Monday, September 6, 2010

Week 2 (Sept 2010): Light at the end of the tunnel.

The 2nd week of school for me is having the students finish their Mini Science Projects (see weeks 1 and 2 from last years posts) and do the Discovery lab. We did those this week. This week is usually the week of procedures and routines being set and the rythem of back to school is well in motion.

My only problem this year are classes with exceedingly high numbers. All of my class are 42 up to 57. Amazing how difficult it is to get work done with that many students. We will be interviewing for a 60% 8th grade Science Teacher position (3 periods) next week. This is the light at the end of the tunnel.

I was asked to attend 5 hours of on-line interactive "webinars" for our new PLC format of conducting lessons. I asked to be removed from those sessions. I felt bad, as if I were not a team player. Between high numbers of students and pay reduction and my consideration of becomming the LEGO Robotics coach I felt that losing 5 hours of my time was too much to give. If the sessions had been on something that would directly benefit my students I would have done it. I feel like a bad guy. I have to push this "feeling" aside but it is difficult and has bothered me much.

Love to teach and teach with passion!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Week 1 (Aug 2010): Rough Start. Too Many Students!

Photo of me Pointing at a heavy
Russian Airlift plane with a
Zeppelin in back ground under
the tail and the end of Hanger 1 to frame it!

Summer has come an gone. Wild-Wonderful-Exciting first 2 weeks of summer at NASA Ames working with college students and helping them become teachers

A week of camping and cabin maintenance and 4th of July weekend
Me, Bro-In-Law Brian,
Nephew Jared fixing deck

About 2 weeks of repainting the master bedroom and trips to my hometown of Bishop.

Jan and I In front of the Margerie Glacier
About a week preparing for the following 2 week trip up the West coast, Vancouver B.C. and Alaska on a cruise ship, culminating in Glacier Bay.

About a week of recovery from vacation, and making a rabbit hutch for my son then it was time to get back to work with school!

The Kinney Boys at the Boeing
Flight Museum, Seattle.
Ya, I grew a beard, started as a joke at a friend, but then the joke was on me when my wife liked me better with one!

Week in Review Aug 23-27

I have 54 students in one class! THe res are over 40.  I have seats normally for 40, with an average class size of 35 kids over the past 5 years.  My school district, Clovis Unified, has High class numbers compared to 25 being the average in neighboring school districts. Because of these high class numbers this has been the worst start of the year I have ever experienced in 24 years. I really like my students, there are just too many of them. 

My honors science class gave me an ovation yesterday after the burning can demo (see week 1 posts from last August).

Well, tough start to get it done, be positive, and help anyone I can.

Love to teach and Teach with Passion!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer School Day 11: Last day fo NASA PSTI Summer school

Friday June 25, 2010

I was up all but 2 hours last night. I have learned not to this any more.  I sent the wrong version of the radar gram in early this morning. Then later I made the ending video too long by clicking FULL length in place of MAGIC movie.

We said good-bye .  24  strangers come together, create a team, make some friends build everlasting memories.  This has been like a whole school year compressed into 12 days. NASA Ames almost seems like a dream...a nice dream . I am so glad I made the videos.

I have learned a lot too. I have come away from, this with knowledge of creating YouTube videos, a few neat little techie programs, and the realization that I really enjoy working with adult students and will do more in the future.

Partial Lunar eclipse this morning at 4.  I SLEPT THROUGH IT. I've begun the process of catching up on sleep.

Summer School: Day 10: D-Day-lesson presentation time

Thursday June 24, 2010

NASA Ames PSTI 2010 Website with links to student blogs, web pages and YouTube videos

Day 9 YouTube Video -Practice Lessons

NASA Ames PSTI 2010 Day 10-D-Day, THE LESSON

New- NASA Ames PSTI2010 Virtual control tower ON MARS Day 3.2

ED building room 140 (MISSION CONTROL) opens at 8.
8:30 all hands meeting.
9:00 rooms almost all open for set up.
9:00-12:25 hurry up and wait.
12:25 students enter rooms and lessons begin. I am in the room with team GO Green.

All student teams have their rooms ready, have practiced, have re-practiced and are now beginning their lessons.  Smiles, cool "flight suits" to wear, neat models to use, decisions to make, calculations to do.

I am so proud the student teams that have come together, forged a team, dealt with issues, and made a totally cool , safe, and fun lesson for some children. Oh yes, there were gift bags given to the kids.

A channel 24 camera man enters the class and begins filming the students. As he leaves I call him to me and I stick my camera into his face and I say, "Good day. so what are you doing here this afternoon?".  He smiles, and says he's filming some really excellent and impressive science lessons. Tha t was fun.

Summer School: Day 9 : Practice

Wed June 23, 2010

NASA Ames PSTI 2010 Website with links to our blogs and beginnings of our webpages.

PSTI 2010 Day 8 YouTube video-practice lessons

Last day at NASA Ames and a fun one.
We spent all morning practicing the lessons.
Each team presented their lesson to the class (we have 4 teams),
2 teams acted as students. Each was given a slip of paper that said what kind of student they were, Examples: Always raised hand, does not want to participate, is out of their seat and distracting, Etc.
One group was an observer group and scored the presenting group with a rubric.

