Wow, the third week of school already; the week flew by so quickly I can barely remember what happened!
In Physics, the kids are finishing up linear motion and getting ready for their first test. They have been working very hard to catch up with the math they are behind on (most are just taking Algebra 2) and are starting to think like Physicists! We are having so much fun. My biggest goal for them is to learn to work harder – they all tend to be extremely lazy and refuse to believe that they will learn and grow if they practice. I am pretty confident the source of this attitude is from growing up with teachers with low expectations.
The other struggle we’ve had is understanding the concept of “units”. We spent almost an entire class period working out the difference between quantity (the thing being measured), unit (the type of measurement), and the relevant equations. I think they’re starting to get it.
My freshman course is pretty funny. They are not as much of a handful as I had anticipated, just young and immature. We have been discussing renewable and non-renewable energy sources and essential materials for survival. It’s a spiralling curriculum, so all of the content we’ll cover is related to sustainability. It will also prepare them for the state science proficiency exam they will take in 11th grade. I like that the class can be more of a seminar and less lecture. My goal for these students is to teach them to be more responsible – they see homework as an optional extracurricular activity. We’ll get there!
I saw this video on a blog I read the other day and it made me laugh because it is exactly how I feel keeping a class of thirty-something 9th graders on task:
In other news, my background check finally cleared, so I can get put on payroll this week!! A million thanks to my principal for getting that pushed through :)
There was an article in one of the New York Times’ blogs recently on the plans to rebuild the Kosciuszko Bridge on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in New York City. There’s also a video that shows a virtual tour and test drive of the bridge and an opportunity to vote and comment on the final bridge design to be started in 2014.
What a great opportunity for an engineering design project. You could analyze the different design proposals and discuss the benefits of each. It’s also a great chance to talk about the aesthetics involved in design and debate their importance. Finally, kids could team up to build scale models of their favorite proposed design!
If you’re interested in a fantastic field trip in New York City, check out the Intrepid Museum!
I’ve put together a power point about the museum as well as an educators guide for planning a trip. The educators guide has a sample middle school unit on aviation that can be used to prepare for an aviation tour.
This is an incredible museum that you should check out even if you are just passing through New York City.
Happy Earth Science Week 2009!!!
For all sorts of cool resources, check out Teach Science and Math’s Resources Post.
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!
Another great post by Rhett at Dot Physics! It’s always difficult to teach the wave-particle duality of light since students (and even teachers) struggle with the abstract reasoning involved. Rhett does a fantastic job with his illustrations and explanations of light as a wave. I’m definitely using this with my students.
Read the article “Light and Waves – at a basic Level”
Last winter, I participated in U.S. Satellite’s professional development course called 3-D View. You can read my entries about the course at the following links: Day 1 and Days 2-5.
I recently got an email that they are offering this course at a discounted rate.
I strongly recommend any teacher involved in general science, earth science, environmental science, ecology, or biology participate.
You can get more information at the 3-D View website.