Wow, the last few weeks have gone by so quickly that I can’t keep up!
MONDAY – Started out with a Professional Development Day that was a great way to get to know the school culture and faculty better. We had the opportunity to experience learning through different senses (my two sessions were movement- and touch-based learning).
TUESDAY – Rode the bus with a lady who was convinced there was no air on the bus. The new semester also started on this day and my cooperating teacher communicated his expectations for the students and told them what to expect. Each of his classes last for the whole year, but I thought it was a nice way to start the semester.
Physics started learning circular motion and there were some neat ways of demonstrating centripetal force:
- Each table is given a manilla folder and a marble. They are told to curve the folder so they can roll the marble along the table into the folder’s curve and watch the marble exit the curve in a straight line.
- Attach a rubber washer to a string and swing it above your head in a horizontal circle so that when you let go, it shows that the washer will fly off in a tangential motion.
- Using a large cylindrical beaker, put a rubber ball in the opening and spin around with the open end towards you. The ball will remain in the beaker. Switch the organization so that when you spin, the ball has the opportunity to fly out.
- Spin a cup with water in a vertical or horizontal circle.
The 10th grade biology class learned about blood types. I couldn’t believe it when one girl came in wearing skinny legged acid wash jeans – it’s scary how trends from my childhood are popular again!
WEDNESDAY – Students in physics created accelerometers in class. They took a flask beaker and filled it with water. Then they added a small popcorn packing foam piece tied on a string and closed it up. When they turned it upside down, the foam piece floated in the middle of the beaker near the top. Since the water is more dense than the foam, the water moves in the direction of the velocity and the foam moves in the direction of the acceleration. When a student spins in the circle, the foam piece points towards the inside of the circle – demonstrating centripetal acceleration.
10th graders learned about allele frequency and did a fun activity where they picked dominant and recessive alleles out of a cup to see which traits their “population” would have.
THURSDAY – Physics reviews circular motion and 10th grade introduces evolution.
FRIDAY – 10th grade discusses overproduction and evolution and continue the activity from Wednesday by eliminating the homozygous recessive parts of the population to demonstrate how evolution occurs.
I also got to begin grading homework assignments and loved it! Here is one students response to the question, “What is the difference between rotation and revolution?”:
Rotation: an object spinning around its own axis
Revolution: an object circling around another object’s axis
Revolutions: a group of people attempting to overthrow the government
Haha, I love high schoolers :)