Archive for October, 2009

Eye of the Tiger

I saw this on Monday’s episode of The Big Bang Theory and it made me laugh so much I had to share:

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Earth Science Week 2009

Happy Earth Science Week 2009!!!

For all sorts of cool resources, check out Teach Science and Math’s Resources Post.

Ms Frizzle Got A Facelift!

The blog’s got a new look! If you’re keeping track via a reader, check it out and see what’s new!

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Online Periodic Table and History of Elements

I just stumbled upon this online Periodic Table. You can learn absolutely anything about most elements. I find it interesting that the historical names of the elements are included. It reminds me of the book that I’m reading right now!

Introducing a Topic

I heard this fabulous lecture by Amanda Gunning at Teachers College last night on Introducing a Topic. Lots of creative ways to get kids involved from the start!

Introducing a New Topic: Outside-In (showing students new information)

Show a video clip

  • The example below would be a great video to introduce static electricity. Another favorite is this video to introduce a wave unit using cell phones:

Have the students read something relevant

  • I love the idea of using literature in science class – this could range from current events in the newspaper to science fiction novels. A good way to introduce genetic engineering would be The Last Book In The Universe.

Read to the students

  • A suggestion for middle school would be Science Verse by Jon Scieszka & Lane Smith.

Do an demonstration

  • Demonstrations are often the easy way out for science teachers, so only use one if it’s relevant and you can explain it.

Play a song

Show a piece of art or photo

  • NASA’s image of the day gallery is brilliant! Several other websites have great science photography galleries as well.

Ways to Introduce a Topic: Inside-Out (using what students already know)

Find out what they know

  • List – write out all of the students’ responses to a question and narrow down later
  • Think-Pair-Share – create a list from the pair’s brainstorm
  • KWL chart – know/want to know/have learned
  • ABC – students fill in key ideas, one for each letter of the alphabet
  • Pass the chalk/pen – everyone has to use the chalk/pen and write something on the board, can be paired with ABC

Ask them to think about a scenario, idea, experience, or problem

Say there was a swimming pool with a shallow end of 3 ft. and a deep end of 8 ft. Point A is in the shallow end and point B  is in the deep end, both at a depth of 2 ft. Which point experiences more water pressure?

  • Using the situation above, have students Think-Pair-Share to develop an answer. The correct answer is that they both experience the same water pressure because they are at the same depth. Common misconceptions include: “A experiences more pressure because of the ground underneath it” and “B experiences more pressure because of all the water underneath it.”

Have them draw something (think-draw-share)

  • You might ask students to draw what happens to a ball when it is thrown horizontally.

Ask a question

  • Always make sure it’s open ended!

Take a poll

  • In a Mechanics Unit, you could ask which will drop first, a textbook or a coin? This can easily turn into a exciting classroom activity where students try to observe, measure, and calculate the answer for themselves.

Personal Experiences

  • Independent Student Observations
  • Share life experiences (briefly!) –> For a discussion on Newton’s 3rd Law: “Have you ever stubbed your toe? Why do you hurt and not the door/corner?”

Example: Introducing The Moon

  • Myths –> werewolfs, people to crazy things on a full moon, man in the moon
  • History –> Galileo
  • What is the Moon? What is it made of? –> cheese?!
  • Where did the Moon come from?
  • Readings –> Goodnight Moon, Hey Diddle Diddle, Sonnet of the Moon by Charles Best
  • Lunar landing –> was it staged or did it really happen? what were the social and political events leading up to it?
  • Student observations –> keep of Moon Log of observations of the sky each night
  • Find pictures of what people have imagined they see in the moon –> introduce different cultures