The challenge of the whole week and a half of training, and the 50 min lesson designed
A comet was just discovered on collision course wth the ISS. You have only minutes to gather needed supplies and then use an escape pod to take the crew to a nearby asteroid and crate a habitat to keep you alive for the 5 days needed to await a rescue.

Team Blue FAEA (Future Astronaut Educators of America) created a board game type solution to have students figure if enough room room of the escope is present.

Team Red focused on designin and then creatiing the habitat to sustain life.

Team GoGreen had students calculate how much of each resource (air, food, space suits, water etc) is needed, plot it on a graph, then put the material inside the escape pod to see if it fit. (see pic above)

Team Golden Stardust broke the class into different teams, gave each team a job to do in order to save themselves.

We left for Fresno. Got students checked into the dorms, set up our rooms with our supplies, and then called it a night at 7. I love this sign that hung on the railing at Sequoia Hall.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer School: Day 8-Practice lesson

NASA Ames PSTI 2010
(pre-service teacher institute )
Our last day here at Ames! Bummer. We are exhausted but happy with our time here.

It's late, 12:06 I'm about to go to bed. I'll update this tomorrow morning,

Here is the YouTube link from yesterday, Day 7.(Mon)

Here is the YouTube link for today, Day 8 (Tues) 

The visitor center will be the first place we go next year, right after team building or just before. I'd like to use the visitor center for the lesson on NASA's 5  charges (this is not the correct term but close) and the Patch design design.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer School, Day 7: Solstice, star party, and up too late for a good cause

I got back to my room at 12:57 AM.

Kendia and I suggested we do a dessert potluck and then a star party (telescope viewing) and moon observation.

We met at the Dorm about 7:17 pm and I made Virgin Pina Colada's, Mai Tai, and Margarita's.

I set up two telescopes and binoculars for a waxing gibbous Moon (more than half lit and getting bigger) observation. Venus was bright and also in gibbous phase.  About 10 the party was winding down but a few faithful stayed longer and got great views of the moon.

Then about 11 pm I realized Saturn was up and enjoyed the "Oh my gosh, it really does have rings". I love that comment, it is just the pure joy of discovery.

Some students from Singularity University program/reception came walking through over the next 2 hours. I had amazing talks with Jordan and Joe who work in the fluid dynamics lab and we talked about rocket fuel, hybrid fuel , droplet analysis and ROCKET SCIENCE   OH MY GOSH I'M AT A NASA FACILITY AND AND HAVE CASUAL CONVERSATIONS ABOUT ROCKET SCIENCE WITH INTERNS WHILE STAR GAZING WAH HOOOO!

One pair of students , Justin from Canada and Tigest (teh-jist)  from Ethiopia (I think)  were really stoked about the Moon and Saturn  and stayed out their for 2 hours.(pictured in the photo)

These two were fun. Back from a formal party/reception they were so appreciative and enthusiastic about the 'scopes and viewing that it was a joy staying out 2 hours past bedtime. Funny, they said I complementary things about me. We were all caught in neat moment, Tigest kept saying how sleep would be totally awesome with the visions of the moon and Saturn still in her minds eye (paraphrase) Justin and I got in discussion about DNA testing (he is a biotech guy from...let me look at his card...HOLY FRINGGN COW...from Cambridge...England...Newton went he got to look through my (school's) Newtonian perfect.
And that's what this night was..long..but PERFECT.   (moon photo taken by me by holding an old SONY Mavica 3.5 floppy disk camera to the eyepiece...SINUS IRIDIUM -Bay of Rainbows)

I am so impressed with all the college students, from Fresno to Cambridge, you are our Future and you are looking bright.  I'm glad you got see some heavenly objects tonight because tonight YOU WERE MY SHINING STARS.  Thank you!

YouTube Video of the LATE STAR PARTIERS

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Summer School: Day 6: RAFT teacher supply store and FUN FUN FUN BLAH BLAH BLAH

Friday June 19, 2010
I arrived back to Moffett field after a 24 hour trip to Fresno to see the STAR WARS In-Concert tour.

NASA Ames PSTI 2010 Day 6 YouTube video- RAFT (science) teacher supply store-you gotta see this, no matter who you are.

Photo caption: Me and colleague Jim  Feramisco...or 3 big _______.

I missed  a lot while gone.  FLUID DYNAMICS TOUR  and  a social event BBQ. I enjoyed the concert but I feel like I really missed out on a couple of special things while gone.

We went to the Teacher Supply store RAFT. It's like a COSTCO meets the DOLLAR store and its for teachers.

My biggest challenge is trying to stay focu-SQUIRREL-sed on one thing at a time. My brain is filled with input and ideas and its a really cool time.

SNAPS to the GO GREEN team, and all the teams, for your hard work but remember this:

In the end , you are doing a 50 min lab for 12 year olds, be upbeat, do your thing, MAKE SURE THEY HAVE A HANDS ON THINGY to do, and mostly ENJOY IT, HAVE FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN. Ya, standards are important blah blah blah but if the students check out on the lesson they are not getting the standard. Also, let them know if they follow directions AND HAVE FUN they will get a surprise!  This in not coercion, its motivation!

