Ms. Gallo’s Classes

April Review/May Preview

Social Studies

In the beginning of April, grades 3-5 had a wonderful field trip to Lexington Green and Minuteman National Park.  They did several reenactments along the way and were amazed that they were walking on the same ground that the events occurred on.  They wrote and performed a play about it and performed for the rest of the school.  Students also learned about the Battle of Bunker Hill, the fortification of Dorchester Heights and subsequent evacuation of the British out of Boston.  In addition, they studied the Declaration of Independence.  In May, students in grades 3-5 will finish their study of the Revolutionary War including important battles and the winter at Valley Forge.

In April grades 6-8, finished their study of the Middle East.  They practiced some map skills and spent some time reviewing the location and capitals of the countries they learned about this year to date.  They also began a study of Australia, Oceania, and Antarctica.  The unit began with students researching the Great Barrier Reef and creating an online poster (Glog) about it. In May, students will continue their study of Australia, Oceania, and Antarctica and review map skills.


Grades 3-5 continued their study of ocean life including the completion of several lessons in the SCUTES kit about sturgeons that we borrowed from NOAA.  They did hands-on activities about food webs and what would happen if there was an algal bloom as well as an activity on natal homing.  They learned a little about dichotomous keys as well.  In May, students will learn about volcanoes and earthquakes.

Grades 6-8 studied weathering.  They did several experiments in class.  They also took a weathering “walk” and took pictures of examples of weathering they found outside near the school.  In May, they will begin a unit on chemistry.

March Review/April Preview

Social Studies

In March, grades 3-5 learned about the events leading up to the Revolutionary War.  They participated in simulations and skits and played an educational game online to enhance their learning about such events as the response to the Stamp Act, Boston Massacre, and the Boston Tea Party. They also began a report on a famous person during this time period.  

In April, students in this age range will be learning about the beginning of the Revolutionary War itself.  They will learn about the important battles and about the Declaration of Independence.  We will be having a field experience in April at Minuteman National Park, so that students can see exactly where the Battles of Lexington and Concord took place.  They will also be finishing their reports.

In March grades 6-8 studied the Middle East.  They learned where each country is located and its capital.  They learned about the natural resources of the area, the climate,  and the landforms, particularly the Sahara Desert.  We briefly reviewed ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia and learned about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and the attacks on 911.  In addition, students began a report on a topic of choice that relates to the Middle East.

In April, students in these grades will continue to learn about the Middle East focusing on the cultures and lifestyles.  In addition, they will learn about the recent happenings in Egypt and Libya.  They will be using online and offline newspapers and periodicals for this.  Also, students will be finishing their reports.


In March, the 3-5 students attended a wonderful overnight at the Museum of Science in Boston.  It was very fun and educational.  We were very lucky in that two of our group (1 student and 1 parent) were chosen to go on stage during the opening show!

In class, students studied whales.  They completed hands-on activities to see how effective blubber is and how baleen and toothed whales eat. The completed interactives online and did other offline activities as well such as a debate.

In April, students in these grades will learn about the North Atlantic Sturgeon and a bit about ocean sustainability.

One week of the month was devoted to “Green Week.”  During this week, all students  in grades 3-8 learned about  environmental concerns and some of the things they can do to help.  They calculated their ecological footprint and had two presentations from outside come.

In March, grades 6-8 learned about tectonic plates and the types of boundaries and what happens at each.  They did some hands-on activities to explore.  They began plotting where significant earthquakes have occurred in the past month as well to see for themselves if they occur most often at plate boundaries.
In April, students will learn about weathering.  They will do several short experiments and hands-on activities as well as looking for evidence around the school and surrounding area.
Blue Team Homework for March 28, 2012 
February Review/March Preview

Social Studies

In February, grades 3-5 created their own colonies which reflected some of what they learned about the 13 original American colonies.  Students chose the type of government they wanted (representative democracy or direct democracy), wrote about the typical day of both an adult and a child in the colony, created a flag for the colony, made a replica of a house, and more.  They also learned a bit about the relationship between the American colonists and the Native Americans.

In March, students will be learning about events that led to the American Revolutionary War.  We will be learning how paying the debt of the French and Indian War led to the passing of tax laws and the colonists’ reaction to these taxes.  Students will be performing in skits and participating in an online role-playing game designed especially for children in which each student will take on the role of an apprentice in Boston during this time period.  From previous experience, I know that the students will enjoy the game and learn about such events as the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party as well.

In February, grades 6-8 continued and completed their study of Russia. Students learned about what life was like after the fall of the Soviet Union, and unfortunately, how some of the freedoms have been lost again.  Each student did some research on either the conflict between Russia and the Chechnya or the recent election protests.  Then students created and presented an online poster.

In March, students in these grades will be learning about the Middle East.  They will be learning where each country is located and what its capital is.  Students have begun researching a current event of choice that is currently happening in the Middle East.  Students will then write a short news report and record their broadcasts on cameras borrowed from Cape Ann TV.  They will also be learning about the Sahara Desert and some of the history of the region.

