View Henderson Middle School

Home Page

Welcome to Mrs. Burch's World of Science 
                                                     (scroll down below the picture for Ms. Burch's website) 

September 20, 2021
The big news this week is that we can finally have all our assignments posted on one platform, and for science, that is Google Classroom.  This provides students with easy access to some of the other resources we will be using, and so watch for it to become fully functional within the next week or two.  The Google Classroom join codes will be found in the resource tab of Verge, under the science course.  All these things take time, though, so keep checking back to see if it has been posted.  Students will get the code in class so that they can join via their chromebooks.  From that point on, the students should not need the join code, but new students or those who were absent when we implement it will need the code.  Parents do not have access to the full site on their own, but their students can share everything with parents, and look for an invitation to the Parents' and Guardians' reports, which allow parents to get daily or weekly reports of the students' assignments and whether they have been turned in and what grade was earned.  It's a great platform.  

This week we will continue our study of the solar system and compare the other planets to Earth.  We will make a Venn Diagram one day, write poems another day, and on Friday we will construct a scale model of the solar system with string, paper, and crayons.  Students will take notes this week on Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, and begin their work on their poster.  The central item on each poster should be a student drawing of the planet, which is easy because all planets are spherical, which means they can draw around a dinner plate or a desert plate to get the shape, and then they can color it with correct colors and detail it with any surface features characteristic of the planet.  The name of the planet should be at the top Center of the poster and prominent.  Many students choose to print this out and they can do that in the Media Center for ten cents in black, or 25 cents in color.  The checklist each student has received will give them the outline for what to put on the poster and the rubric is also included.  The poster will be a quiz/project grade, and each student will present it on flipgrid.  We are practicing with flipgrid this week in class, and at home so it will be easy to do before the due date which is Tuesday, Sept. 28.  I will post a copy of the poster checklist in Google Classroom on the assignment so that those who have lost their copy will have access to it.  I hope everyone has a wonderful week.  

September 11, 2021
Greetings!  Well, we finally have the chrome books!  I was so excited to get them, but having had less than 24 hours notice, we were not able to get everyone up and running.  So, since I have had some time to study the situation, I can now help our students better.  Here are some first steps for all of us to do:
1.  Mark your chromebook on the plastic frame with a sticker which you can remove when you return the chrome book to DeKalb County.  This should be something recognizable by the student.  Take a picture of the back of the chrome book to further identify it if it gets lost or mixed up with the others.  The county has a record of these numbers, but it will make it faster and easier for teachers to find the owner of a chromebook if you, also, keep a record of the identifying numbers.  Next, use a luggage tag or a ribbon to identify the chromebook case for the student.  Remember, they all look the same, and in the locker scramble, your student may pick up the wrong one, or someone else might pick up his.  I don't suggest using an address other than Henderson Middle School's address on the tag, but you could use the parent's phone number in case it is lost.  Lastly, mark the charger with a similar identification so that a missing charger can be recovered.  The chrome books must be charged every night at home, but still, around lunch time, the student may have used the battery power up, and we see students loan out their charging cord, only to lose it because they forget to get the cord back.  Remember....they all look alike unless you mark it clearly with something that won't fall off.  This can be accomplished with paper and clear packing tape, or some other similar system with a name and phone number only.  Remember, it must be able to be removed when the student returns their equipment.  OK...that was a lot, but it will help your student identify and find their own chrome book and could save hours in the long run. step follows....scroll on down.
2.  You must sign the parent agreement.  This can and should be done on line.   Following the MAP test, if the parent has not signed the agreement, the chrome books will be taken from the students.  Here's how to do it:  Go to the main page of this website for Henderson Middle School.  Find the words "Digital Dreamer" probably on the left side of the main screen (unless they move it to a different place).  Click it.  Then go to "device request".  Next, click on "chrome book".  Then enter the students ID.....but leave off the S at the beginning....only enter the number.  You do not need to use the "Look up" option, because all students should have a student number (often called the "S number" by students).  Then, simply read the information and digitally sign the parent's name.  If you want to save a copy to your computer, or print a copy you could do that.  But, that is all there is to it.  Students will not be allowed to keep their Chromebook if parents do not sign this agreement.  They will also not be allowed to use a personal computer in the school, so please sign up.  We will be using the chromebook every single day in school and at home.  
3.  If your household does not have good connectivity, please test out the chrome book in different parts of the house to see where the signal is strongest.  If you don't have internet in the home, or if you don't have a good signal, DeKalb County Schools have provided "Hot Spots" in the past.  I see that you can request one at the same place you requested the chrome book device, so please request one if you need it.  This is a piece of equipment you will also need to return to the school at the time you return the chrome book, so there is also an agreement for it.  But, since we will be using the Chrome book for homework, and we might also need it during a virtual day out of school, it would be helpful to request one now if you need it.  Often, families who have internet service, but the signal is not strong enough or there are "lagging" problems, have found that buying a signal booster helps immensely...they can be found on line or in electronics stores for as little as $20 and up.  I use one of the low-cost kind at home, and it has made a big difference. 
4.  Plug in the Chromebook and let it fully charge.  Students should each have a special place to plug in the chromebook before bedtime, and it needs to be outside their bedroom.   You might be surprised how many students come to school with no charge because they either forgot to plug it in, or they fell asleep while playing on it under the covers.  Yes, parents, this does happen, so make sure that the student's chromebooks are charged over night outside their bedroom, preferably right next to their backpack.   If a student comes to school without their chromebook, we don't have loaners for them to use, so they will miss out on lots of instruction.  In science, we don't have physical science textbooks and the county has given us an online textbook only.  So it is super important to have their chromebooks with them and fully charged every day.  
5.  Passwords:  Here is how your student will get connected to the DeKalb County School District network and resources.
 Here is how it works:  Your student will go to the Clever page on their chromebook.  There it will ask for a sign-in.  The user name is their S number.  If the chromebook has not taken them to the district sign-in, then you will have to use their complete email address which is "[email protected]"  However, this may not be necessary when using the chromebook.  It will ask for the password at that point.  Without the new password, the student cannot sign on.  The student will get his or her password from me, and if they forget their password, we must reset it.  