Also, that one kid you will have in your class that cannot focus and can hardly maintain him/her self, let them wear one of the yellow suits!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer School: Day 5: Off to a galaxy far far away!

NASA Ames PSTI (Pre-Service Teacher Institute)

Up later than I meant to last night. Just not enough hours in the day.

In my session this morning I introduced the Jing capture tool. A few students could not get from the tutorial to the program. This bugs me. Especially when I don't know why it works on one computer and not the next. Most likely its the operating system , but my knowledge of this part of TECH in GREEK TO ME.

NASA AMES PSTI 2010 DAY 5.1 Short Sample FLIP Video made this morning as a demo.

Yesterdays video now available on Day 4 (previous) Blog entry.

I demonstrated how to create and quick edit, create, and publish to YouTube a Flip Video.

I shared  Jeopardy power points. Students opted to learn about MOVIE MAKER and not Excel formula creation (duh, like this really needed a vote, I mean do you want to go fly in an airplane or learn how to bleed the airplanes brake fluid lines*). Kendia Herrington did the presentation (sorry, I just dropped that on you at the last minute). I am so glad she jumped at the opportunity, she did a FANTASTIC JOB!

I left at this point (10ish) and headed for home and to the Star Wars In-Concert at the Save Mart Center.

Star Wars In-Concert was really nice.

The photo is (blurry sorry) Composer John Williams original hand written sheet music for STAR WARS. It was like I was looking at the Constitution or something.  This is in tribute to my colleague, a principal, a music teacher, and all around amazing person and fellow instructor: Felicia  Bessent

*I would choose both actually

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer School Day 4: SLEEP Deprived and running out of energy

NASA Ames PSTI (pre-service teacher Institute)
NASA Ames PSTI 2010 YouTube Video Day 4 : NASA math websites, Bio recycling lab tour,  Making Comets with dry ice, NASA Teacher Resource center.

Photo taken tonight on my way back from meeting with my student team.Hanger 1, Big Ruskie heavy lifter transport, and visible under the tail the Zeppelin NT.

This is going to be super short for now. I need sleep.

But I have to say the past 4 days have been some of the best in my life. I am working with really nice people, excellent students, living in the Bay Area at an old Naval Air Station AND I AM LIVING A LIFE LONG DREAM TO WORK AT NASA.(I know it's a NASA funded project but hey, let me have this one)

I worked with my GO GREEN team tonight. I love the youth, the smarts, the TEAM WORK, the acceptance, and appreciation and incorporation of each others gifts. The future of education is in great hands. I love teaching because the energy and youthful enthusiasm is contagious.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer School: Day 3:Team Patches and Tours

 NASA Ames PSTI Day 3.1 YouTube Video Bienvenidos and Review
NASA Ames PSTI Day3.2 Virtual martian rover (in the virtul control tower)
 NASA Ames PSTI Day 3.3 YouTube Video NASA Educator websites preview
 NASA Ames PSTI Day 3.4 YouTube Video Team Patch Presentations
 NASA Ames PSTI Day 3.5 YouTube Video AEE center tour.  (short version)

Photo: I went a little crazy at the gift shop. Sent this pic to my wife with a message of "Here's what 96 bucks looks like", BUT I made a typo and put 960 bucks" This got me an immediate phone call, she was worried that I  bought two Zeppelin NT tickets too.

8:44 pm: Oh my goodness. What a wonderful day. We Reflected on yesterday, got focused on the lesson the students will present, enjoyed and amazing tour of the Air Traffic control tower simulator (this was amazing!), gifto shop (I lost $100 bucks!), reviewed NASA educator websites (it was pretty neat, I was worried about the Ho Hum factor), Presented team Patches, visited an moratorium, and then Kendia and I did some RECON to find a Dry Ice Supply and TACO BELL.

Now I have 110 video clips (90 min) to make into movies. Will update later. Bye for now.

10:54pm: made 4 movies, 1 to go. Previewed the Dr. Harry Wong DVD. We need to watch this, it is so important for these future teachers to see this, it may change their (professional) life as it did mine. Okay, back to the FlipVideo editor.

11:30 pm: Videos made. I'm so tired.  Not enough time in the day!

2:01 am: Just uploaded to YouTube . Hey my Google doc works.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer School: Week 1 Day 2: Intro to Blogging

NASA Ames PSTI 2010 Day 2 YouTube video

I was up too late last night messing around with the video's. IT WAS WORTH IT!

Had a beautiful morning and breakfast, both with glorious hanger 1 in constant view. See photo.

