Wednesday, November 30, 2011

December Newsletter

Pre-K students will begin a study of animal body coverings, paying particular attention to feathers, fur and scales.  During the month of December the students will make observations of different animals with fur and how this fur helps the animal during the winter months.  Some animals we will look at will be guinea pigs, polar bears and arctic hares. 
The children will continue their study of what animals do to prepare for winter during the month of December.  The children will explore the concepts of food gathering and storage, hibernation and migration by learning about different animals such as bats and barn swallows!  The students will watch short video clips, view photographs and then act out the animal’s actions with paper puppets!  The children will also learn about the different threats that these animals are facing, such as White Nose Syndrome in bat populations of New York State. 
First Grade entomologists will spend the month of December comparing and contrasting the body structure of different insects.  The students will locate the head, thorax and abdomen of different kinds of insects in order to become more familiar with those common body parts. The students will then take what they have learned about insect body structure to create their own insect. 

Second Grade geologists will wrap up their study of Earth materials by learning about the rock cycle.  The children will act out the different ways that rocks are formed, by learning about erosion and deposition, as well as the Earth’s tectonic plates.  During this study, the children will become familiar with sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks and how each is formed.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

October Newsletter

I can’t believe that it is already October!  I hope to see you all at the Lower Grade Harvest Festival at 3 on Wednesday, October 12 in the small schoolyard!  The children will harvest the produce for our cafeteria, as well as make some other treats, such as lemonade and cucumber mint dip!  Below are short descriptions of what the children will be up to during the month of October!

Pre-K scientists will continue their study of the five senses during the month of October.  The students will use their sense of hearing to go on a “listening walk,” use their sense of touch to make Oobleck, and use all five of their senses to make and test popcorn!  We will end the month with a pumpkin study.

Kindergarten scientists will continue to learn about trees during the month of October.  The students will compare and contrast different types of trees.  They will explore different shaped leaves in order to identify what tree they have come from.  The students will also examine what happens to trees during the fall season.  We will end the month with a pumpkin and squash exploration!

First grade scientists will continue exploring insects.  The students will observe live mealworms in the classroom.  They will become familiar with the life cycle of an insect as they observe the mealworm larva change into a pupa and then an adult beetle.  While making these observations, the students will also become familiar with the structure of an insect body, including the head, abdomen, thorax, antennae and exoskeleton.  Finally, the students will explore what an insect needs to survive. 

Second grade scientists will take what they have learned about rocks and shells during the month of September to begin a more in depth study of rocks.  The students will observe and sort different kinds of rocks.  The students will also act out different experiments, such as rock rubbings and placing the rocks in water, in order to learn about their different properties.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Mystery of the Honey Locust

Second Grade scientists have discovered a scientific mystery in the schoolyard!  The children discovered tiny white larva coming out the the seed pods of the Honey Locust tree in the yard.  After collecting the pods, the students opened them up to look for evidence of insect larva!  Although we only found one actual larva, the students did find many seeds with holes in them.  The children continue to investigate what insect  is feeding on the pods!

How Old is This Tree?

Kindergarten scientists are exploring trees!  This week they examined tree trunks, learning that you can tell the age of a tree by  counting its rings.  After looking closely at pieces of tree trunks to identify the bark, heartwood and rings, the children then made their own trunks using paper plates.  Can you tell how old these trees are?

Meet the Mealworms!

First Grade scientists have been studying Mealworms!  This week they set up homes for their little insects.  The kids decided that the Mealworms needed:
-Food- Oatmeal

Our Mealworm homes!
-Water- in which they get from a piece of apple!
Keep checking back to see how our Mealworms grow and change over the next couple of weeks!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


In First and Second Grade science, the students work on recording their findings during observations and experiments.  In order to do this, each child will need a Science Journal.  Please send in a standard sized, lined notebook for your child to use in science class.  Label the cover of the notebook with your child’s name and "SCIENCE."  Please send the notebook to school with your child ASAP.  Thank you so much!

Friday, September 9, 2011


Happy September!  It has been another wonderful start to the school year.  I cannot believe that this is my 8th year as the Lower Grade Science teacher at PS 58!  The children continue to be interested and enthusiastic about science, which fuels me to bring new and exciting things to the science program. 
This year my classroom has moved to the first floor in room 112.  I hope to see many of you at the orientation meetings and around the building.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me by email at  THANKS!
Diana Marsh

Pre-K students will visit the science room once (Pre-K-129 meets twice) a week for a 45-minute session.  The students will begin the year exploring what a scientist is and what they study.  The children will then participate in many hands-on activities in order to learn about their five senses.  They will begin the 5 senses study by smelling, tasting and describing different kinds of apples!