Last, but not least, be sure to discuss with your student the importance of using this Chromebook for educational purposes only.  The county does block many websites that we would like to use, such as many of the Youtube websites, even many that are educational.  This is because students misused the Chromebooks in the past.  Also, students will find ways to turn the chromebooks into gaming toys, but I have found that the students who do that often have used up most of the memory or other computer resources so that the actual educational programs no longer work.  So do NOT use this piece of equipment for play.  If a student is using the chrome book for something other than its intended use during school, we will take it away.  Please have a serious conversation with the student about the purpose of this particular be used for school things, only.  We try to make learning fun, and those are the games to play on this computer, but not those which are not assigned by the school.  When I allow students to share videos or their work with other students, those communications have been seen and approved by me first.  Finally, since your students may be working with other students and emailing them or working on google docs together, be sure they remember that cyber bullying has serious consequences, and what they think is just "playing around" is never appropriate on any computer, because those records do not go away.  In other words, they can never take back those kinds of comments, nor can they see the reactions of the other person that could let them know they are hurting someone's feelings.  Kids are still learning about how to behave and we need to have these conversations with them in a serious and open way.  Please help them understand that this computer is for positive, learning experiences.

This is the longest post I have ever written on my website...I like to keep it short.  Soon, I will be placing my assignments and messages to parents on Verge.  Parents, make sure you know how to go to Verge, and also make sure you are signed up for the Infinite Campus so you can keep up with your kids' assignments and grades.  You may need to get a code from Ms. Karon Swint (our registrar) in order to have access to Infinite Campus, but once you get that, it stays with you forever.  You do not need a new access code if you already have access to your child's Infinite Campus, even though they moved to middle school.  You will be able to see all your childrens' accounts, although each of them can only see their own.  
Best wishes for a good week!  Ms. Burch
September 4, 2021
Greetings!  We have now completed 5 weeks of school, and are enjoying our first holiday.  I hope everyone remembers his or her locker combination when we return on Tuesday.  In science we have completed the "getting acquainted" topic, which included learning about current events in Earth Science, the 4 main domains of Earth Science we will cover this year and what each domain includes (astronomy, geology, oceanography, and meteorology).  We have learned about the beginning of the universe (Big Bang) and our place in the universe.  Last week we learned about the beginning of our solar system and the views of ancient astronomers about how everything works.  We will be moving on to study our solar system in the next 2 weeks, and then the phases of the moon.  

The first progress report will be sent after grades are posted on Thursday morning.  It has been challenging for students and for me due to the high number of necessary absences, and the fact that quite a few students' schedules were changed.  I am entering the grades for which I have papers this weekend, and will get all remaining ones on Tuesday.  Students should keep all their papers, although when we have the chrome books, very little paper will be used other than the Science Notebook.  Please make sure to keep any papers returned to you, so that we can ensure that I have the grades in the right place.  

