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During the Fourth Nine Weeks, students will continue Life Science concepts, and will review all Science Objectives in preparation for the STAAR Science Test on Wednesday, April 24.
Life Science concepts include:
1) Ecosystem Interactions: the flow of energy from the Sun and through food chains, and overlapping food chains which create food webs. Ecosystem interactions also include all BIOTIC (living) and ABIOTIC (nonliving) elements.
2) Life Cycles: including complete metamorphosis of insects, (for example, the moth or butterfly's egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages); and incomplete metamorphosis, (for example, the grasshopper or dragonfly's egg, nymph, and adult stages). This section also includes birth and growth of animals and their development.
3) Inherited Traits and Learned Behaviors: including differentiating between inherited traits that an organism is born with, (such as the color of fur or the color of eyes)-- and a learned behavior (such as a raccoon learning to search park areas for food, or a dog catching a frisbee).
4) Adaptations: including both plant and animal adaptations--both structural and behavioral--those changes that allow an organism to survive.
Parents can assist their children in mastering Life Science concepts by challenging them to make connections with the world around them. Making real-world connections is one of the best ways to encourage higher-order thinking in your child. It helps him or her to "think like a scientist!"
Students also will be challenged to increase the depth and complexity of their learning throughout this Nine-Weeks through opportunities to research and investigate certain topics in greater depth, and make interdisciplinary and real-world connections. They will participate in a "Three-Cycle-Tower" project as part of the STAAR review, and will engage in a bird project later in the Spring. This promises to be a busy and exciting Quarter, and I look forward to working with your child!