Heron Highlights

FLOWERS & GARDENS – Mrs. Ramos, 1st Grade

February 19th, 2016

Today our art docent, Mrs. Clement, visited our classroom.  The theme this month was Flowers and Gardens.   She showed first graders beautiful examples of art and then we created flowers of our own.  Aren’t they beautiful?


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ADOPT-A-PARK – Mrs. Reese, 5th Grade

February 17th, 2016

The fifth grade students at Heron School are excited to be a part of the City of Sacramento Adopt-a-Park/Parks in Education program here in Natomas.  With over 30 parks in the North Natomas area, the Adopt-a-Park program offers a wonderful opportunity for students to get involved with their community and learn about the environment.  This form of community service will give students the opportunity to understand the value of teamwork as well as civic duty.  Once a month our students are walking to Northborough Park to help clean up and beautify.  They help rake, pull weeds, sweep, pick up trash and plant.  As a way of recognizing students for their participation in the program, student will receive a certificate at the end of the school year for their community service.


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February 16th, 2016

Mr. Meehan’s class was tasked with creating a truss bridge model by using the following process:

Objective: To create a specific type of truss bridge model that is proportional to drawings provided by Mr. Meehan
Research: Research will be needed to determine the details of the truss bridge to be modeled.
Materials: Coffee stirrers, low temp hot glue, and ruler, pencil and paper.

1.      Students will choose a specific type of truss bridge assigned per research supplied by Mr. Meehan.
2.      Bridges will span 52 centimeters. The scale factor is 1:10. This means 1 mm in your drawing equals 10 mm in your model.
3.      Students will create architectural drawings which are the same scale as their model. They will acquire information from the research drawings using the 1:10 scale factor. These drawings will have a plan view, an elevation view, and a longitudinal view (top view, side view, and down the middle view).
4.      Students will use these plans to construct their model out of wooden coffee stirrers and low temperature hot glue.
5.      Students will estimate the number and cost of materials to be used.
6.      Students will acquire materials needed for construction from Mr. Meehan.
7.      Materials will cost a set price. Additional materials will cost more, so make sure your estimate is very precise.
8.      Students will start building. Refer to your drawing to make sure it is precise. Bridges not built according to plans will receive no credit.
9.      When bridge is complete, bring it to the testing area.
10.    Bridge will then endure weights placed in the center to test its strength until it breaks.
11.    The bridge that endures the best cost to weight ratio wins.


To assist parents in understanding how the Common Core State Standards correlate to classroom work, we have included the standards that were assessed for this project.

Mathematics 6.3d – Students used ratio reasoning to convert measurements. Students increase scale of a thumbnail drawing of a truss bridge to actual model size. Students will also use equivalent ratios to come up with a unit rate for cost to weight ratio once bridges are completed and tested.

Geometry 6.4 & 6.5 are utilized during plan drawing and construction of bridges. Students are persevering to solve three dimensional problems, attending to precision when measuring, cutting and gluing bridges.

Engineering Standards – Students who demonstrate understanding can:

MS-ETS1-1.         Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

MS-ETS1-2.         Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

MS-ETS1-3.         Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.

MS-ETS1-4.         Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.

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MATHEMATICS – Mrs. Reese, 5th Grade

February 11th, 2016

On Friday, Mrs. Reese’s students did an amazing job showing their understanding of adding, subtracting, and dividing decimals. Using the same models they designed and created (component of engineering) to demonstrate force and motion, her students used the models to calculate the average time and distance of their race cars. Given three trials, students had to add up the distance/time for trials and divide by the number of sets (3) to find the average distance and time – which aligned perfectly with their chapter on dividing decimals by a whole number. In addition, students had to MODEL using place value blocks on how they calculated the average, and then when everyone in their group understood the strategy the team used, they had to raise their hand and be ready to EXPLAIN their calculations to the class. During their reflection time, Mrs. Reese asked the students to write on the board 1) what math skills were used and 2) Any connections to other subject area.


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