Teens Against Bullying

This year our 6th graders participated in TAB (Teens against bullying) in which high school students led activities and discussions to teach about bullying prevention. From activities that encourage students to go outside their comfort zone to flash mobs and dancing, the 6th graders had a great time working with older students. To end their year of fun, the 6th graders had a flash mob during lunch time to see if they were brave enough to dance in front of an unsuspecting crowd of 7th and 8th graders.

In this unit, we will be discussing the sources of energy. These sources can be broken down into renewable and nonrenewable sources.

Nonnenewable Resources- These are resources that, once used, cannot be restored in a timely manner. Fossil Fuels and Nuclear energy are nonrenewable.

Renewable Resources- Resources that can be reused. These resources include biomass, hydropower, geothermal power, wind energy, and solar energy. Below you will find websites that can help you learn more about energy sources. Let me know what you think.


Energy For Kids

How Does a Power Grid Work?



Sustainable House

Energy Quest

Energy Star Kids

Planet Green Game


Fuel Cell (Hydrogen) Car

Bats and Windmills

Ethanol- Good? or Bad?

Is Nuclear Power Bad?

Three Gorges Dam

MORE LINKS FOR YOUR Projects!!! Updated 4/10/12

Department of Education


Alternative Energy

Energy Kids

Energy Resources

Alternative Energy Sources LOOK Pros and Cons!


Rock Collections

For the rest of the weekwe are going to use the following websites to identify the rocks in your collection. Browse through these sites as you wish. By the end of the week you sould be able to have 5/5 identified.

Rock Hounds– Has a good key to help you identify them

Rock and Mineral Data– Good website with a lot of pictures

Rock Galleries– Good inormationbut you have to do a lot of searching

Rock Information– A good website about starting a rock collection and other information about rocks

Rock Identification– A website that walks you through your identifitcation. Scroll to the bottom.

Rock/Mineral Identification Game- Can you identify these samples?

Neighborhood Rocks– Do you have a lot of polished rocks? This website will help you identify them. This is one of the best websites to find common rocks in Ohio.

Sedimentary Rocks

Igneous Rocks

Metamorphic Rocks


For the next couple we will be learning about minerals. Rememer the definition: A mineral is a naturally occurring, inorganic solid, with a definite chemical composition and crystal structure. There are over 3000 known minerals on Earth. In class we will observe and learn to identify 13.

Hornblende   Quartz    Mica    Calcite

Halite       Galena      Magnetite     Feldspar

Fluorite       Gypsum      Sulfur     Pyrite     Talc


Can you identify these minerals?

Here are some wesites you can explore to learn more about minerals

Sciencespot.net- Rocks and Minerals

Mineral Picture Index


Physical and Chemical Changes

Click the images to play some games!!!

Chemical changesoccur at the molecular level. When atoms rearrange themselves, they transform into something new. Examples of chemical reactions we will see during our labs are changes in temperature, combustion (burning), unexpected color change, bubbling or fizzing, and formation of a precipitate. Other examples include, a rusting nail, cooking an egg, and creating a campfire. When a chemical reaction occurs, the molecules combine in such a way that a totally new substance is formed. In many cases, you cannot change the final substance back into its original components.

Physical changes are a little easier to observe. Physical changes are concerned with energy and states of matter. In a physical change, the substance only changes appearance or form but it remains the same substance. The easiest example is water! If you place water in an ice cube tray and freeze it does it change? Of course, but it is still water. Ice and water are only different in their state of matter.

In class we discussed four changes that we would observe that would help us understand physical and chemical changes.

Chemical ABCD

A new substance- During a chemical change, we will see a new substance very different than its original components. When you burn paper, you break apart the bonds that make up paper and make a new substance that has different properties, ashes.

