Here is a link to an article that talks about solar rain from a plasma eruption on the sun.
I figured I would build a list of important educational words and science words. This blog is made for others to share their own personal words as well, so please join in.
Social Construction of Knowledge
Assessment of Prior Knowledge
Frames of Reference
Assimilation & Accomodation
Community of Learners
Nature of Science
Yesterday I visited my students from my first placement for the first time since I ended my student teaching there. The students impressed me with their “movement” against the school uniforms that are to be implemented next year. The entire ninth grade dressed up in very professional clothing to display that they can look respectable and don’t need to follow a code of color and detail in order to learn. The code for next year will be that students have to wear black or red colored shirts with black pants. I found out that recently, students who have been violating this dress code have been sent to ISS. Most of these students are not wearing distasteful clothing, but do not have on the “required” colors and uniform specifications. I do not know what message this is sending to the kids. It is hurting their educational learning opportunities because they are being sent out of the classroom, it is hurting their identity development as an image is being forced upon them, and it is hurting their voice. As the ninth grade entered yesterday they were all called together for a meeting with the principal. The principal gave them a talk about how they could have done this differently, going to the school board and raising their concerns. I do not believe that this course of action would have provided anything for the students. It speaks to me that we need to listen to students more and more importantly we need to incorporate their feedback in the things that we do! These students were not asked whether they believed school uniforms were necessary, the teachers were polled. I cannot understand what necessitates a collective image like this in schools. Students’ school spirit can be derived in other methods, and this may even hinder spirit. Students’ achievement has no correlation to the clothes they wear. It deals with their trust to learn from an environment that is accepting of them and aims to provide them a better future. Student respect is mentored through caring and actively involved teachers. It bothers me that the students are being held accountable for something as stupid as a uniform.
In my hopes to create an astronomy science class/curriculum one day I decided to write a blog about one of my ideas.
Apollo 13 launched April 11, 1970 and its crew returned to Earth April 17, 1970. Two days into the mission an oxygen tank ruptured while the crew were stirring the hydrogen and oxygen tanks, thought to be due to a short in the electrical wires that caused a fire in the insulation. It is speculated a meteroid could have struck the module and caused initial damage. This historical event could be used as a great project for students to investigate.
1. Students could investigate the history. What was the purpose for exploring the moon? What happened with the techonology on the service module? How were the astronaunts able to survive in the Lunar Module?
2. Students could talk about how this history impacts the current efforts in space exploration. What are the affordances and limitations of space exploration? How do we distribute funding to different science research/exploration? Where does space exploration fall in this funding? Why have missions become more and more unmanned? Students can extend this to looking into how this event, and space exploration, impacts society. How did it impact society then? How does it impact society now?
3. Students could analyze the film Apollo 13 as a literacy tool. How does the film portray the events of this mission? What messages does this send to the viewer?
4. A field trip. NASA – Kennedy Space Center. Glenn Research Center. Goddard Space Flight Center. Smithsonian Institute Air & Space Museum.
Universe Today is posting 13 things that saved Apollo 13 over the next 13 days.
In my Regents physics class I used these electrical circuit boxes to display how household circuits are built and allow my students to participate in a hands-on activity to build multiple setups (a light bulb with a switch, a two-way switch, a three way switch, an outlet and a switch, etc.). Through this activity the students were finding real-life application to electric circuits, specifically parallel circuits and trying to understand why houses are electrically set-up in parallel rather than series. Here is a file to accompany the activity: Household Electricity Lab
I also have a very large powerpoint, which I can email to you if you are interested. Just let me know.
I wish I could have seen more of them exploring these boxes! It was fun!!
1st period – General Physics
3rd period – General Physics
7th period – Regents Physics
8th period – General Physics
I was exploring amazon.com yesterday for books to buy and got stuck on teaching and education related books. I built a pretty large list of books I found interesting and thought I would place them here as a wishlist to remind me.
1) Mad About Physics: Braintwisters, Paradoxes, and Curiosities – Jarqodzki and Potter
4) Demonstrations for the Physics Classroom – Whittaker
6) Inquiry Into Physics – Ostdiek and Bord
7) West’s Great Ideas for Teaching Physics – Bord
8) The Resourceful Physics Teacher – Gibbs
10) Becoming an Urban Physics and Math Teacher: Infinite Potential – Wassell and Stith
13) The Cartoon Guide to Physics – Gonick
14) The Tao of Physics – Capra
To be continued…
I went to Buffalo State University with Orlando and a physics teacher from Williamson named Brendan Noon. There is a Western New York Physics Teacher’s Alliance that meets there every month to hold professional developments and share ideas and hold discussions around physics education. At the end of the three hours I received a letter stating that I completed three hours of professional development, AND I got to walk away with a new physics toy that we built as a part of our professional development for use in our classrooms.
