Science 8 Update!

Thinking Spring Edition

Spring is in the air....or is that the smell of skunk?

Well the sap is flowing from the trees finally as spring is here. Make sure to try and visit your local maple producer as the annual maple producers weekend is coming up with lots of stuff to do. Check it out...

http://www.nysmaple.com/nys-maple-weekend/

And on the other side the oh so great smell of the skunk has also arrived. Though not true hibernators, they usually don't surface much in the winter. So on the bright side it does signal that spring is here!!!

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What's new in class?

Currently students are exploring the universe all around them. We have currently discussed the Apollo missions and how we got to the moon and even jumped backwards to the days of Galileo and Aristotle to see the struggles that science has gone through over the years. We are currently discussing planets, meteors, asteroids, and comets in class. Students will have a vodcast on Moon phases this week and a moon phase lab we will be completing in class. Next week we will discuss calendar years and the seasons while also completing a STEM based lab to discover just how the seasons work!

NYS Politics and what it means for your children.

So why should I care

Common core was originally designed so that multiple states across the country would teach the same curriculum as we all live in the same country. It also aimed to improve our students' abilities as a whole so we can compete globally. While it was a great idea philosophically, the rollout has been anything but great. It strips the creativity of teachers and diminishes the learning experience of children as teachers are too stressed about test scores to deviate at all from the master plan. Governor Cuomo and Person education want to keep profiting from your children due to the money hedge fund investors are making off of Pearson and charter school operations. Charter schools don't sound so bad but the talking points can be misleading. The simple facts are funds are diverted away from public schools to these charter schools depriving your kids of monies that are needed to educate them. While I could honestly fill 4 pages on all of this my whole point is to make you aware of what is going on and to encourage you to petition your elected officials that you want better. Some of you may support the governor's plan so by all means please let him know that. I feel the opposite as I have watched the amount of time and money it costs to test your children. Just ask them how they feel about it. Is this new way of educating our children really helping our children? On average most students K-12 will take 40-60 hours of testing or about 2 whole school weeks so that they can be assessed. Then there is the review time used in class for these tests on top of that! That is time we don't get back in the classroom. On average it costs $25 per test per subject to buy/print/score each test. That cost adds up to hundreds of millions of dollars. The other thing to understand is that these test are NOT an accurate measurement of their abilities. The state sets what are called cutoff points to determine their score. One year a static 79% could be considered passing (level 3) while the next year the exact same score could be considered a level 2(partially proficient) which is considered failing according to NYSED. The state waits until it collects all of the data across the state and then determines the cutoff points. These scores aren't giving to teachers until sometime the following school year! Along with these tests students are losing interest in school and suffering from higher levels of anxiety and stress. Please help end the testing craze in this state as you the parent and student are the only ones who can change the path of education before it is permanently destroyed. Contact your local elected officials!

Reminder 101- Join Now!!

Reminder 101 is a text messaging service that allows you and your children to receive a text message and/or email alert when their class section has homwork. The system is completely annonymous and is simple to use. For more information go to Reminder 101.com. To sign up simply text (518) 708-6729 . In the message area you need to type one of the following based on your child's class section...

@gargano1

@gargano2

@gargano5

@gargano6

@gargano7

BlackBoard online classroom

Blackboard is my online classroom where students and parents can find everything that we do in class from notes, homework sheets, labs, and some fun links to help your students outside of the classroom. To sign in click the link below and use "science8" as the username and password. Next click in the upper right hand corner where it says BSCSD Gargano Science8 and you will have access to all class notes(vodcasts) and any paper handed out in class by clicking on the units tab.

BLACKBOARD CLASS LINK