Blog has moved, redirecting... ...

Property of Air Demonstrations, Grade 6

-by Erin Couillard, Lisa Nelson, Carolyn Armstrong and Carly DeBoice

For our Aerodynamics and Flight unit this year, we decided to begin with students gaining an understanding of the properties of air, as outlined by the Alberta Program of Studies. To do this, students would be paired with a peer and assigned a property of air to investigate. They would then choose a demonstration that best explains/proves that specific property of air.

To begin with, we chose a small demonstration to do for them. This had two purposes. First, to construct a criteria around what an effective science demonstration looks like and second, to start digging into the properties of air. The demonstration we chose was to prove the existence of oxygen in the air by lighting two candles and then placing a jar over one of them. Students predicted what would happen and then attempted to explain why it happened and to indicate the property of air that it proved.

After observation and discussion, students co-constructed the following criteria around “What makes an effective Science demonstration”:
• Facing Audience
• Speaking loudly with enthusiasm and inflection
• Knowing your information
• Proving something with visual evidence
• Explaining each step
• Asking audience to make a prediction, giving them time to think
• Asking audience “Why”?
• Asking audience for observations

 Next, students will practice their demonstration to gain feedback from peers, teacher and parents (at student-led conferences) prior to creating a video of their demonstration for final assessment and sharing. Throughout this process each group will gain an understanding of all of the properties of air through learning how to write observations and conclusions. We will also be co-constructing criteria around observations and conclusions to ensure that each student has an understanding of the expectations. Stay tuned for more blog posts as we work our way through the unit(s).

Up next!
• Wind tunnel engineering project (see blog posts from previous years here and here)
• Parachute Design
• Paper Glider experiments

What are you doing for your Aerodynamics and Flight units? We would love to know! 

Master Chef Electricity Challenge, Grade 9

-by Louis Cheng and Cindy Nilsson

Today the grade 9 students were given a series of instructions to complete a Master Chef Electricity Challenge.

In teams of four, they were provided a box of electrical supplies and had 10 minutes to begin researching how to build some circuits.  After their research time, they had to put away their laptops and textbooks to attempt to build the following:

Profiling SLP’s - Student Learner Profiles at Connect!

Tanya Stogre and Abby Saadeh

Students and teachers at Connect Charter School have focused on creating Student Learner Profiles (SLP) for the past few years. More recently, at Connect, these SLP’s have become a more significant focus. In the spirit of Personalized Learning from the Inspiring Action on Education, SLP’s are gaining momentum in Alberta. See for more information on this provincial initiative.

With greater time and attention being placed on SLP’s, it is important for us to have discussions regarding the ways they might inform and impact learning at our school. Over the course of the past few years, each grade has explored a variety of platforms to house these profiles. In our second blog post, we will further discuss the strengths and limitations of some of the platforms available, but first we would like to discuss what a Student Learner Profile (SLP) is and why they are important.