Any student with less than a 70 grade can return their paper, corrected, and get a grade of 70.  If no grade is listed in Infinite Campus, I have either not graded the paper yet, or I need to ask a student a question about the paper before entering a grade.  Those that are blank do not count against the student, however if they can't be cleared up, they will be entered before grades are posted on Sept. 9.  Many of those poor grades are because students failed to complete their assignment.  They will also have a chance to retake a test which they made less than 70 on.  I will provide that opportunity on Wednesday during "academic lunch" held in my room.  Students should get permission from their ELT 5th period teacher to come for that time to retake a test.  

I have not given much homework so far this year, because the students don't have chrome books and we can't issue the textbooks since the county is no longer providing them for 6th grade science.  It is disappointing to see that even when the homework is very little, and we do some of it in class together, some students have not taken the time to complete it.  Parents, please make sure that your student spends about 15-20 minutes on science 5 nights a week, and then show you the completed work.  I will publish the previous assignments here, although I will start using a digital platform as soon as the kids get chrome books.  This website will have to do until then.  I will post the homework later this evening or tomorrow under the tab that says "homework 2021".  Thank you for your patience with this process, and if we all work together, the students will still be able to learn about the topics of study.  I bet every one of my students can tell you one or more things they have learned in science this year!  

Please send an email or a note with your child if you have questions.  I look forward to hearing from you, Ms. Burch

August, 2021
Greetings to all students and parents!  We are off to a great start, and I am happy to see our students every morning.  We are making the best of a pandemic situation, and going about the business of learning.  Although I was expecting to have the chrome books assigned at the beginning of school, there have been hold-ups, and we still don't have a date when they will go out.  So, in the mean time we are operating with paper and pencils.  The science department does not have a physical textbook, but we could not use them anyway, because they are not in good enough condition.  So, we are working with what we have and the kids are doing well.  Lots of adjustment getting back into routines, but they are coming around.  Lockers are assigned and working.  It can only get better!  

Since we don't have the electronic platforms yet, I will be posting the previously assigned homework on this website, and will update it each time homework is given.  I will also begin recording my live classes each day so that you can see what goes on in the classroom, and students in quarantine can take advantage of the daytime work if they are up to it.  Students who are on an excused absence can have extra days to turn in their work based on the number of days they are out.  

Curriculum night is August 31, and the connections teachers will have their programs from 5:30-6:15 and your student's core teachers on Team 6D will meet with parents between 6:15 - 7:00 PM on Aug. 31 ON A ZOOM CALL.  WE WILL NOT BE IN THE BUILDING THIS YEAR BUT WILL HAVE A VIRTUAL MEETING.  Here is the invitation.  Hope to see you there.  Zoom is a free app.  It does not take much memory and you can get it from your app store or google it online. 

Topic: 6D Curriculum Night
Time: Aug 31, 2021 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting by clicking this link

Meeting ID: 869 6382 8637
Passcode: TEAM6D


***********************************everything following this is left from last year************************************************
             Unfortunately, we don't have the chrome books...but we may use these later in Sept. if we get them.


________some of the following links might not be working any more.  We used them last year______


astronomy explained:

What does space smell like?

What does space sound like?


Astronomy picture of the day

Ask an astronomer

astronomy learning games

Discovery Space video and other things

Moon rise and set and phase

Powers of Ten:  Outer Space

Large Hadron Collider Information

CERN...3 minute video

Scale Model Solar system

Weird Science about space

Space Station Under Construction:  Space Toilet explained


Black Holes

What is gravity? **

Bill Nye on moon phases

Use a search engine to find out about the following stories.  Type the title into the search field or copy and paste.  See what you learn!

Missing space matter found

humans living beyond planet’s means

12 year old inventor gets rich

100 explosions on the moon

One Key to Bird Flight Discovered

Full moon names

Scientists say NJ object is meteorite

Fall Final Exam Study Guide


                                                                                                            Period _______   Date _____________                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               


