Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Solar ovens teach conduction, convection, and radiation

Today was the culmination of an 8th grade science project where students built solar ovens. The goal was to use conduction, convection, and radiation heat transfer to cook a S'more.

Groups of 4-5 students worked collaboratively using limited materials (including black paper, tin foil, cardboard boxes, and a few other items you will see in the photos below). The project is part of a Weather and Atmosphere Unit and is assessed using a rubric (that is education jargon the criteria that are used to measure the project). The project requirements include a written description, a data table, and construction criteria:

  • Oven must cook two s’mores at the same time. 
  • Oven must be no larger than 40 cm x 40 cm. 
  • Temperature inside the box must increase by 15oC in 10 minutes. 
  • Food may not touch the bottom of the oven directly. 
  • The two s’mores must cook at two different heights. 

  Today was a great day for cooking--the ovens in this group were able to go up 24 degrees!

Ovens were made of a limited number of materials

The temperature of the oven needed to increase by 15 degrees

Sally Leety Civil Rights Collection

Sally Leety will be retiring in a few days. Ms. Leety has been a member of the Nock team since 1982. In her many years as a middle school teacher, Sally has remained a curious and engaged learner and a passionate advocate for the role of schools in creating a healthy democracy. In honor of her commitment to the development of an 8th grade civics and citizenship curriculum, and her dedication to teaching the many stories and lessons of Civil Rights Movements in the US, a collection has been established in our library. Please join us in wishing Ms. Leety many more years of learning and historical adventures!
Ms. Leety with her civic hero John Lewis

Friday, September 16, 2016

Learning that the right words make a difference

7 Crimson students in Mr. Pirollo's room have been working on their writing. This writing wall bulletin board is being used to collect and recognize quotes from student authors. Each day a few new quotes appear on the board. It's nice to watch students try out new words and think about creative ways to express themselves.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Skipper--One super-cute way to address anxiety!

Below is a picture of Skipper, the Nock Therapy Dog. Skipper is a natural with middle school students and staff! He knows just how to bring a smile to even the most grumpy person. Schools across the country are noticing an increase in student anxiety, and many, like the Nock, are working to help students learn strategies to manage anxiety. Skipper is a part of a larger approach that includes anxiety reduction classes during Flex, fidget tools in the classroom, and "mindful moments" embedded in the school day.