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

Course Design – The value of online lab course materials (college version)

As a graduate student, I was assigned the TA job for an introductory course in geology. I really like physical geology - its the course where you get to look at all sorts of rocks and minerals, learn about specific gravity (a favorite of mine) and other physical characteristics, and maybe some introductory geology. Sounds … Continue reading Course Design – The value of online lab course materials (college version)