Monday, September 28, 2009
Sounds of the Space Age, From Sputnik to Lunar Landing
When "Side 1" is finished, click on the record to play "Side 2". About 10 minutes total.
Info: A supplement to the December 1969 issue of National Geographic, this record plays an audio history of space exploration. Pressed on flexible vinyl, the record is narrated by astronaut Frank Borman and includes audio from NASA, the US Airforce, and Radio Moscow.
You can also see photos from the Dec 1969 Issue.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I added the RSS or XML feeds from my favorite science news sites so we can keep up with current events and I can use them as examples in class discussions. Instead of going to each separate news site, I can quickly see all the latest news headlines from all my favorite sites in one spot!
Lets say you are doing a weather unit, you can have the weather for selected US cities or foreign countries all on one page.If you are doing a space unit, you can have feeds for phases of the moon, constellations visible that night, or other astronomy/space information.
You can list podcasts that you want your students to listen to. On my site, I have a link to a great news feature called 60-second science podcasts from Scientific American.
Most websites have an RSS or XML feed. When you click on either one, it will give you a web address that you can copy and paste into your Pageflakes page.
If you already use Pageflakes, how do you use it in your classroom?
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I broke the classes into groups of 4-5 students and each group represented a different country, symbolizing how scientists all over the world work in groups and share their findings with each other. We then discussed the process and how even though we all had the same information, each group processed that information differently. We also discussed how scientists are always getting new information and have to make sense of it. With new information, theories are either updated or thrown out and therefore new theories are made. We also discussed the new findings on a predecessor to T-Rex that was only about 9ft long and had tiny forearms, making scientists rethink their theories about the evolution of T-Rex.
Below are the hypotheses that my groups came up with:
A big fat white dog walked into the little house on the prairie and ate his bone carrying the bowl of red turnips.
The big fat dog carrying his white bone walked into the little house on the prairie and ate a bowl of red turnips.
The fat dog ate the red and white turnips and the big bone walked carrying his house into a bowl on little of prairie.
The white fat dog carrying his little bowl of the turnips into a big red prairie house ate the bone and walked on.
A big fat dog ate the red turnips carrying his bowl of the white bone and walked on into the little prairie house.
The little dog walked into his big house carrying the white bone and ate a bowl of fat red turnips on the prairie.
His big fat red white prairie dog walked into a house
The big red dog ate fat turnips on a little white house and his bone walked into the prairie of the carrying bowl.
A dog on the little prairie ate his white bone and walked into the big house carrying the bowl of fat red turnips.
Right Side Activity:
Students had to write a 3-5 sentence conclusion/reflection about this activity and then draw a scene from their story on page 13 of their notebooks.
If you complete this activity, please let me know what your groups came up with!
Monday, September 21, 2009
After a brief introduction/ discussion, we filled in their notes. Then I had them close their eyes and I slowly read the three sample observations: I hear people screaming, I see a lot of people around, and I smell cotton candy, popcorn, and hamburgers. When they opened their eyes they wrote down where they pictured themselves-which is their inference. I had students raise their hands to tell me where they were - these are some of their responses:
- a circus
- a fair
- a carnival
- a theme park
- on the boardwalk or at the beach
- at a sporting event
I asked them, "Did we all have the same observations?" And most said no. Then I repeated the observations - people screaming, a lot of people around, smelling cotton candy. Yes, we all had the same observations, BUT our inferences were different. We used our individual experiences to process the information and formed our own conclusions. Ohhhhhh!
I then showed the slides for the Mystery Footprints. Frame 1: One student's observation was, "I see an animal running". I said, "I don't see an animal running, I see tracks that start off close together then become farther apart." I then explain that I can infer that the animal was running, but I didn't see it happen, I just see the tracks that are left behind. Some observations are that the background is yellow, there are two sets of prints, the tracks are coming from 2 different directions, the red tracks are close together, etc...
We viewed each frame and discussed our observations and then shared our inferences. When I showed the 3rd frame, a lot of the students gasped, they were so into it and when they saw the red prints missing, they were quickly writing down their observations and inferences!
Some great inferences the kids came up with:
- the animals were fighting and one ate the other (most common answer)
- one animal bit the other animal and carried it away to eat it somewhere else
- the animals were eating food off the ground, one walked away while one stayed behind to eat more
- the animals fought over the food, and the loser walked away
- the tracks were made at different times and ate the same food that was on the ground
- one animal flew away
- one animal jumped onto the back of the other animal
- the animals were dancing until one walked away
We went over the homework assignment and I really stressed the difference between observations and inferences. Observations are pieces of information we obtain by using our senses, and inferences are like a "story" that we can make up based on our observations.
Monday, September 14, 2009
I love to play Scrabble, so I made some fun science puzzles with a Scrabble/Science theme. Each word is a 7 letter science vocabulary term that is scrambled up and the kids have to find 3, 4, 5, & 6 letter words using those letters. They also have to figure out the 7 letter science word.
I used a Scrabble-like font for the tiles, which is easy to find if you do a quick search. (the one I used is called Scramble, similar to this one) Looking through the glossaries of Physical Science and Earth Science Textbooks, I found a ton of 7 letter science words, and some 6 letter words that I just added an "S" to!
The answer to the 7-letter term is the name of the file I saved it as. I also use this website to see how many word combinations are possible for each word.
Once I made a template in word, it was very easy to make a large batch of them at once. (If you don't see the word 'template' in scrabble-like tiles, you will need to add the font to your computer)
Master List - vocab words in alphabetical order
#'s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15,
16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25,
26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34 , 35,
36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45,
46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55,
56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71
If you notice any typos, please let me know! =)
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I introduced some power teaching methods: the rules, class yes, and my yada, yada, yada scale. Will introduce the 10 finger woo soon, scoreboard next week, I think. I introduced them to their notebooks and explained it just briefly, don't want to throw too much info at them at once, and we started the scavenger hunt. Having the kids do the scavenger hunt lets them get out of their seats, move around, and explore the classroom. But what I really love is seeing how they work together and to observe the group dynamics, tells me so much about the kids.
Monday, September 7, 2009
I set up all of my student's notebooks. It didn't take as long as I thought it would. I photocopied everything I needed, used the paper cutter to cut those pages that needed it, lined the notebooks up like an assembly line and went to work!
I have the inside cover (rules and grading), the back cover (science buddies), and pages 1-9 glued in (except for the SpongeBob safety challenge on p 8, that will be glued in when we do the lesson). I almost finished a bottle of glue, which I bought for only 30 cents! Needless to say I stocked up.
I know that the time I put in today will save a ton of class time and we can get right into the notebook and the activities. I will have them fill in the table of contents and start numbering the pages on the 1st and 2nd day.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Jeff B's blog on whole brain learning has been really helpful. This year one of the things I am going to try is the Yada Noise Control Scale. I am slightly modifying his scale to the following categories:
- Rock Concert - out of control, way too loud!
- Recess - loud, excited voices
- Conversation - normal voices
- Spy Talk - only the person next to you should hear you
- Pharaoh's Tomb - not a peep! (Egypt is a huge part of their social studies unit)
I am making a display with the following handout, which will be laminated and posted vertically as one long banner next to my chalk board. When I am done, will post a picture of it.
With my classes, we will practice what these different levels sound like so they understand what is expected when we calibrate our noise levels.
Some other methods I am going to incorporate are the rules, class-yes, & scoreboard.
If you have used any of these methods, would love to hear from you!