Thursday, February 23, 2012

First Post in MONTHS!

Well I suppose I should blame myself for not keeping up to date with the blog.

It's already nearing the end of Feb and I haven't updated since the beginning of school.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

New Notes and Powerpoints

I've been so busy with the new year it's been crazy!

Students start Monday and I've already switched my lesson plans around 3 different times.  I'm never happy with what I have planned!

That being said I rewrote some of our notes and made a quick powerpoint to go through it.

I'm mostly reformatting and reorganizing information this year.  It shouldn't be too much extra work - I hope!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Start of the Year

Our first day back tomorrow is mostly classroom time.  I have a few meetings throughout the day and then I get time to work on whatever I need before kids get here next week.

It's important to have a solid back to school routine to start the year off successfully.  This goes for both students and teachers.

Having a well thought out classroom is essential.  I have a few tips. Label everything.  Imagine every kid asking you "Where does this go?" ...especially in my science classroom.  I make sure to have all my new supplies properly stowed and labeled so the class remains orderly for the school year.

Have some clearly established systems in your classroom that detail how things work.  Know what your tests, quizzes and assignments are all worth and be up front about it.  Have a routine for things like absent work, grading, classroom management and stick to it.  Don't pick a system that is too complex - you'll just end up hating it.  The key is always to be as consistent as possible, so get some systems you can work with for those common classroom occurrences.

Once you get past the first day "getting to know you" routine it's important to have good content.  That's what I'm working on right now - I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Random Tuesdays

Two projects I want to work on:

Making a Hero for Heroes of Newerth based on belegarth.  Stance switch weapon combos or something.

Make an elliptical powered streetcar.

Go go Google Sketchup!

Day Five

Lab Day!

Who wants to do something standard on a Friday?

My goals:
1. Give them the materials and the directions and get out of the way.
2. Teach them scientific method and review metrics and observations at the same time.

Inquiry Lab!  Let the kids make the lab up as they go.  I think I have some resources on this downstairs.  I'll edit this later and post some of those ideas.

The Fourth Day of School

Ah, welcome to Thursday.  I kinda like Thursdays.
Ok, class begins with the daily journal on the board.  Five minutes of attendance, answering frantic freshman questions and making sure my seating chart is still holding up.  Probably the most stressful part of any day is the first five minutes of every class period.
The daily journal was something along the lines of “Which metric unit would measure …distance?  …mass?  …volume?”
Ya know what?  These kids are getting too comfortable.  Let’s hit them with a quiz.
“Hey Guys!  Quiz in 5 minutes!....wait for outburst.  On what?  Oh?  You want a wordlist?  Ok, here you go.  Quiz in 5 minutes.  Go through what their vocab card system is.
[Vocab System]
Missed words on pre-quiz = flashcard
Vocab section on the test is post-test
[/Vocab System]
Hand out quiz.  Take, trade&grade.  Go through flash cards. 
Give kids 5 minutes of transition time to start on 1-2 flash cards and get my approval “Yes, yes you are doing that right Johnny” “No, you forgot to add the sentence.  Yes you HAVE TO.”  Etc.

Notes 2 – Observations
Go through powerpoint detailing the vocab for this lesson:
Quantitative – hey remember those measurements we took yesterday?  What type of data were they?  Qual or quant?

In Class Practice:  I have a powerpoint I found onlike a few years ago with some visual tricks, mind trick, etc and we practice making observations based on the pictures. I want to add some pictures to it and take about 3 out this year…so I’ll have to do that in the future.
Ok, summary page time.  Write down your best example or memory of each bubble.  Feel free to also add anything else you’d like to remember from today’s lesson. 
                                                                [Side Note]         (1 in 15  add something extra.  The rest try to find the minimum amount of work they can get points for)

HW/Extension Activities:
Throw the kids in back in groups of 3-4 with a globe and have them make the most qualitative and quantitative observations.
I need a good observation/inference game I think.
Worksheet: 20 different statements that need to be classified as one of the vocab we went through (example:  John has 5 apples = quantitative observation.  It is going to storm = inference)

Ok, wrap up day four with whatever I feel like from the HW/Extension activity list…if I have time.  If not, no biggie.  Their homework will be their flash cards. 
Friday is next…Friday should be a lab day.