Mentoring Many Independent Research Projects – aka, “Doing Science Fair”

Its the time of year where my weekends start to be taken up with Science Fair.  But as a teacher - its really nearly a year-round endeavor. Science Fair for me starts in May. May is when I find out what students signed up for my course for the following year, the students who I … Continue reading Mentoring Many Independent Research Projects – aka, “Doing Science Fair”

Lab Notebooks: the grown up interactive notebook

In the last decade, interactive notebooks have exploded in popularity. I tried them with my students, and I loved them. The majority of my students did not.Why?I was doing all the work. The students were still just talking notes or doing worksheet style activities. Just in this thing called an "interactive notebook". The students pointed … Continue reading Lab Notebooks: the grown up interactive notebook

Density, proportional reasoning, and misconceptions

It's a simple question: what is the relationship between mass and volume?DensitySome students immeadiately said, "Density!" So, I asked them to describe density in terms of particles, and they couldn't.There was a whole day of collecting data. A bunch of plastic blocks, mass on a triple-beam balance and cubic centimeters. Aha! As the volume increases, … Continue reading Density, proportional reasoning, and misconceptions

Modeling and volume, with precision and accuracy

Activity to investigate the relationship between cubic centimeters and milliliters.  Students carefully (or not so carefully) calculate the base area for their container, fill it to various heights (depths) of water, and measure the volume of water in the container. One group of students recalled a prior teacher told them that one centimeter cubed equalled … Continue reading Modeling and volume, with precision and accuracy

Teacher Evaluations – and what you can do for teachers you care about

A brief story about teacher evaluations I am in the state of Ohio, so some of this is about to be a little Ohio-centric, because its what I know. The purpose of evaluations of teachers in the state of Ohio is: To improve instruction by facilitating professional growth and development To identify needs for staff … Continue reading Teacher Evaluations – and what you can do for teachers you care about