Wednesday, February 7, 2024

What is the purpose of logic puzzles?

A detective uses his magnifying glass to hunt for clues, and follows those leads to determine who did it.

In a similar manner, logic problems test your DEDUCTIVE REASONING ability. You are challenged to use the given information, make logical inferences, and reach a conclusion.

Logic puzzles teach step-by-step thinking while students work toward a solution. Often, correct answers are found by the process of elimination or by working backward. Even simple grid puzzles encourage students to apply logic and reasoning to find the answers.

3rd Graders used grit, determination, and stamina to solve these logic puzzles, proving, once again, that these kiddos are SPARKSters to their core! 😎


6th Graders did a thing today, y’all! 

Last week, we made bath bombs, using 2 different recipes. One recipe was normal, and one had extra cornstarch added. Each mixture was pressed into a sphere-shaped mold and allowed to set/harden.

Today, students hypothesized which would dissolve faster. Then, we used our iPad stopwatch and a thermometer to test each. Bath water is usually between 90 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit, so we warmed 12 ounces of water within this range. Simultaneously, students dropped the bath bomb into the warm water and started the stopwatch. When the dissolving and fizzing was complete, the time was recorded. This process was repeated with the extra cornstarch bath bomb.

We concluded that the normal recipe produced a more solid sphere which held its shape better, as well as dissolved better and more completely. The extra cornstarch lost its shape, was more fragile, fell apart, and stopped fizzing long before the dissolving process was complete. In fact, class ended before the extra cornstarch bath bombs dissolved much at all. The average dissolving time of the regular recipe from all 4 groups was 197.75 seconds (3.3 minutes). 

We will use the normal recipe again tomorrow to make Valentine Bath Bombs to gift a special someone, and those will go home on Valentine’s Day. ❤

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Dear 7th and 8th Grade SPARKS Parent(s),
As you are aware, we have a competition at OLPH on February 23rd. That means we have only 5 class periods left (after today) to complete our mousetrap cars and all of the other components of our entries. We lost two class periods due to the January snow. 😕
If you can help with the car itself (we have to work through all of the Engineering Design Process steps), including documenting each stage, WE NEED YOUR HELP!
If you can help with the trifold display board, WE NEED YOUR HELP!
If you can help with the “costume” (a team t-shirt, which I have already purchased, with student designed logo and team name), and you can assist in painting the shirt, or have a Cricut or Silhouette that you can bring, WE NEED YOUR HELP!
If you can help with creating marketing materials (pamphlet, jingle, commercial, video, etc.) for a team, WE NEED YOUR HELP!
**If you can help, please come at one, two, three, or ALL of the following times:

7th Grade:     Tuesdays 2:10 - 3:00.    Thursdays 12:20 - 1:10
8th Grade:     Tuesdays 12:20 - 1:10.    Thursdays 2:10 - 3:00

Please call the school office (386-3328), email me ( or text my cell (268-4856) and let me know when you can be here to assist us, or just drop by! Any and all help is appreciated! As you can see, it is A LOT to get done.

We won the competition last year with our outstanding catapults, costumes, and presentations! Let’s do it again!


Thursday, January 18, 2024

 Looking for some indoor fun? Making your own SNOW-dough is “snow” much fun!

If you make the snow dough or do anything fun outside or inside, email me a picture! A picture of you reading your novel, taking notes, practicing your poem, or working on your mousetrap car would be great, too! Stay safe, and keep working and reading! 

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

 SNOW DAY SPARKS assignments ❄❄

I hope you are staying warm and dry! If you have been out to play in the snow, built a snow man, etc., please feel free to send some pictures of your creations! I will post them here on the blog for all to enjoy!

2nd - 5th Grade: 

We will continue reading our novels for NovelEngineering. If there is a copy of the book at home (some are classics), you can read using that, or you can use the Libby app with your Bartlett Library Card, YouTube, Audible, etc. to continue reading/listening to your assigned novel. Remember to take chapter-by-chapter notes about characters and problems that engineers could solve by designing functioning solutions. Please limit reading to 3-5 chapters, so you don’t get too far ahead.

2nd Grade is reading Charlotte’s Web.

3rd Grade is reading Stuart Little.

4th Grade is reading Shiloh.

5th Grade is reading Crenshaw.

6th Grade:

Poetry Slam! 6th Grade should be memorizing and practicing your performance poem for our Poetry Slam! Remember to practice out loud, maybe in front of a mirror, family/friends, make a video to critique yourself, etc. Get loud/quiet when appropriate, use pauses for effect, use your hands to “talk”, etc. I can’t wait to see and hear your poems!

OLPH Challenge (7th and 8th Grade):

Mousetrap Cars! We learned all about the challenge last week from Mrs. Mangin, and you should be so excited to get started. Look around the house (closets, junk drawers, craft supplies, garage, etc.) to see what materials you might be able to construct a prototype out of. Documentation is key, so you should at least be able to sketch a possible model, labeling materials you think would be good to use to build. We will be judged on appearance of the car, speed, and distance. Also, your team will need a team name and logo, “sponsors”, car graphics, pit crew outfits, etc. If possible, get with other SPARKS students via FaceTime, zoom, text, etc., and start sharing ideas. 

Below, you will find a link to the presentation from Thursday. Please take a look and work on some individual plans and ideas. Be prepared to share your ideas when we return to class.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

4th Graders loved making their “DOTS” talk using ChatterPix on International Dot Day!