We asked the students to create Google accounts and begin a Blog. The following is what we asked them to do answer daily:
What challenges did you work on today
-I introduced Blogging to 22 of 24 students. We will use this as a method of daily evaluations.
Individual Achievement
Learning to make Flip videos and uploading to YouTube has been a goal for about 3 years, I can check those off my list.
Group achievement
Interacting with my 3 fellow teachers to make a worthwhile day. I am mentor for TEAM GREEN.
I enjoyed: the discussions amongst the groups and the really nice nearby cafe and nice people that work there.
I'd like to change my presentation style , its a little too A.D.D.
Snaps (cool things about your team members)
I like Felicia's calm manner, I like Lena's memory clues to Vertical and Horizontal, I like Sharon always taken care of us and being a great photographer, I like the team of Steve and Anne, and I appreciate the back up of Mariceli, and Kendia-don't get me started on her...she's my alter self. 
Coolest thing you learned/heard/saw today.
Seeing the initiative of the groups working on their team patch designs.
Also I learned that answering these questions is not easy, it makes my brain work!
Quote of the day:
"You should eat science as much as possible" -Kendia Herrington while running a lab on asteroid types using different kinds of treats.

                     Photo: P-3 Orion Anti-sub patrol aircraft. I like my wife and kids but I love airplanes!

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Summer School: Week 1 Day 1: NASA Ames PSTI 2010

 NASA Ames PSTI 2010 (Pre-Service Teacher Institute)

Ice Breaker!  YouTube Video
Post Dinner Staff Self Walking Tour  Walk YouTube Video
Oh my goodness this is too cool!

Sunday June 23, 2010
Left Clovis at 9:40 am. Arrived Moffett Field 1:05 and barely late for the welcome and intro.

Oh my goodness this is too cool!
 They are adults, I'm use to 8th graders. This is so weird, I am now on the other side of summer science academies, I'm an instructor. When did I get this darn old : )

Team building was totally cool , lots of smiles and cool vibes. groovy

Interesting noises in the reception lounge, sounds like a dentist working on King kong's molars with jack hammers and saws-alls. Either a/c issues or reconstruction happening down stairs, but I saw no construction workers. I think the building is a transformer (NAS-APTA-TRON, hoping it's an autobot and not a deciptacon) and we were actually in its stomach!

Neat problem solving activity, congress, up the hill, top of the hill, and over the hill were the groups and the task was: "choose me to go to space".

I am very much looking forward to working with, and getting to know, the students.

Kendia and I jumped in to do the Team name and Logo intro. Fun.

Went to dinner at THE FISH MARKET, With Steve, Anne, Felicia , Sharon and Kendia. What a fun group, and nice people. Smoked salmon and albacore. (I mean I ate the fish, not rolled it and lit it and inhaled it) Mmm.

Came back and took a walk. See the YouTube video.
12:24 Go To Sleep!

Quote of the day: "Man, I'm glad I was skinny back then"

Thought of the day: thank-you students for emanating joyful laughter. 

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Week 38, Day 5: Last Day

Odd schedule, half day, talent show schedule.
A quiet calm last day. It was not hot, and more than usual absences, those factors may have made it calmer.

This photo is a blast from the near-past.I love the look and body language, relaxed and full of beginning-of-the-year energy. Summer brings that back to us teachers.

I did not participate in the talent show this year. Worry about the summer school class I will help teach, having to get my room cleaned up this week (normally I do it the Monday after school is out), and trying to get the home honey-do list completed, and trying to get as many of my failing students passing(More of those this year, it bothers me) made it too much. .  Usually I have 1 or 2 fail and that usually due to many absences. I had about 10 this year.

I did win an award, for the 4th year in a row, WILDEST 8TH GRADE TEACHER. That was nice but I really feel it should have been my colleague Grace Bennett (the spider lady).

Well I did it.  Blogged for a whole school year. A blog that almost no one reads. Oh well, Like much of my teaching, this was about trying to help colleagues.

I will post a few more times over the summer to give updates about my summer school class at NASA Ames.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Week 38, Day 4: Didn't get to say good-bye

Even block schedule,

Most students went to a swim park today for the 8th grade picnic. I stayed behind and cleaned my room while supervising 21 students that did not go to the picnic. They helped me take down my room.  I took the boys that might have been a problem for other teachers and let them stay together with me in my class. We watched Galaxy Quest, Monsters Inc, and most of My Favorite Martian.I ended up collecting money and getting them some pizza. They really helped me get the class taken down.  It looks kinda sad in my room now.

Due to a goofy schedule two days ago and the picnic today I did not get a chance to say goodbye to my honors science class. I thought Friday we would get a few minutes together.

This really bugged me.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Week 38, Day 3: Waiting for the end, Looking for a change.

Odd block schedule:
Signing yearbooks and watching movies. DELUGE. It's an amazing documentary about water. It gets the kids attention.
I've got to get my room cleaned up. 4 days 'till I start the two week teaching position at NASA Ames. Two weeks in the Bay area. Normally the last week of school is free and easy. This year it's a bit more intense due to getting ready for the next two weeks

Looking back over this year I need to slow down my teaching pace and work on being kinder and gentler. My work persona is kind of like "Grumpy uncle Richard". I want to change this.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Week 38, Day 2: Little Treasures from our past.

Even Block Schedule: Wild California DVD (see previous post) and students go through their class work data folders.

I had students go through their class work data folders.  This is where I have them store all their class work through out the year.  I encourage them to keep the assignments that show their personality: What Science is to me essay from week 1, Character Counts Shape Project from week 2, Periodic names and Periodic table Square from the Chemistry unit .

