Scientists solve problems as a community - science fair projects should not be done by students in isolation.
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)
Best Pencil Sharpener Ever!
For Christmas this year, one gift was more touching than any other: my father-in-law (who works as a bus driver at a school in a district I don't work in) gave me $100 cash and said, "I know teachers spend their own money on their students. The next $100 is on me." (This is the … Continue reading Best Pencil Sharpener Ever!
To Mr. Nye
Dear Mr. Nye, I read with excitement that you would be debating Ken Ham on evolution and Biblical Creationism. I think the first word I used to describe it was "epic". Feb. 4, 2014 in Petersburg, KY “Is creation a viable model of origins?” Creation Museum Founder and AiG President/CEOKen Ham will debate Bill Nye at the Creation … Continue reading To Mr. Nye
I accept late work for full credit
There. I said it. I accept late work for full credit literally until the day I submit grades. I know there are detractors to this policy, even in my building. They say, "It teaches bad habits. Students must learn deadlines! The real world doesn't work that way!" I don't actually disagree. I would like my … Continue reading I accept late work for full credit
Notes and the Interactive Notebook
This one's for Adam, who commented, This is fantastically helpful. I am doing a notebook for the first time this year, but only for labs, demonstrations, and some reflection. While it is helpful and the students like it, I’m recognizing that only using it sometimes is a problem. Could you elaborate on what you are … Continue reading Notes and the Interactive Notebook
My first quarter with the “Interactive Notebook”
This year, I have been doing everything with modified "interactive" science notebooks for my biology and physics classes. Everything. I even keep one myself that helps me plan, sketch things out, and use as an example. Its also handy when students complain about tedious tasks, like numbering all the pages. "You can do it! I've … Continue reading My first quarter with the “Interactive Notebook”