Science with Kids

Mrs. Valerie's Science Class



week of May 21

Here is the plan for the last week of school.  Because of the different schedule today, I did not have a chance to explain to my classes about the final “performance event” kids will be doing in class. Here are those details first:

Mars Performance Event:  students will be allowed to bring their phones to class Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday FOR THIS PROJECT ONLY.  Students will work in partners or individually to create a 2 minute stop-action video using the app “imotion” to demonstrate 3 factors of either the Mars environment, Mars exploration, or preparation for human exploration of Mars.  They will get specific details in class but here is the part relevant to you, the parents:

**Students will need to bring in some kinds of props/objects to make their videos.  Ideas include playdough, action figures, space toys, decorated cardboard box, markers.  They will plan these things out with their partner.  They may already bring in stuff Monday, but by Tuesday for sure.  Hopefully, it can be stuff around the house and not purchased things.  These should be brought to school in a bag so they are not distractions in other classes.  Everything will go back home on Wednesday.

**At least one partner will need their phone.  They will need to install the app “imotion”. This is a free app and does not require any kind of registration. You may install it in class or over the weekend.

**Phones must be powered off before we begin work and must be powered off before students leave my class.  Students may only use the “imotion” app on their phone in class; no other phone uses are allowed.  I will turn the phone into the office for parent pick up of anyone who chooses not to comply.

Weekly Plan:

Monday: (1) Open Note Test on Mars; (2) Start planning performance event

Tuesday: (1) Google Expedition “field trip”; (2) plan/shoot video

Wednesday: (1) Team incentive or lesson/reading on renewable resources; (2) shoot/share video in class

Thursday: homeroom only. Early dismissal.

Thanks for all your support this year!

-Erica Valerie

6th grade science


May 14

May 14, 2018

Good Afternoon Parents,

Please check around your home for stray science textbooks. There are several missing and students may have taken one home accidently. Please return any you find as soon as possible. Thank you.

Next week we are continuing our project on Mars. Students continue to work through variety of stations exploring current research and engineering regarding our nearest neighbor and involving computers, labs, activities, design work, and readings.

I am returning work daily to them so they can see what they need to fix and turn back in.   They should be completing assignments each day and keeping track of what they have yet to finish and keeping all of their returned work for the open-note test at the end.

Have a great week!


Erica Valerie

6th grade science

Head MMS

Week of May 7

May 4, 2018

Good Afternoon Parents,

First off, please note that MONDAY TEXTBOOKS WILL BE RETURNED. Please be sure your child’s science textbook is at school on Monday.

Next week we start our last and final unit. We will do an indepth study of planet Mars. Students will move through a variety of stations exploring current research and engineering regarding our nearest neighbor and involving computers, labs, activities, design work, and readings.

Here are the details for the week:

Day In Class Homework
Mon *Explore videos and NASA’s Mars website. Respond to writing prompts *none
Tues *overview of environmental factors on Mars none
Wed Working with 3 news stories about Mars *none
Thurs Lab station (geology, rockets or robotics commands) none
Fri Design (mission, spacecraft or human habitation) none


Have a great week!


Erica Valerie

6th grade science

Head MMS

Discover Mars

View the powerpoint below and complete two tasks:

(1) take notes on the chart.  The slides do not go in order, so you must figure out which information to put in which category.  Use bullet points to add information to the chart.  Hint:  the first category you will fill out is “landforms”

(2) After watching the slide show, write a short paragraph with a topic sentence that explains THREE problems or constraints with sending humans to Mars.

living on mars powerpoint




Missions to Mars



Log into clever using your regular MNPS login information ( or through “my mnps folder”)  and open “discovery education”.

There are four tasks to complete below in order to understand our research on Mars.


  • Watch the video and respond to the prompt:

1. Describe the mission of the Mars Curiosity Rover.


  • Watch the video and respond to the prompt:

2. What kinds of engineering and technology went into the design of the Curiosity Rover?

3.  In what ways has Curiosity been successful?


  • Watch the video and respond to the prompt

4. Describe the challenges of sending humans to Mars.


  • Explore NASA’s website. Click on any of the links.  What research is underway?

5.  Describe 6-10 things you found out.











Week of April 30

April 30, 2018

Dear Parents,

TN Ready Testing is finished! We have started working in teams using the engineering design process to design a game surrounding one of our science units. I am really enjoying seeing all the creative ideas and how students are able to pull different concepts together! We will have a game day to wrap up the process and students will evaluate each other’s games. Here’s the plan for this week

Day In Class Homework
Mon *Work on Step 3 (step 1 & 2 should have been finished Friday in class) *Students may need to bring in materials to build the game; each team is doing something different, please check with your child
Tues-Wed *Continue with Step 3, designing and building the game


Thurs *Step 4 & 5: test the game and work out the kinks. none
Fri *Game Day: play each other’s games, evaluate, and vote for the best. none


Have a great week!


Erica Valerie

6th grade science

Head MMS


Week of April 23


April 23, 2018


Good Evening Parents:


Here’s the plan for this week in 6th grade science:


Monday & Tuesday: Finish “TCAP Partner Posters” and conclude our whole-class test practice.  Science TCAP is Tuesday and Friday.  No homework.

Wednesday-Friday:  start Game Design Challenge.  This is a team project with individual accountability where students use the 5 steps in the engineering design process and the science from one of our units to design, build, and test a science game/toy.   Depending on their final game design, students may have to bring some materials from home.  All work must be completed in class.  Homework: bring in materials (?)


District progress reports go home Wednesday!


Have a great week!


Erica Valerie

6th grade science

Head MMS


TCAP Test Practice

Here is a pdf of a practice test provided by the State of Tennessee.  There are lots of good practice questions you can go through AND the answers are all given on the last page so you can check how well you are doing! Good luck!

tcap Practice Test – 6th Grade

Week of March 26


March 26, 2018


Dear Parents,


Here is the plan for this short week.  Due to the early out last week, each class is in a slightly different stage in the lessons but the general plan is outlined below.  District Third Quarter Report Cards go home on Monday and the Ocean Energy Pyramid Performance Event is due Monday for periods 4 & 5.


Day In Class Homework
Mon – wrap up biome practice worksheets (deserts & grasslands), dry erase review game, internet activity, review open note quiz Finish “tropical rain forests” both sides.
Tues Update vocabulary, share “who am I?”, card sorts, biome video, scavenger hunt Study guide
Wed   Biome Quiz (no spiral questions, only land biomes from chapter 4)

– start marine biomes (notes)

Thurs -wrap up aquatic biomes (notes on freshwater ecosystems) Enjoy the break!



Erica Valerie

6th grade science

Head Middle School



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