My Mother handed me a stack of work I did in middle school when I was in my 30's and they were like little lost treasure.  A direct view of what I was like as a teen, my thoughts, my goofy hand writing, my doodles and writings. I tell my students that they will treasure these in 10 or 20 years and either slip them into your year book or put them under a box in your closet.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Week 38, Day 1, Last week of school

Odd block schedule, modified for assembly schedule. Wild California video and catch up reading passage about calculating the speed of light.

The IMAX DVD Wild California is worth it's weight in gold. The kids learn some environmental science and see some beautiful views of sky diving, snowboarding, Sequoia tree climbing, baby Sea Otter rehab, Golden Gate Bridge views, Endangered species Eagle chick restoration and all of this to the music of Fleetwood Mac.
The kids love this show.
This is my fall back lesson when I have to cover a class. Due to the shorter periods I could not do the roller coaster lab I planned.

We had a fire drill this afternoon at our school and we did not hear the alarm "chirps" in my room. I did know about it until the principal announced on the all call system that all was clear.

Mr Scott Case, math teacher, had the school yearbook dedicated to him. He is very deserving of this award.

One week from today I will be on day 2 of my summer teaching job at NASA Ames in Mountain view.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Week 37, Day 4.5: Good-bye Teacher and Coach John Wooden

We lost former UCLA Teacher and Coach John Wooden this week. Several years ago our school used his Success Pyramid Book as our staff development training. At first I was skeptical, "I'm a nerd not a big sports fan" I thought. Turns out his book is one of my favorites.

I made a lesson based on his pyramid.

I celebrate your life. Thank you for making me a better teacher and a better person.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Week 37, Day 4: Mixed up lessons and a bad choice.

Even block schedule: A different Lesson every period.
Period 2 did the roller coaster lab.They have been a terrific class, both academically and with (not surprising) behavior. This was a lab that I sometimes do in the Force and Motion Unit, but this year it was cut out. I will use it ow where I can.

Period 4 watched a movie, Earth to the Moon part 10: GALILEO WAS RIGHT (You Tube link)

While they watched a movie, I began to take down my model airplanes that hang from the ceiling.
One student decided that the .50 caliber machine gun shell hanging with the model was just too cool and this student stole it. 2 periods later I found out it was gone. This was a kick in the side.  I called in a few students, a name was mentioned along with “..was going to steal it”. By the end of the period I had the model back. I learned: don’t leave something that may be so cool out unattended.

Period 8 watched the end of Galaxy Quest while I tracked down students.  I show the clip pictured below when we talk about the Alkali Metals. Here the Galaxy quest crew is getting a "Beryllium Sphere", which of coarse is a reference to Star Trek's Di Lithium Crystals (an Alkali Earth Metal)

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Week 37, Day 3: Explaining Voltage and electric Current.

Odd block Schedule.
Same lesson as yesterday: A Spark of Genius" reading passage about Benjamin Franklin's lightning discoveries. See previous post.

I found a great deal on some tubing for use in the roller coaster lab at Lowes hardware store , 31 cents a tube. That's a great price. I am planning on doing the roller coaster lab tomorrow for a few classes. More on that tomorrow.

Kids had so much fun with the Van de graaff  generator, and so did I.

I used the dam analogy to explain voltage and current. Voltage is not what can kill you, current flow is(how many electrons).  The height of a dam (or waterfall) is like the voltage of a circuit. You can have a very high dam (High V) but if only a few drops are spilling over the top (Low Current) you are in no danger,  If the flood gates open and you hit with 400 cubic feet per second (High current) you are in trouble.  Images of Bridal Veil Falls  in Yosemite, Same voltage, different current.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Week 37, Day 2: Lightning and static charges.

Even block period
"A Spark of Genius" reading passage about Benjamin Franklin's lightning discoveries, and then we watching the first 15 minutes of the NOVA show "Lightning". The best part was playing with the Van de Graaff generator and shocking the kids to giggles and laughs.
Click here to see the beginning of NOVA: Lightning

The year is winding down. Lots of retirement parties happening. Plans for next year happening. It's a kind of Energized Calm.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Week 37, Day 1: End of the year lesson grid

Odd Block Schedule
Same lesson as last time; An explosive discovery reading passage about Roger Bacon re-discovering gunpowder and Star Trek episode:ARENA.

In the last 2 weeks of school we are Caught in the middle time. Too early to hang out and sign year books, too late to get anything big started. Things get hectic and lessons may need to be switched or adjusted. I use this grid to keep my lessons straight in my head. You may find it helpful.

As hokey as the old Star Trek episode looked to my students, THEY WERE ALL SILENT AND FOCUSED ON THE EPISODE. You learn a little chemistry. You learn not to jump to conclusions.

A nice day, until the end. A couple of boys decided to mess with a molecule model and broke part of it. I was mad. I helped the girl it belongs to glue it last week so it would be ready today. What got me really angry, and too loud, was the boy's attitude of,"I didn't do it",  and let me grin at my buddy because the teacher is mad at me. I know they are 13/14 but they need to learn to just say, "I'm sorry, didn't mean to break it, can I fix it?".