The very beginning of February, students in all of the intermediate and upper grades (3-8) went on a field trip to the Discovery Museums: Science in Acton.  The students thoroughly enjoyed this trip, and many said that it was the best field trip they had ever been on.  This museum is completely hands-on, and the students explored, learned, and had fun.

Grades 3-5 studied light.  They used flashlights and mirrors as well as a prism.  We did several experiments about light.  These included experiments about reflection, refraction, and how light travels in a straight line.  We also learned about color, why we see things as different colors, and how colors in light and pigment vary.  In addition, students participated in a trial use of Gizmos which are online interactive science and math tools.  They completed a Gizmo on color, and ones on graphing and measurement.
In March, these students will begin a unit on the ocean.  We are beginning with the study of whales.  Students will learn about toothed and baleen whales and complete some hands-on activities to show feeding adaptations, how blubber is effective, and more.  Also, we are very excited to going on an overnight trip to the Museum of Science in Boston in mid-March.  That evening and the next morning will be just jam-packed with exciting learning opprtunities.

Students in grades 6-8 learned about sound in February.  They experimented on making sounds of different pitches based on length and volume of water in glass.  They learned about sound waves, tested different materials to see which ones sound travels best through, and did some activities on echolocation, and the speed of sound.
In March, these students will begin to learn about changes to the earth.  We will start with plate tectonics and then move onto erosion.  Students will be using hand-on and online activities to enhance their understanding.

January Review/February Preview

Social Studies
Grades 3-5 had a busy January studying about the colonial economy and types of workers.  They learned about indentured servants, apprentices and their masters, and slaves.  Students each chose an occupation to research, decided on a demonstration of some sort and presented to the rest of the school.  Many chose to wear costumes.  If you haven’t seen them yet, please view the pictures on the news page of this site.
In February, intermediate students will be creating their own colonies and learning about the colonists’ relationship to the Native Americans.  When making their own colonies, they will be creating a map, a flag, and will be writing about the reason founded, etc.
Grades 6-8 students learned about the geographical features, the climate, and a bit of history of Russia.  In history, students studied the Russian Revolution, a bit about life in the Soviet Union, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the collapse of the U.S.S.R.  Students participated in an online activity in which they made decisions about what to do from the point of view of Kennedy, Castro, or Khrushchev.  Students agreed that Kennedy had some tough decisions to make at that time.
In February, upper school students will continue their study of Russia.  They will learn about the culture of Russia and what it’s like in Russia today.  Subtopics will include current political and economic challenges and the effect of the collapse of the Soviet Union on the new Russia.

Grades 3-5 continued their study of electricity and learned about series and parallel circuits.  Each student successfully made each of these circuits as well.  Next, we studied states of matter.  They had an absolute blast with this unit.  We make ooblik, had races to test the viscosity of liquids, blew up a balloon with baking soda and vinegar, raced raisins in ginger ale, and many more fun activities.  Students learned about how the atoms of solids, liquids, and gases behave, the properties of each, and how to change one to another.
In February, intermediate students will be learning about light and how it behaves.  They will be working with flashlights and mirrors and prisms among other things.  As a tie in to social studies and art, they will make silhouettes of each other which was very popular in lager colonial days.
Grades 6-8 studied Newton’s laws of motion.  Students participated in many activities related to the three laws using such materials as balls of various weights and sizes.  They created rocket balloons to illustrate Newton’s 3rd law, and were successful in making a marble run in which the marble maintained a consistent speed.  Students briefly studied how air resistance and gravity affect falling objects and created parachutes for eggs to test what they learned.
In February, students in the upper school will be studying sound.  They will learn the relationship between vibrations and pitch, how sound travels.  They will be spending some time analyzing sound waves and will learn how people hear.