Kindergarten scientists will visit the science room once a week for 45-minute sessions.  Some of the general science skills that the children will work on throughout the school year are classifying, comparing and contrasting, observing and communicating ideas through drawing and simple writing.  They will start the year exploring what a scientist is by examining many of the different tools scientists use, such as hand lenses and balance scales.  The students will then begin their first unit of study about trees.  The children will identify the different parts of trees and how they function.  

First Grade
First Grade scientists will visit the science room once a week for 45-minute sessions.  Some of the general science concepts that the students will work on throughout the year are questioning, predicting, comparing and contrasting and recording data.  After a general exploration of what scientists are and what they do, the children will then begin their first unit of study on insects.  The children will make observations of many different kinds of insects, such as meal worms, and their life cycles.

Second Grade
Second Grade scientists will visit the science room once a week for 45-minute sessions.  
Some of the general science concepts that the students will work on throughout the year are 
questioning, predicting, measuring, and recording and interpreting data.  The students will begin the year by looking at what a scientist does.  They will practice forming questions, making observations, acting out experiments and recording what they find.  The students will then use those skills in order to observe the differences between rocks and shells.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


We will be celebrating Earth Day this week at PS 58!  I hope to see you all at our Earth Day celebration on Thursday, April 14 from 3-5 in the schoolyard.  We have many amazing things planned!  Paint a reusable shopping bag, make a Chia pet, learn about birds of prey and NY bats and sample a delicious salad made from locally grown produce prepared by Seersucker to name a few!  It should be a fabulous day!

Balance and Motion

Second Grade scientists ended their unit on balance and motion by building marble tracks!  Check out some of their designs!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Are you interested in caring for a classroom pet over the February break?  I am looking for a home for our beloved guinea pig Oreo, as well as our spunky frog Zingo.  Please let me know if you are interested ASAP!  Thanks!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Our Very First Silk Moth!

This morning when I got to school I found our very first silk moth!  Did you know that adult silk moth's don't eat or drink anything?  They simply mate, lay eggs and then die.  It seems sad, but I guess that is the way of the silk moth!  Also, I have one very yellow cocoon.  At first, I assumed that something bad had happened to this particular silkworm.  After further research, I found that it is a genetic trait.  Where most silkworms spin white silk, some actually spin yellow silk.  I will keep you posted on the future progress of our moths!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Arctic Fox!

As we shiver in these freezing temperatures, it makes me think of the amazing adaptations that animals have in order to survive in such harsh conditions.  Check out the following link to see how Arctic Foxes survive in extremely cold climates!

Kindergarten- Float or Sink?

Kindergarten scientists have been exploring the properties of different kinds of wood.  Last week the children found that all the different wood samples float when placed in water.  This week, the children added paperclips to the wood in order to find out how many clips it would take to sink them.  They found that pine takes more weight to sink than plywood!

Second Grade Spinners

Second Grade Scientists are studying force and motion.  Last week the students used straws and different size discs to build spinning toys.  The children experimented with different combinations in order to build fast spinners, wobbly spinners and long lasting spinners.

Silkworm Cocoons

Our silkworms have started building cocoons!  They are wildly spinning silk in preparation.  Last week after school I was able to watch one of the worms carefully build the cocoon around its body.  Enjoy the photos!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Welcome Silkworms!

Before the winter break I received 100 tiny silkworm eggs.  They were even smaller than a pinhead!  With love and care from Lindsay and her family, they hatched and thrived during the vacation.  They are growing at a rapid speed, spending the entire day eating a delicious mulberry leaf concoction!  I will keep you posted with their growth and progress!

January Newsletter

Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing winter vacation.  Below is a short description of what the students will be up to during the month of January.
Kindergarten scientists are starting a new unit called “Exploring Properties.”  In this unit, the students will observe and describe different kinds of wood, looking at size, shape, texture, weight, color and where the wood came from.  After comparing and contrasting the wood, the students will then do different experiments with the samples, including placing them in water to see if they sink or float.
First Grade
First Grade scientists are beginning a new unit on the three states of matter: liquids, solids and gases.  The students will do different experiments in order to observe and describe the properties of the three states of matter.  During the month of January the students will be examining solids.  They will observe, describe and sort solids by their physical properties.  The students will also explore how solid materials are used in the construction of different buildings and structures.  Are some solids better for construction than others?
Second Grade
Second Grade scientists are beginning a new unit about forces and motion.  In this unit, the students will examine different forces that affect the balance and motion of objects, such as gravity, air resistance and friction.  They will begin the unit by exploring the concept of balance.  The children will use different shapes and weights to examine counterbalance, counterweight and stability.  The students will then use what they have learned in order to find way to balance a pencil on its point!