Scientific Method

1.      What causes scientists to change their theories?    

2.      What type of scientist studies space and Earth’s place in it?

3.      What type of scientist studies the solid Earth?

4.      What is the factor that a scientist changes during a controlled experiment?

5.      What do we call the resulting change that is measured in a controlled experiment?

6.      What should be included in the conclusion section of an experiment write-up?

7.      Why might a symbol appear at the beginning of a lab or activity?

8.      What do we call the scientist’s answer to the scientific question before it is tested?

9.      Which scientific skill are you using when you see that the mineral’s streak is black?

10. What do we call a chart showing the hardness of various minerals?


11. What did Copernicus say was in the center of the universe?

12. What type of galaxy is the Milky Way Galaxy which includes our solar system?

13. From largest to smallest, list the following things:  galaxy, solar system, universe

14. What is the name we give to describe the formation of the universe?

15. What do all inner planets have in common?

16. Since the Big Bang, how is the universe changing?

17. Do the planets that are farther from the sun have a longer or shorter “year?”

18. Why is Venus such a hot planet?

19. What do all the outer planets have in common?

20. What is a “shooting star?”

21. Where is the moon when we have a solar eclipse?

22. What is the phase of moon when it is not reflecting any light?

23. What is the largest planet in our solar system?

24. How old is the universe?

25. How long is Earth’s period of rotation?

26. Draw a picture of  a spiral galaxy.


27. What is a mineral?

28. What do we call the way a mineral reflects light?

29. What is a mineral’s resistance to being scratched called?

30. What is the color of a mineral’s powder?

31. What do we call the tendency of a mineral to break in an irregular or curved way?

32. What things can change the color of a mineral?

33. What is the term for a pure substance that cannot be broken down?

34. What do we call the tendency of a mineral to break in smooth flat planes?

35. What type of rock is gneiss?

36. What is the measure of how much matter is in a given space?

37. What do we call two or more elements that have been chemically bonded?

38. What process turns magma into an igneous rock?

39. What processes do igneous rocks go through on the way to becoming sediment?

40. What process does a metamorphic rock go through to become magma?

41. What process changes an igneous rock to a metamorphic rock?

42. What two processes does sediment go through to become sedimentary rock?

43. What physical layer of the Earth includes both crust and the top of the mantle?

44. What is the physical layer of Earth that is liquid and located just above the inner core?

45. What compositional layer of the Earth is on the surface above sea level?

46. What is the upper part of the mantle called?

47. What is the name of the plate boundary when the plates are moving apart from each other?

48. What type of plate boundary is the one where the plates are moving toward each other?

49. What do we call the plate boundary when the plates are sliding past each other?

50. What type of fault is it when rock cracks and one block moves horizontally past the other?

51. What type of fault is it when one piece of the rock slides down the other rock?

52. What type of fault is it when one piece of rock is pushed up the other rock?

53. Where do most earthquakes take place?

54. What causes geologic stress?

55. What do we call the geologic stress that pulls two rock blocks apart?

56. What do we call the geologic stress that pushes two rock blocks against each other?

57. What do we call the bending, tilting and breaking of the Earth’s crust?

58. What do we call the mixture of rock particles, minerals, decayed organic material, air and water?

59. In which layer of the Earth would you find the densest elements?

60. When rock is worn away by the grinding action of other rock particles, what do we call that?

61. As depth beneath Earth’s surface increases, what happens to temperature and pressure?

62. What type of rock is formed from lava?

63. What is the name of the series of processes that slowly changes rocks from one kind to another?

64. In the process of sea floor spreading, where does molten material from the mantle erupt?

65. What was the name of the single landmass from which our continents broke away from?


Bonus Points will be added if you bring your study guide to the Final Exam and your parent has signed this answer guide stating that he or she has helped you study for the final exam,  for one  or more hours. 

__________________________ studied with me for ___________ hours. _____________________________

   Student name                                                                       Parent signature

Scientific Method

1.       New evidence

2.      Astronomer

3.      Geologist

4.      Independent variable

5.      Dependent variable

6.      Explanation of why the results occurred

7.      To alert you to needed precautions

8.      Hypothesis

9.      Observation

10. Data


11. Sun

12. Spiral

13. Universe, galaxy, solar system

14. Big Bang

15. They are small and have rocky surfaces

16. Expanding

17. Longer

18. Greenhouse effect

19. They are outside the asteroid belt

20. Meteor

21. Between Earth and sun

22. New moon

23. Jupiter

24. 13.7 billion years old

25. 24 hours

26.  Looks like a pin wheel with  arms


27.  Naturally formed, inorganic solid with a definite crystalline structure

28. Luster

29. Hardness

30. Streak

31. Fracture

32. Air and water

33. Element

34. Cleavage

35. Metamorphic

36. Density

37. Compound

38. Cooling

39. Weathering and erosion

40. Melting

41. Heat and pressure

42. Compaction and cementation

43. Lithosphere

44. Outer core

45. Continental crust

46. Aesthenosphere

47. Divergent plate boundary

48. Convergent plate boundary

49. Transform boundary

50. Strike slip fault

51. Normal fault

52. Reverse fault

53. At plate boundaries

54. Forces such as plate tectonics

55. Tension

56. Pressure

57. Deformation

58. Soil

59. Core

60. Abrasion

61. Both increase

62. Igneous

63. Rock cycle

64. Mid-ocean Ridge

65. Pangea


District Home      |       Parents      |       School Nutrition      |       Bus Routes