Homework for Blue Team, Tuesday. January 24, 2012
Learn about reversible and irreversible changes of matter by playing the game below.
The game is good about giving clues to help you.
Homework for Blue Team, Monday, January 23, 2012
Have fun while practicing skills.
Please go to the site below  and play one of the map games found there.
December Review/January Preview
Social Studies
Students in grades 3-5 began to study colonial America in December.  They studied Roanoke, Jamestown, reviewed Plimoth Colony, and briefly learned how and why the New England colonies were formed.  Students studied how each colony discussed had some system of self-government and participated in a mock town meeting.  In January, students will learn about the workers of the New England states including common occupations, apprenticeship, and indentured servants.  They will also learn about the Triangular Trade and the conditions that the slaves endured during the leg known as the Middle Passage.Students in grades 6-8 completed their study of Europe in December.  They learned to identify twenty-five European countries and capitals on a map.  They learned a little of the history of the Berlin Wall and what it meant to the citizens on both sides, and they learned more specifically about the natural resources and modern economies of Europe.  In January, students will begin their study of Russia.  We will begin by studying the geographic features and the climate of the many areas of Russia.Science
In December, students in grades 3-5 learned about magnets.  They did many experiments with magnets.  Through their experiments they learned which materials are magnetic and which are nonmagnetic, that magnets have poles, that like poles repel and opposite poles attract, and that magnetic forces can work through objects.  Intermediate students also began to learn about electricity.  They tested objects to see which are conductors and which are insulators and made a simple circuit and a series circuit with a switch.  In January, we will continue to study electricity and spend some time learning about the difference between series circuits and parallel circuits.In December, students in grades 6-8 learned about heat. They studied convection, conduction, and radiation, and completed experiments to demonstrate each.  They determined which type of heat transfer was involved in multiple scenarios.  In January, upper school students will begin to study motion.  We will begin with the study of Newton’s three laws of motion and continue with the study of how kinetic and potential energy are related.
November  Review/December Preview
This November the intermediate group (3-5) studied animals.  They learned the difference between vertebrates and invertebrates and the difference between being warm-blooded or cold-blooded.  They also learned the characteristics of fish, reptiles, birds, amphibians, and mammals.  Each student chose one animal to research.  Then they researched particular questions about the animal and made a poster with their information and pictures.  In December, they will learn about magnets.
This was a short month at the school for the upper school students (6-8).  They went away for a week to Camp Kiev. Plus we had the Thanksgiving activities and break.  In science for November, students in grades 6-8 learned how scientists classify animals.  They learned about the kingdoms of living things, and they spent some time using dichotomous keys for identification.  In December, upper school students will be learning about heat transfer.Social Studies
     Students in the intermediate group completed their study of explorers.  Besides well-known explorers, students were introduced to two not-so-famous explorers – one, Alexandrine Tinne, a female explorer who explored the Nile River and the Sahara, and Esteban, a black explorer who explored the southwest of our own country.  Before the test, we reviewed with a Jeopardy game which they thoroughly enjoyed.   In addition, students decided on a community service project and began it.  They decided to help Dana Farber Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital, and they made ornaments to sell to raise money to donate. In December, students in grades 3-5 will begin to study the thirteen colonies.
     Upper school students continued work on their projects this month.  They completed the research for the one country they chose then worked on their final projects.  The final project included either a slide show or a presentation board as well as  an oral report.  In November, students will learn about World War II and begin learning about what Europe is like today region by region.
October Review/November Preview
In October, students in the intermediate school group (grades 3-5) learned about producers, composers, and decomposers, and their role in food chains and food webs.  They looked at many food chains and food webs both on land and from the sea.  Besides participating in class activities and online activities, students visited Appleton Farms to learn how decomposers are important to farming.  From here, intermediate students will begin studying animals.  They will learn about each type of vertebrate.
Students in the upper school group (grades 6-8) began the month learning about plant tropisms and other plant adaptations.  With plants grown from seeds, students put plants in various locations and positions to see how the plant would react.  Students then learned about ecosystems and biomes and a plant’s role in them.  In November, upper school students will study how living things are classified.Social Studies
Throughout October, Students in the intermediate school group (grades 3-5) learned about European explorers.  They completed a story book about Marco Polo and learned about other European explorers.
Students in the upper school group (grades 6-8) learned a brief history of Europe.  Students determined what parts of European history they wanted to learn about. Students learned about Feudalism, the Black Death and World War I.  In addition, students completed a project on Europe.  Each student researched several European countries, then decided on one to learn more about.  Next month students will complete their projects.
September/October Update
This past month, students in the intermediate school group (grades 3-5) completed a short unit in engineering design.  Among other activities, they built newspaper tables and towers out of spaghetti and marshmallows and learned the concepts of tension, compression, and load.  Since then, we have been studying plants specifically the parts of a plant, the life cycle of plants with a focus on flowering plants, how seeds are dispersed and a plant’s need for water and light.  From here we will be moving on to composting and learning about decomposers, food chains, and food webs.Students in the upper school group (grades 6-8) also completed a unit on engineering design and learned about  tension, compression, and load.  These students made bridges out of straw and tape and constructed road signs (like you see on the highway).  They learned about the strength of trusses in these activities and were required to build the bridge and road sign to support a certain weight by using trusses.  We have now moved onto plants.  Students have completed a virtual lab in which they determined the best growing conditions for tomato plants.  They studied the parts of a flower and how they function in fertilization and plant tropisms.  Soon they will begin studying ecosystems.

Social Studies

      Students in the intermediate school group (grades 3-5) began the year with map skills – looking at map keys, grid coordinates, latitude and longitude, etc.  Next we began out unit on Explorers.  We began with the Vikings.  After studying the Vikings, students wrote a short play to convey what they have learned and will present it to the other students in the school tomorrow.  Next, students will learn about Marco Polo and other European explorers.

Students in the upper school group (grades 6-8) began with learning about the five themes of geography.  They created their own countries and related the themes of geography to them.  We have now begun to learn about the geography of Europe.  Students will learn about Europe in general as well as learning about each region of Europe more specifically.  Next week we will begin to work on a project that will entail learning more specifically about a few countries in Europe.

Dance Mat Typing
Follow the link below to access Dance Mat Typing.
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