Sunday, May 15, 2016

Book Talk

For my book talk I decided on Bartholomew and the Oobleck.  I have always been a fan of Dr. Seuss and much to my surprise had never seen this book!!  I decided on this book because I saw a lot of opportunities for it to become a lesson.  Actually, It had somewhat been involved in my groups lesson where I had students make goop.  I had remembered seeing a lesson on making "Oobleck" when I was doing research for the lesson and decided to see if the book was any good.  Of course the book was good!! I was upset with myself for not discovering it sooner! From and education standpoint I saw a great opportunity in that this book utilizes a lot of tier 2 words.  So in itself it is already a great ELA/Reading lesson.  But then their is the additional lesson for science involved as well! This book can be used to get students thinking about substances that could qualify as both liquid and solid.  The more I thought about using this book for my book talk the more I liked it, this book was simply made for teaching!

Science in the News

Recently I stumbled upon an article involving science in the news that truly blew me away!! I really liked the set up of this article because it doesn't cover one single aspect of science in the news, instead it covers several different stories.  The article gives little snippets of various different articles and has the main articles all hyperlinked into her (Deirdra O'Regan's) article.  I also liked that incase one didn't want to read the article, she also provides a video that sums up the whole article.  My favorite story had to be the most recent discovery of planets by the Kepler space telescope in which it found over 1,200 new planets!  It is simply amazing that we are making these discoveries ever day, and it show the true expanse of the universe; that over 1,200 planets weren't even known until a few days ago is testament to that.  I think that this style of article is great for todays fast paced world.  We all want to get things done so quickly now that no one has time to stop and read an article, I feel that this type seeks a middle ground in the journalism field in which it gives a teaser to the whole story and only costs a few seconds of ones time.  I can see this article and others like it having a great influence on teaching science in the news to students, it gives students a wide array of new scientific discoveries right at their fingertips and can give a quick preview so students know what they're about to get into.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Science Fair Project

As one of our assignments we had to create a science fair project and submit it to the BDMS Science fair.  I was a little nervous as it seemed like Mrs. F was going to grade us harshly, especially since she knew we are either teaching or will be soon!

My project tested the viscosity of syrup with the change in temperature.  My hypothesis was that as temperature would increase viscosity would decrease.  To test this I (with the help of my girlfriend) heated up syrup in a glass cylinder and would drop pennies into the syrup.  We began with room temperature (70 degrees F) and recorded a time of 2.77s.  We put a candy thermometer into the syrup to check the temperature and would intermittently drop pennies down into the bottom of the cylinder.  As the results came out it appeared that my hypothesis was correct! The results on the graph show how much of a change took place, I was astounded at how much of a change was possible with the final time being .64s at 150 degrees F!  As an added bonus I threw the syrup in the refrigerator overnight and tested the viscosity yet again.  At 50 degrees F the time it took for the penny to fall was 16s!  I had a lot of fun with this assignment and would love to have my students in the future!!
(Kerry dropping the first penny)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Fieldwork Group #4

Group 4 taught their lesson on the scientific method.  I really liked this lesson as it was really the backbone of what every group had been teaching all semester.  I liked that it was in the end as it served as a review for our students.  That being said!...I think that this lesson should have been taught first, and I believe I heard those words repeated more than once after their lesson.  They really had the students engaged with their magnet experiment and I think everyone was happy with how their lesson came out.

I felt bad that their lesson was rushed as we had our celebration of learning at the end of the day for fieldwork...but who could get upset over ice cream!! Thats right, Mrs. F created ice cream for the students as well as us older people it was quite the treat! In all honesty I think I was more fascinated with the process of making it with the liquid nitrogen over the final product (not to take anything away from the ice cream, it was delicious).  It was a great end to fieldwork, and I commend Colin on stirring the mixture, its not something I would do!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Fieldwork Group #3

We met in Bishop Dunn for the third groups fieldwork assignment.  The third group did their fieldwork on the types of rocks.  They utilized the smartboard in their lesson with a game which I thought was fantastic! I am not too familiar with the smartboard, but after viewing their lesson it made me want to learn how to use it!  I liked how the group got the students engaged in the lesson and I really liked how they had the children identifying their rocks after the direct instruction lesson.  I could see that all of the students were very excited about the lesson save one student who expressed confusion with the lesson.  But the group was fairly quick to act in that they went out and helped the student.

From my experience I know that learning about rocks can be quite dry.  However, I feel that the groups lesson that involved some really fun "hands on, minds on" learning experiences inspired and captivated the students.  I feel there are a lot of fun ways to teach this field that some teachers may not be aware of (or at least some of my older teachers for that matter).

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Fieldwork Group #2

We met yet again in Bishop Dunn for the second group to do their fieldwork, this time the group did their lesson on the dichotomous key.  They started by getting everyone involved including the teachers and grad students.  They had us broken up into classes so that we could be identified, it was a great way to get the kids moving and focused right off the bat!  I must admit when they first started saying dichotomous key I had completely forgotten what it was!  I remembered hearing it before but I couldn't for the life of me remember what they were/did.  So with that I was excited to start learning!
As soon as I had seen the dichotomous key was I instantly remembered what it was and what they were used for.  To me it was always the fun 'eye-spy' game designed as a science lesson.  Justin and Becky taught the lesson flawlessly in my eyes, they worked very well together and it seemed like something they had been doing for a long time! After their direct instruction lesson they began their inquiry lesson which involved using the dichotomous key to identify jelly beans from Harry Potter.  You could actually see the excitement in the students faces when the jelly bean bags came out.  They used their knowledge of the key to identify what each jelly bean type was so that they would not have to eat nasty flavors such as ear wax and vomit.  It was fun to see them go through the lesson and then try them out in the end.  I even tried a Vomit jelly bean in the end and it was quite possibly the worst tasting thing ever!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Second Snowday!

What a surprise!! A second snow day! I was actually very fortunate for the weather as I was actually very sick.  At the time I thought I had gotten food poisoning over the weekend however, it turns out I may have had the Norovirus which we just so happened to be going through an outbreak at the time.  I would assume if I had got it it was either from the preschool where I work, or Whiteface Mountain where I had gone snowboarding over the weekend.  I must say the trip to Whiteface Mountain was a ton of fun! (Other than the return trip Sunday in which I started feeling sick)  Surprisingly the weekend before quite a scientific event took place at Whiteface where the temperature reached -114 degrees fahrenheit with the wind chill!!!

During our lesson with Dr. Smirnova, she helped us with working on our lesson plans and edtpa yet again.  It was good to get more insight on a tricky subject for me and to be able to enjoy it from home!! The class took place yet again in the MSMC Online classroom and this time I was pretty familiar with how it worked.  (Unfortunately my microphone was still non-functional, but otherwise no problems!)  The lesson did not last the entire class as Dr. Smirnova let us go early to work on our classwork/lesson plans.  Overall it was a great class and I was happy to keep my sick body home!