Hehe, Saw this yesterday on Seseme Street …
great clip for Adaptations!
So in my Elementary Science class we were supposed to be doing research for our innovative unit (yes, another one), but as we perused through the “Magical World of Teaching” in Lynn’s basement we all took part in little inquiry experiments of our own.
Some one came across this one and decided to try it:
Squeeze an Egg Without Breaking It
Eggs are amazingly strong despite their reputation for being so fragile. Place an egg in the
palm of your hand. Close your hand so that your fingers are completely wrapped around the
egg. Squeeze the egg by applying even pressure all around the shell. To everyone’s amazement
(mostly your own) the egg will not break. If you’re a little nervous about the outcome, try
sealing the raw egg in a zipper-lock bag before putting the squeeze on it, or hold the egg over
the sink if you’re in the super-brave category.
Eggs are similar in shape to a 3-dimensional arch, one of the strongest architectural forms. The
curved form of the shell distributes pressure evenly all over the shell rather than concentrating
it at any one point. By completely surrounding the egg with your hand, the pressure you apply
by squeezing is distributed evenly all over the egg. However, eggs do not stand up well to
uneven forces, which is why they crack easily on the side of a bowl. Be careful not to wear a
ring while performing our squeezing act. The uneven pressure of the ring against the shell will
result in an amusing display of flying egg yolk for your audience members.
It WORKED!!! We could NOT break the egg! I thought immediately of how this was a fascinating evolutionary adaptation of birds which would allow them to sit on their eggs to keep them warm without breaking them, while everyone else was talking about the physics.
So… I went home and told my family. My dad didn’t believe me, but he decided to try it anyway. …..Somehow, and to the surprise of myself the most… MY DAD DEFIED THE LAWS OF PHYSICS! and egg ended up all over my kitchen. We don’t know what happened, and he still doesn’t believe me lol. He thinks I played a joke on him.
I LOVE claymations!!! Here are some that I just found quickly. I would love to have students create such videos as a project!!
This one my sister made for college chemistry!
Evolution and Climate Change
Fetal Development… .and abortion… (The claymation is great… then it gets controversial)
Actually I think its fetuses, oh well.
To wrap up our mini topic on the menstrual cycle and lead into fetal development we dissected a pig uterus!!!
This was so much fun! I brought my mammalogy text book and the three of us (Luara , out CT and myself brushed up on our ungulate reproductive systems to figure out what it was that we were looking at in the mangled mess of rubbery organs in the bucket from wards. Finally it hit us that “OH! pigs have multiple babies!” and it finally made sense. Here’s a rough image of what we were faced with (minus the vagina)
Facts about pigs we had to learn before we taught!
1. Pigs have uteri with 2 horns
2. Pigs can have 8-16 piglets
3. Pig gestation is 112-114 days
4. You can sex the piglets by looking for urogenital openings and scrotal sac development
In the eyes of the students:
Some were grossed out, but most came around to the idea and got their hands dirty! Especially our 9th grade girls! It was fabulous and they had so many great questions and I think we cleared up a lot of misconceptions they had. This really made it REAL for them and it was so great!
As mentioned in my post about Mrs. VG. Here is the book that she created regarding “Agricultural Awareness day”. The link is to a slide show created with images from the book.
Through discussions with my fellow student teaching collegues it has become clear that many of us have had to face CT’s who are not necessarily enthused by our proposed lesson ideas. Luckily mine and Laura’s CT allows us to teach the lessons anyway. For example, Laura was going to be observed the other day and when we showed our CT our proposed lesson idea he said that it made him nervous, he didn’t think the students would do it and that we needed a back up plan. The lesson was for the students to produce a product that demonstrated their understanding of Meiosis. The could choose from 4 categories: Artist, Lyricist, Storyteller, or Word Smith. The lyricist could write a song, the story teller could write a story, and the word smith could write a dictionary. The artist could pair up with any of the others and illustrate their products or create their own artistic product. There were more examples and types of products presented to the students in their actual assignment and there were specific requirements for the project.
Laura and I decided to go ahead with the project otherwise, we knew these students were capable of it, we had no doubt in our minds. We could not have been more right! The students were so excited, they put a lot of effort into the projects and we ended up with products from students who hardly ever hand anything in.
Today we also decided to do review stations. It was utter chaos in the room, papers were everywhere! However it was the good kind of chaos. The students were engaged, excited and practicing for their quiz tomorrow. The room looked like a disaster zone by the end of class, however I think it went really well! Luckily our CT was out today and the sub just kind of hung out. So we could do what we wanted and just clean up afterwards. We are pretty sure our CT would have freaked if he was there. He likes a VERY controlled classroom and even having all of our student’s work on the walls is pushing against his comfort zone. (With practice in my own classroom I hope to make less of a mess in these types of acivities, but otherwise I do rate today a success )
Just hanging on until I have my own room. However, little pushes every once in a while can’t cause too many problems…
So last weekend I went to the mall. I thought it would give me a break from work …. but I was mistaken and by the end I bought nothing, but I came up with a blog idea….
1. It was summer camp fair day at the mall so I got a glimpse of a bunch of the summer programs that are available for students in the summer. There are many programs to get ideas from in terms of engaging teaching and it would be great to get in touch with them. I actually worked for 3 of them (zoo, lollypop farm, and Doodlebugs children’s center).
2. We found this t-shirt that I would have bought and framed for my classroom if it were cheaper that said, “Nerds: The future bosses of the cool kids of today” I think its a message that is important for many students to be reminded of.
3. GO TO anthropologie AT EASTVIEW MALL! – (BUT, dont buy anything! $$$$) This store is awesome for decoration ideas and eco footprint lesson ideas. They used dried split peas to display small ceramics on much like other stores will use sand or gravel, etc. They had rolled up paper in the shape of columns of varying heights with small decorative paintings on them and when they are lined up in a staggered row they look much like more expensive decorations. They had those water jugs for water coolers labeled with each of the great lakes and then connected them to hoses that led to faucets, which is a great visual!. They used old bike wheels with plastic bottles cut to look like flowers (you really cant tell they are bottles without real inspection) as decorative pieces which were awesome!. They had black and white pictures cut and glued to paper bags look like framed photos! They also hung up tree branches, painted walls and windows and other cool things. Definitely worth checking out! (its near the starbucks).
It’s funny where you get ideas…
While it may be easy to say, “Well, I taught it! They just didn’t learn it!” I do think I am starting to see the truth behind, “If it wasn’t learned then it wasn’t taught.” We’re being very pressed for time at our placement and constantly reminded that the kids need more regents practice and with our 8th graders they need more regents and more 8th grade exam practice. We’re going to have to move quickly through multiple units in the last few weeks of the placement and it’s really frustrating because we are starting to think the students will get hardly anything out of our “instruction” during this time. We had to rush through the genetic engineering content and it was heartbreaking to watch the students struggle with the material and know we didn’t really have time to ensure understanding or really teach for it. I think the next few weeks are going to be painful for all of us.