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Week 36, Day 5: Roger Bacon, Black Powder, Captain Kirk,Giant Reptiles and Memorial day

Even Block period, An explosive discovery reading passage about Roger Bacon re-discovering gunpowder and Star Trek episode:ARENA.
See Capt. Kirk use Gunpowder
It's the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. I show a Memorial day power point based on the photographs from a book called "Offerings at the Wall". It begins with some newspaper cartoons about the meaning of Memorial Day, then the book photos, then some pictures of various Hmong and Laotian memorials. We have a large population of Southeast Asian families and I wanted to so respect and appreciation to them.

Due to a fundraiser reward, 1/3 to 3/4 of my students are gone to a water park. Cool, literally, it's a cold day, especially when wet and with this wind.

I read to my students a story of Friar Roger Bacon re-discovering black powder. Then, since so many of the students were gone, I showed them most of an old Star Trek episode called Arena. It's the one with the giant lizard man battling with Captain Kirk.

The reading passage is on my school website under: Notes and Major Assignments, then Reading Passages.
The memorial day power point is on my school website Home page at the bottom with other downloads..

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Week 36, Day 4: Pictures of the Chemistry project

Odd block  return text books  same lesson as yesterday;
Chemistry projects due, Michael Collins' LIFTOFF and Apollo 13 video clip of the launch.

Today was kind of frustrating, it was the same lesson as yesterday but it really bothered me, the kids seemed a bit more off track. Below are the High Quality Poster project, Element Brochure, Molecule and Atom  Models.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Week 36, Day 3: Chemistry project turn in and patience

Even Block.
Chemistry projects due, Michael Collins' LIFTOFF and Apollo 13 video clip of the launch.
Per 2 and 4 completed their projects and I hung them up on the ceiling or pined them to the wall.
Period 8 watched From the Earth to the Moon part 2 APOLLO 1
The reading passage is about a what a rocket launch is like, then the video clip is a visual to the passage.
I am practicing patience and it is working. I have to get the clutter off of my desk, it is even bothering me.(Photo)
Department meeting this morning.  Biggest issue was the new mster schedule for next year and less money for supplies.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Week 36, Day 2: High Honors

Odd Block Schedule
Morning classes did the expansion lab and the afternoon class made the glue polymer lab then finished the Bikini island bomb test video

Last night was the principal medallion dinner, students who earned straight A's all 4 semesters at my school (exceptions for B in Geometry and Honors Science).

Seeing these scholars last night was so special. They were proud of their achievement and a bit nervous about the next step toward growing up and moving over to High School.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Week 36, Day 1: Fast Adjust, something different every period

Even block period
Every period was a bit different.
Making gas lab, Bikini Island bomb test video, Michelson's accurate measurement of the speed of light reading passage.

Speed of light passage then Making Gas Lab. We make CO2, H2,and O2 using BS and vinegar, mossy zinc metal and HCl. and H2O2 and yeast respectively. Then using a small tea candle and skewer test each gas several times with a flame test. Fun
Period 4:
They were out of their seats, not paying attention, so I decided to do the lab as a demo but they were still unruly so I decided to show them the end of "Bikini: Forbidden Paradise" that we started last time.
Period 8:
Behind a day, so we did Einstein's letter reading passage from last week, and then the making gas lab.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Wek 35, Day 5: YOu grow into your teacher self

Odd block
Same lesson as yesterday Einsteins letter Hiroshima

As you go through your career you will see things, video, toys, models, shirts, decorations, labs, activities, and you will grow into these.  I remember being a new teacher in training and being blown away by the stuff of master teachers. My stuff I mean more than the physical decor of their rooms. I remember the confidence and conviction behind those mentors and thinking, "Wow, I wish I could be like that".

I remember being a first grader looking across the street to those "grown up kids" at the Middle school.

I remember looking across the street while in middle school to those "grown up kids" at the high school.

If you are a student teacher looking at your mentor teachers with that same apprehension I say to you

My first year was one of my best years of my 23.

As for today in class, I have been focused on preparing for a retirement party by painting wooden spider models.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Week 35, Day 4: Nuclear Chemistry and Fallout

Even block.
Einstein's letter to Roosevelt and beginning of chapter 1 of Hiroshima then bikini island video

After reading to the kids about Marie Curie last class, it flowed to keep the radiation motif going. I read about the beginning of the Manhattan project, then the story of the Noiseless Flash (ch 1 of Hiroshima by Hershey) on August 6, 1945. Then I show them a video of an ABC show from the '90's about the bikini bomb tests.

I also spray painted spider decorations for a retirement party for a respected a beloved colleague.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Week 35, Day 3:The Chemistry Project

Odd block
"A glowing discovery" passage about Marie curie and Pierre discovering elements and sub atomic particles.

A nice day. Kids had their  first real chance to work on the chemistry project.

Again as yesterday they loved the glue and borax polymer. Period 7 didn't get to do it.

