A blog of my daily activities. As a teacher that consists of what I do at my job. I caution the reader that, while I have checked the links and items I have added to my blog, should you or your child navigate away from this page you may find objectionable content on the internet. I strongly recommend that parents be involved and active in their child's life and education and that they be supervised when surfing the net. NOT associated with any school.
Academic Calendar 2015-2016
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Wednesday September 2nd, 2015
Yesterday was a busy day in class and we didn't get to the crime scene final analysis. Hopefully we will push off the reveal till Thursday. We did review the scientific method as far as we have gotten and I showed the class our updated concept map which can be viewed here: Scientific Method updated. We will finish this on Thursday and Friday.
Most of yesterday's class was dedicated to priming student's brains to prepare for the hardest part of a Science fair; choosing the topic. We had a pretty deep discovery to activate deeper thinking and we posed the question, "How can you prove that you are self- aware? To break it down a bit, When you get up in the morning, how do you know that you are you and you are not the reflection you see in a mirror and the reflection is, in reality, the actual you? I let this subject percolate through the class for an extended period of time because with every comment, students were obviously striving hard to answer the question. I played "devil's advocate"using the 10 commandment of logic to refute their ideas and ask them to go deeper. I eventually pointed the students to the idea that they can't answer the question of proving they are self aware until they answered a few basic questions about what it means to be self aware. This is almost identical to what happens in a Science fair project. I used the example of using a potato to power an electronic device. Students were asked to write in their COWS, section F from the FINDS research graphic we will be using in class today. That graphic organizer can be accessed here: Finds Graphic model.
When talking about using a potato for a power source students first had to explore what is it about a potato that allows it to produce energy. Through probing and discussion student eventually learned that the mitochondria in the cells of a potato are what produces a bio- electric current that can be used to possibly power an electronic device. This, then was an ESSENTIAL question that needed to be answered before they could begin this project. Another essential question was, how would one transmit the energy from the potato to the device? This was also a background question critical to performing the project. Finally we asked, "how many potatoes would it take to power a device?" At the end of the discussion students realized that these background questions must be answered in order to do a great project. They were then given time to develop their project idea. There are several helpful short videos to develop a project, which again, is the hardest part of a science fair.
Choosing a Science Fair topic. This video walks students through the basics and teaches them how to use www.sciencebuddies.org topic generator. While we have said no pre-made projects can come from the web, students can use the science fair project topic generator and set it ti intermediate or advanced to start choosing an idea. After taking a brief survey the program will generate a list of ideas. Students will have time on the computers to generate a list and MUST personalize the project. If they come up with an idea, they are to copy it down and save it to their Marion students address then show me and ask me how to personalize the project. NO BEGINNER IDEAS WILL BE ACCEPTED.
Essential Question: How can I develop a great Science Fair Project and why do I want to do this particular project?
Go to Mrs. Brown's room to use computers and learn the FINDS model.
These videos will help walk you through the process of choosing a science fair topic.