If You Build It . . .

December 10, 2017 at 9:00 am (School Supplies) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Let’s begin by looking at first grade’s adventure into forces of motion.  Their first activity replicates much like the tale of the Three Little Pigs.  Our inquiry:  What does a push and a pull look like?  How do we know when an object has been pushed or pulled?  Some students performed these movements to give others the vocabulary ideas of moving away or coming to you.  Then, using their pushing forces and healthy lung power, blew objects with a straw across a finish line, keeping track of their data (amount of blows per time).  They made inferences based on their results that it was easier to blow the paperclip because it was light and took more blows to move the wooden block.  We reflected on this thought process during our second gathering noting that it seemed weight did influence the motion, and then segued into using our model swing made of a pencil, tied to a string, connected to a washer.  Our goal was to look at which style of force would provide the best swing.  Would it be holding the washer directly above the pencil and letting gravity due all the work or holding the washer parallel to the pencil and releasing?

Next time we will explore if the length of an object (string) will affect the force of an object (washer), as well as continue with concept of weight by adding more washers to the swing.  Predictions on which will provide the greatest swing?


Third grade’s topic is the human body focusing specifically on the skeletal system and muscular system.  Learners manipulated model legs to see how the muscle groups work as a team to extend and retract when moving legs and feet.  This is a simple contraption made of a dowel rode, Popsicle stick, tubing, two paper clips, and two rubber bands.  By moving the Popsicle (foot) up and down, students were able to see one muscle tightening, while the other relaxes.  After recording their observations and creating diagrams, they had time to explore a model hand and compare the model to their hand in terms of how it is constructed and functions.  Next gathering they will look at the model once more, determine what materials they can add to make it more realistic, then create a mechanical hand with the objective of grasping an object.


Fifth graders take learning about weather and climate to a new level.  After researching the differences between tropical, arctic, and desert conditions they selected a region in which they had to build a dwelling with a specific roof design geared for that climate zone.  Arctic region homes needed a strong enough roof to support snow (washers) or allow them to fall off.  Desert dwellings had to keep the occupants cool (ice cube from melting), and tropical structures had to keep their folks (tissue paper) dry in torrential downpour.  Prior to testing, students judged the houses made by other teams, jotting down likes and/or what they would have done to improve the construction.  Then came the test . . .


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Expectations on Effort: What You Can Expect & What Is Expected From You

August 24, 2016 at 9:07 am (School Supplies) (, , , , , , , , )

Students:  Please read this with a relative, or guardian.

 As a 4th grade student, know that you will be expected to give full effort each and every minute while you are in this class.   You can expect the same from your teacher, Mr. V.  He will give you his best each day.

So what does effort mean Mr. V?  

FIRST:  In this class effort means when it comes time to complete an assignment or activity, then your full attention is on that project.  If you stay focused on your responsibilities, you will be a successful learner.  We will have many activities that are completed as partners, teams, or with Mr. V, and that’s when you’ll need to talk to each other.  There will be activities that you’ll complete by yourself, these are times when you will have to ignore someone that wants whisper or talk to you.  No matter if you work alone or with someone else, you’ll need to complete the activity on time and correctly as stated in the directions given.

SECOND: This means you will have to redo an assignment if it is not done the right way.  I know what you’re already thinking . . . UGGHH!  This will be tough for some of you, I know.  Mr. V has made (and still makes) errors all the time.  I don’t know about any of you little V’s, but when I cannot figure something out I get flushed (feel red and hot inside).  At times I feel like the world’s dumbest person, and sometimes it breaks my confidence. That’s when I know it is time to clear my head because one thing I NEVER feel like doing is quitting.  That my friends, is known as perseverance (per-sa-ver-ance).  Like Cena says, “Never Give Up”.

Sometimes we need to take a breath to clear our head, or stretch, or take a few minutes to think.  You will never be allowed to quit, Mr. V will never quit on you.  Yet instead of sulking or giving up, we’ll have to go about solving the problem another way.  This isn’t always easy, but it will be done.  Remember, Mr. V is always here to help you, but not until after you have made attempts to solving the problem yourself.

That’s one expectation, we’re going to pause for the cause and continue with more expectations in the days to come.

If you are a student or parent that visited the Meet & Greet and you have an “I wonder . . . ” moment, please leave comment below.

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Timeline Projects: Famous North Carolinians

March 21, 2016 at 8:07 pm (School Supplies) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

The long time pay off.  The kids have been researching for the past month and rehearsing their facts getting ready for the big show.  Check out the fruit of their labors.  Watch these techy timeline projects on famous North Carolinians.  These were the early birds.  The rest of the projects make their way in tomorrow.

Meet Braxton Bragg

Meet Edward Teach (Blackbeard)

Meet Kellie Pickler

Meet Andy Griffith

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The Lorax Recap

December 7, 2015 at 10:19 am (School Supplies)

The Lorax Recap.

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August 31, 2015 at 2:25 pm (School Supplies) (, , , )

Our young scientists explored animal adaptations, focusing on the advantages they provide for each animal.  This morning we read about the necks and legs of giraffes tall and short and the advantage one might play over the other.  Today we investigated how birds, insects, and fish see, and the skin of sharks.  We will further our study throughout the week targeting whale blubber and further the study on shark skin.  Enjoy the pics and thinglink on sea turtles below.

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If Only . . .

August 17, 2015 at 8:42 am (School Supplies)

Thank you Key & Peele. I never laughed and cried so hard in my life.  Opinion: America’s values are upside down.

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Squishy Circuits

June 5, 2015 at 4:48 pm (School Supplies) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Awesome activity to tie in properties of matter, measurement, and an electricity unit.  The artists, the bakers, & the circuit board makers created a play dough that also serves as a conductor as electricity.  The last pics show an illuminated led.  Didn’t have time to make the insulator batch, perhaps on Monday.  Check out squishy circuits for the recipes and activities.

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Engineering In Action

June 4, 2015 at 12:25 pm (School Supplies) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

The engineers spent yesterday building mechanical hands.  The objective, make a hand that can grasp an object.  The instruction, “Here’s your materials, build it.”  Time to combine maker spaces with thought and problem-solving skills, not so much for show me the way.  Enjoy & check out the video clips in the flickr column (titled Projects) to the right or click on the term in blue.

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Rain Garden Project

June 2, 2015 at 4:35 pm (School Supplies) (, , , , , , , , )

Finished.  From 8:00 – 9:45 we laid out Trey’s design, and got the plants in the ground.  Carolina Home & Garden delivered the compost and stone.

While the kiddos were in for specials and lunch a magical green thumb gnome transported the dirt we dug to needed areas around campus that were washed out and raked out most of the compost.  From 12:20-1:00 we shoveled the Delaware Round Stone around the perimeter. Thank you to Mrs. Tull for sitting with me to write the grant making this project come to fruition.  Thank you to the Bright Ideas Grant for choosing us as a recipient.

Thanks again to the kids and parents that came out the first time around to help us break ground, but importantly a huge shout-out to the Little V’s for making this natural filtration system.  Check out the 200+ pics below from our student camera crew.

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Cape Lookout Movenote Presentations

June 1, 2015 at 3:21 pm (School Supplies) (, , , , , , , , , , , )


As a follow up activity and something way overdue, the young minds put together a summary of their trip to Cape Lookout.  A documentary if you will.  Select a student below to hear their recap of the trip to Cape Lookout.

Brianna                           Konnor                       Hannah                             Abbi

Ainslee                             Chase                         Trey                                 Gabby

Austin                               Aiden                          Sophia                         Saylor

Rylie                                 Tyler                          Caleb                                 Jonathan

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