Students are teaming up and most are trying to figure out what will be easiest to do:
Atom model, Molecule model, Element Brochure, or High Quality Poster

My website has the project listed in the NOTES AND MAJOR ASSIGNMENTS>>>Chemistry Assignments, you can down load it there for the detail.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Week 35, Day 2: Marie Curie Fun with GLUEP

Even Block Schedule. Marie Curie reading passage, time to work on the chemistry project, and making GLUEP mini lab.

A nice day. The students were tolerant of the long reading passage (which was a pleasant surprise) and then LOVED adding the 50% glue in water mix to 10% borax solution making a slimy polymer that one lab calls GLUEP (glue polymer).

TO add to the story of Marie discovering Polonium and Radium I get glow sticks and then cut them open and dump them into small test tubes and hen hang them on my clip board as I walk around the room reading.

Honors sci took the test today.

My school website has the story I read, A glowing Discovery, on the Teachers link off the main page as well as my power point supplement.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Week 35, Day 1: Angels and tests.

Odd block schedule. Last test, chemistry Benchmark tests.

Long day
Started with a faculty meeting which was nice for 3 reasons:
1) beautiful choir performance, they sounded like angels
2) got a gift from the school district (and it was not a pink slip)
3) I did not have to stand morning duty.

I got frustrated with period 1 and chewed them out.  They were handling this test review as if it was  Saturday afternoon at the mall.

I wish I would handle the situation differently. My 3rd year teaching I never got mad. I don't know if it was the kids or me. My last two years at my privious middle school were dream years too. We never left what I 
call "the honeymoon".

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Week 34, Day 5: We became Ribosomes today!

Even block Schedule. Final test of the year (structure of matter and organic chemistry).

Slightly shorter periods due to the Latino fest lunch celebration. Due to testing last week we couldn't do it on Cinco de Mayo.

For review I drew the structural formula, then made 8 copies(per page) of the amino acid glycine on a sheet of paper. We then we cut them out, bonded them together (making covalent bonds with tape) to make branched and unbranched protein. Two of our standards deal with monomers making polymers, and proteins are molecules of life.

I told the students as they connected their Glycine units together that my room is a cell, they are now RIBOSOMES making proteins.

Due to a late scheduled afternoon meeting at the High School, my Honors Science afternoon class lesson was destroyed. So we hung out. Did a review at the end of the period for the postponed test.

Happy 48th birthday Paul

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Week 34, Day 4: Beginning of the end...4 weeks remain.

Odd block Schedule. Review for final test.

My plan was to give the last chemistry test. I have not seen my odd classes since last week, due to the weird state testing schedule, and I think it would be bad to give them the test today (structure of matter and organic chemistry)
We reviewed the requirements for the last project of the year: THE CHEMISTRY PROJECT, a choice of atom model, element brochure, poster project, or molecule model. More on this in week 35.

Final stretch for end of the year. About 5 kids per class this year have F 's and they don't seem to care. I've begun the notification process, I'll tell the parents and let the kids decide to do or not to do.  Usually I have only 1 or 2 kids with F's but this years group has more. Its frustrating for me, I really think you have to work harder to fail in my class than to pass.  However, maybe being 13/14 is especially difficult this year.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Week 34, Day 3: Are other teachers kids nicer than our own students?

Last testing schedule of the year. Then Periods 2 and 4 in the afternoon. Apollo 1 video (see blog w33d3)
I have so enjoyed the 7th graders that spent some time in my class these past two weeks for testing. This is how it must feel to be a grand parent.

I used the video today to be a time of getting missing work turned in. This is the only time all year that I had period 4 at the end of the day.  I told them if you do not get your work done (ticket out the door) then you do not leave. I HAD TONS OF WORK TURNED IN!

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Week 34, Day 2: Planning past testing week

Testing schedule  Period 1 (Apollo 1, see two posts ago) and then Prep to end the day

Apollo 1 From the Earth to the Moon Clip.

Got next weeks assignment sheet completed, The Chemistry Project , put together. This will be a choice for them of either Atom model, Molecule model, High quality poster project, or Element Brochure.More on this next week

Kids at lunch making (from honors sci) shrinking the #6 plastics.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Week 34, Day 1: Having fun with your students

Even block period. Expansion Lab per 2 & 4, Fun with polymers period 8 (honors).

A really nice day. The expansion (Alka seltzer) lab touches on atomic and molecular motion and states of matter and the effect on reaction rate.

The fun with polymers lab was a blast. Glue and borax blobs, shrinking # 6 plastics. The kids had a great time.

That's why I do this..teaching that is. It's fun.Seeing the kids laugh and delight.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Week 33, Day 5: Between Testing

Odd block schedule: catch up and video "Apollo 1"

After 3 days of testing schedule we have a regular day. Period 1 is behind in lessons and we got caught up.

Apollo 1 From the Earth to the Moon Clip.

I covered a class for a colleague during my prep.

I decided to show the video: From the Earth to the Moon: part 2-Apollo 1.  It is the story of the forensic investigation into the tragic fire.  I show this because of the chemistry reference.

This week I have been making a power point key for our district's new benchmark chemistry tests.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Week 33, Day 4: Polymer Fun

Test schedule and period 6 (prep YES) and 8 honors.

