diagram one or more lever systems (using the proper symbols)
  • Be able to correctly diagram several real-world levers with the load, fulcrum and effort symbols and direction of force
  • Be able to tell which pulley systems WILL and WILL NOT provide the user with an advantage by reducing the effort
  • Be able to calculate the effort needed to lift a load in a particular pulley system
  • Know how far one must pull the rope in order to move the load specified distance
  • Be able to identify pulley systems that WILL and WILL NOT work properly
  • Explain how to load a large boulder into a truck using a lever and a pulley (separately – not together…)

If students have questions about any of the following I encourage them to see me BEFORE the test day for help!  We will review on Thursday using the SMART Response system!

Thanks

Mr. Yerington

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Classroom News – November 2011

Posted by iateacher on October 31, 2011

Parents, Guardians and Students:

Where is this school year going?  I can’t believe we are finished with the first quarter of the year and it’s November already!

First of all this month I would like to thank all of you who came to parent/teacher conferences last Tuesday and Thursday as well as our Celebration of Learning on Thursday night.  If you were unable to make it but would like to discuss your child’s progress please feel free to contact me via phone or e-mail (eayeringATmuscatineDOTk12.ia.us) (Replace the AT and DOT with the actual symbols – I’m trying to avoid spam!)

Now, on to what’s going on in the classroom.  We will be finishing up our Cells, Brain and Eye unit and taking the test next WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9.  The online sample test is on my web site and ready to go!  Once we finish this unit and test over it we will start our next unit on Levers and Pulleys.  Our Levers and Pulleys unit is different because it is a FOSS Kit.  What this really means is that students will be divided into groups and will do a hands-on lab just about every day.  They will learn about the three classes of levers and how to make each, real life examples of these levers,  how to diagram levers, and the math behind levers.  Then we will talk about pulleys:  both single and double.  We will build pulley systems and measure the amount of force required and the distance the load moves.  Again we will talk about the math involved in a pulley system as well.  If there is time I would like to have the students plan, research and conduct their own project using a lever or pulley.  Watch my blog for more information!!

That about sums up what’s coming up this month.  As always feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns!

Thanks

Mr. Yerington

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Cells, Brain and Eye Test – 2011

Posted by iateacher on October 31, 2011

Hello Parents, Guardians and Students:

Below you will find the list of what students should know for the Cells, Brain and Eye test.  As of right now the test will be on Wednesday, November 9.  Also – the online test is available now in my web site, but students HAVE NOT learned about the eye yet.  We will be doing that this week!


VOCABULARY

  • cell
  • nucleus
  • cerebrum
  • cerebellum
  • medulla
  • synapse
  • neuron
  • pupil
  • cornea
  • life processes

CONCEPTS

  • know the three main parts of the brain
  • know what the pupil does in bright light vs. dim light
  • know the types of nerve cells
  • know that reflex actions protect the body from harm
  • know why the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and vice versa
  • be able properly label the parts of a pair of neurons
  • be able to label a diagram of the eye
  • be able to label a diagram of the brain
  • be able to label a diagram of a cell (plant or animal) and identify which type it is

Thanks!!

Mr. Yerington

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Classroom News – October 2011

Posted by iateacher on September 30, 2011

Hello Parents, Guardians and Students:

I can’t believe it’s the last day of November already!  Time seems to fly.  October brings a LOT of important things in my science classroom so, let’s get to them!

First, you have probably already read this in a previous post, but we will be taking our “Introduction to Science” unit test on Friday, October 7.  The online sample test is posted on my web site and there is a list of what to study in my previous post.

Once we are done with Introduction to Science we will start our unit on Cells, the Brain and the Eye.  We will start by learning about life processes and the parts of the cell.  After this we will begin learning about the parts of the brain and how our amazing brain works.  At some point in October we will be doing our first dissection!  This will be our sheep brain.  Please be advised that students are NOT required to touch the brain, however, I would like them to take part in the dissection and at least watch if they are uncomfortable touching it.  After our dissection of the brain we will learn the part of the eye and how the eye works.  Finally, we will dissect a sheep eye as well.  The eye dissection probably won’t take place until November, but that all depends on how quickly we progress through the first part of the unit.

Another exciting thing happening is that students are earning those SPEAR awards and some of my students have enough to become “Teacher of the Class”.  When students accumulate 25 SPEAR awards they may choose to teach a class for a period.  I am very excited about having some of my students teach.  It’s proven that we remember 95% of what we teach to others so I think this is a very valuable experience.  Not only that but students learn exactly what teachers deal with day to day!  Many a student has said to me after teaching “That was HARD!”, but they also seem to have a good time with it as well.

Well, that about sums up October in Mr. Yeringtons’ class!  As always if you have any questions give me a call or shoot me an e-mail!

Mr. Yerington

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