The meeting opened up by having us round robin and introduce ourselves and any brief matters of interest or knowledge to be known. Many people were saying their districts were laying off and cutting back positions across the entire district, and a couple said they were looking for jobs so if anyone heard of any they should let them know. One piece of useful information was brought up surrounding professional development hours. They said that after you get professionally certified, which is within 5 years after your initial cert, you need to complete 175 hours of professional development each year. The point is that once you are professional certified (say you are in Sept or Oct) then you wont be able to count any PD you do during that year as your 175. July 1 apparently is of the following year is apparently the first year of required PD. Not sure of the accuracy of this, but thought I would share the knowledge for you to look into to.
We then shifted to building our boxes that showed how a magnetic field acts around a wire. This was the toy we could build and bring home with us! We worked in groups of 5, one group at a time to glue the wood together and drill the holes necessary for assembly. As we did this presenters set up their demonstrations and presentations. One lady (Anne?) presented on LEP, and LHC. We say how a masters class of students at UB observed real data from the instruments to determine what was happening in the detectors. The detectors are shaped like an onion with each detector layering on top of the other, and a hole is cut out in the middle of all of them where the protons/hadrons are collided and create the particle observations for the investigation. Students were able to identify the particles based on the tracks they made through the detectors and the positions of detector identifications.
We also looked at a the use of a clicker system for use in discussing review questions or holding comfortable environments for students to predict and then discuss in groups as to why they believe a multiple choice question may have one answer or another. I forget the name of the system we used, I believe it was Activone??
Another physics teacher presented a video of him being thrown by a football player onto two different size mats (one thick, one not so thick). This was to demonstrate impulse and momentum. He used logger pro to track both the football players motions as well as his to plot the distance versus time graphs, calculate velocity from the slope, and then find the conservation of momentum using both people’s tracks. I don’t know why it is fun to watch him get hurt, but I’m sure the kids loved this experiment and were really engaged with it, and it uses a great deal of technology.
Lastly, a teacher demonstrated an electrostatic motor using some simple tools you can find around your house, plus the addtion of a van de Graff generator. Rather than describing it I will just say there is a pdf of how to build the setup on archives website for this days presentation.
It was a really worthwhile experience and REALLY got at physics education and the importance to that specific discipline which is something I have been wanting for a long time. I would suggest that if you are interested in physics education join their listserv and attend the next meeting on April 17 (I will most likely go if you want to join me). Also if you arent interested in physics education seek out a group like this for your own discipline, because it is a really helpful resource!
Also, here are two videos we watched today:
Is this real or not?
Sun dog – Where does the sun go?? (Skip ahead to minute 1:49)
On Wednesday I started my innovative unit. It is filled with activity and laboratory exercises that allow students to investigate the science hands-on and minds-on. Two of my classes love the material and are deeply interested in the understanding of electricity and how electric circuits work. However, one of my classes expressed disinterest in doing so many laboratory activities.
I am trying to understand this one class and why they are experiencing these activities so differently. I think part of their disinterest and lack of motivation is because of their lack of understanding of the material. If the activities are not intended to clear up understanding, but made to create thinking and questioning of the material and misconceptions the students hold, am I on the right track with them? How do you negotiate patience and keep the motivation high during this process?
My concern then becomes whether I should negotiate my theory for what the students believe will help their understanding and learning process the best. Should I plan a separate lesson for this one period each day? The other two classes are doing fine with the material, so should why should this class be any different? I have been thinking as well about whether what they tell me is best for them is really best for them. How do they know they will understand the material they way they would like me to teach it? Then again, how do I know the way I think they should tackle the material will work for them? The management of this one class has also become difficult as they dislike the approach I am taking and most likely misunderstand the material being presented to them.
Here are a couple videos that display electrostatics and magnetism, the two topics I have been covering for the past couple weeks. The reason I posted them is to showcase application of this content to the real world and things students will experience. The first video is around electrostatic and magnetic toys, the second video is about electrostatics around a gas station.