Today I had to give a test and not just student-sit. It was our dept 7th grade test. They finished early and I got out the embossing powder again (yesterday) and also let them make borax/glue polymer "GLUEP". I never made this in class before and SHAME on me. Totally fun!

During my prep I  made a paper polymer lab and added to it some activities on Polymers from a session I attended at the 2008 NSTA Portland conference.

I created a paper polymer activity to show how repeating glucose molecules connected can make either Starch, Cellulose (wood) or Glycogen.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Week 33, Day 3: Renaissance Fun with 7th graders

Test schedule and period 5 and 7. Same lesson as yesterday ( elements in the human body)

Testing day 2. Lots of fun with the students I monitored as they waited to take their test with their 7th grade AB teacher. Today they were to work on a flip book about the Renaissance notable people. I pulled out my heat expanding embossing powder and multi colored card stock and all had a great time.

The lesson went much better today. Knowing the students were not familiar with protractor work made the lesson easier to carry out. Also, the students were not flipp'n crazy goofy as they were yesterday late afternoon. I do get a bit moody having two periods back to back with no break.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Week 33, Day 2: Craziness

Testing schedule , then period 2 and 4
Graphing the top 10 elements in our bodies and calculating their weight in pounds.

I did not give any test today. We test by the students Academic Block teacher. While a teacher's AM classes were testing the PM class was hanging out with me.

After lunch I found out that most students in my period 2 class do not know how to use a protractor, an assumption I made.

Period 4 came in into the class as if they were clowns and this was a carnival, one student out of their seat then on the floor rolling and hooting and running around. A second student was spraying an aerosol and when I asked for the can, the student  looked me in the eye, put it in their bag, zipped it up and grinned at me. The bag and the student were delivered (by me) to the 8th grade office. I managed my frustration and anger and got the class going.

After all this I had a parent-student meeting in which the student showed all adults in the room that they are talk back-a-tive, and defiant and rude. 

This was my after noon.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Week 33, Day 1: Teacher Appreciation Week and STATE TESTING

Odd Block Schedule: same lesson as yesterday - organic chem lab, starch and lipid test.

I've got this lesson figured out after a rocky start last Friday.

State testing starts tomorrow. We have done a nice review over the past 10 days, I feel that I have fully prepared them for the state tests.

Frustration with talkative students in period 5. I had difficulty with one of them last week. This one student will not stop talking.  I had to remove this student and the one sitting beside to go fill out a TIME OUT SLIP. I have a pre-made time out slip that I can quickly check some behavior boxes to get the kids out of class quickly but make them have to answer some questions about their behavior. They usually sit out side but today I had them go to the 8th grade office.

I get a balloon delivered with a bag of candy ballast and a note saying how much I am appreciated. That was a welcome surprise.

As I prepare for tomorrow's class and the state test proctoring, our student councilor calls me to say the parent of the talkative student wants a conference. Now I'm frustrated (there were some accusations made about my professional ethics by the talkative student). I decide it's time for a walk home NOW

Warm weather. Hot walk home.
Can't focus on grading papers. I decide to call it a night early.
Not feeling very appreciated.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Week 32, Day 5: MORE FUN with Organic Chemistry!

Even block Schedule: Simple organic chem. Lab, review old released questions form past state science exams.

I forgot to set up the lab last night after sitting for a couple of hours at the D.M.V. awaiting my son's time to take his test for his learners permit.(he passed so no trip back soon is needed!)

Today's lab is about the 3 part of our Organic Chem standards, The large organic molecules of Carbohydrates, Lipids, Proteins and D.N.A.

The lab is simple.  Test some foods for STARCH with Iodine and LIPIDS with grease smears on paper bags. It is not my favorite lab, BUT IT IS A LAB and it does draw attention to the foods we eat and what is in them.
The Lab tests Bread, Potato chips, raw potato, cheese, crackers, raw bacon and cooking oil.

We had a lunch today by our principal to kick of our state testing next week, that was nice.

The afternoon class FLEW by today.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Week 32, Day 4: MORE FUN with Organic Chemistry!

Odd block schedule: (same lesson as yesterday,models with organic chemistry, A model of butane shown in the photo).

Nice day again. A little review, a little notes, a little lab
Nice to spend a lunch with the teachers together for lunch today go kick off the start off the the jogathon which will really be a swim a thon.

Needed to stay after today to put together the organic chem lab but got told to come home and sit with my son at the D.M.V. while he takes his driver test. He passed! But the LAB was not set up.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!

Week 32, Day 3: FUN with Organic Chemistry!

Even Block Schedule (Organic Chem models-non ring glucose molecule shown in the picture) 

Wow what a terrific day to be a teacher.

Who knew organic chemistry could be so fun! We covered part 1  of a 3 part organic chem standard.  Carbon is the element of life and makes 4 covalent bonds. I broke out the atom model kits for the first time ever. They made all kinds of carbohydrates from methane to octane to decane. Some made vanillin , aspirin and glucose. Even TNT.

We used a set of model set with  wood spheres and springs to make the models.  The kids had soooo much fun. I should have done this 20 years ago.

I hope this helps.

Love to Teach, and Teach with Passion!

It’s not Magic, It’s Science!