Bubbling- Bubbling or fizzing is an indication of the release of gas. When two solids combine and form a gas, a chemical change has occurred. In class, you will combine baking soda and vinegar; a solid and a liquid. When combined, they form a new chemical- carbon dioxide gas!! Alert!!! When you boil water you see bubbling. This must be a chemical change right??? NO!!!! The bubbles you see when you boil water are merely the water molecules changing state of matter from a liquid to a gas.. It is still water.

Color change (unexpected)- In most cases, if you see a color change, a chemical reaction has taken place. When you burn paper notice the color changes from white to brownish black. This color changes as a result or chemical rearranging themselves. Alert– When you add red food coloring to water what color will it be? RED. When the color change occurs by adding coloring, you are not changing the substance, you are only changing its appearance.

Different temperature- Some chemical reactions will create a different temperature after a reaction has taken place. This is usually a release of thermal energy. This concept is usually the hardest to distinguish between a chemical or physical change even for me. Several reactions that I thought were chemical (calcium chloride and water) have been researched by chemists in universities and concluded to be a physical change. For the Ohio Achievement tests, if a reaction has taken place and the temperature has increased or decreased, assume a chemical change has taken place. ALERT What about when you heat water?? The temperature changed so it must be a chemical reaction right?? NO. When you add thermal energy to matter, you are increasing the movement of the particles. If they move or slow down too drastically, they change state of matter. This is not a chemical reaction.

Physical 4s’s

Size- When you change the size, you are changing the appearance slightly, but it is still the same substance. When a balloon shrinks is it still a balloon?

Shape- Just like above. You are changing what it looks like, but it is still the same substance. Try molding clay. Did you change it into something new??

State of matter- Changing state of matter (solid, liquid, gas) is a change of thermal energy. The particle sin the matter are changing speed but they are still made up of the same material. What do you notice when you get out of a hot shower?? The steam you see is water vapor!

Solubility- The most difficult to understand. Solubility is the ability of a substance to dissolve in something else. Try making Kool aid. When you add the kool aid (sugar) to the water it seems to disappear but the sugar molecules are still there. At home, add a little amount of salt to water and dissolve it. Leave a small amount out to evaporate. See what is left behind. The salt!!!

Mentos and Diet Coke

Today we combined Mentos and Diet Coke to see the reaction. You can see the video below. The students were asked to write their observations and predict what kind of change they saw. This video is free for my students to use. Simply go to youtube and hit SHARE then EMBED the code into the HTML tab of your post. Make sure you explain to your readers why we did the experiment and what you learned from it. 

On Monday we will design investigations to determine what variables affect the height of a soda and candy geyser. For example: Does regular coke make a higher geyser than diet coke??
During this time we will practice writing CLEAR procedures and completing a full lab write up with the following parts:

Data Analysis/Conclusion:


Below you will find a video from the eepybirds. They were one of the first people who began the Mentos/Diet Coke craze!

Acids and bases

To kick off our lab portion of our chemistry unit, we started off learning about acids and bases. We used a cabbage juice indicator (blog about how cabbage juice works as an indicator!) to determine the pH of common household items. When you mix chemicals with cabbage juice, they change color according to their pH! Here’s a bit of review… Items with a pH ranging from 0-6.9 are considered acids. Acids are typically sour and corrosive. Bases range from 7.1-14 taste bitter and feel slippery. What else did you learn about acids and bases??

Students! Show me your technology skills!!

I need your help! I have a presentation on November 8th to hundreds of local teachers about how student blogging has impacted learning in the classroom and how students can use technology to demonstrate their learning. According to new education standards, students must be able to demonstrate 21st century technology skills in their classes.

So this is what I need from you. I will be introducing these tools to you later in the year. If you’re great at using technology and think you can figure out how to use it yourself, try it! Follow this link or go to the Web 2.0 tools tab on the top of this page. Choose one of the tools and use it on one of your blog posts. Other tools we have already used can also be included such as polls, quizzes, videos, storybird, google documents, etc.

If you want your blog to be presented at our teacher in-service, post here with a link to your post.