Saturday, April 25, 2009

New moon is no moon

So I sent the students home this weekend with a chart to fill in drawings of the moon as they see it each night, and then I figure I should do my own chart as well (modeling!)... last night, completely cloudy; tonight, can't find the darn thing. What's going on here?

Oops -- new moon. They can search all they want, but won't find a thing. Maybe a sliver tomorrow? Ok, so I should have timed the lesson a bit better, but now it's an opportunity to demonstrate why all their pages are blank...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Solar System to Scale

Damn, this is one huuuuuuuuge universe we live in!

My class is studying the solar system, which I can't claim to be an expert in but love learning about-- I get so totally blown away and amazed by some of the fantastically un-mind-wrappable concepts and facts, and it's so cool to share things with students and see them be amazed as well. One of my students today was shocked to realize "we" were out in space, just like all the other planets. I asked her where she thought we were, and as the words "on the ground" came out I could see the light bulb flicker (and stay) on.

so I want to do one of those cool Solar System to Scale projects where the students can go outside and place (chalk? clay?) sun and planet models and see just how far apart everything really is -- any suggestions?

I did see that for most models, even the smallest, the nearest star is still apprx 4000 miles away! See what I mean? Wow!

Monday, April 20, 2009

so quiet, so cute, so small

Ah, 3rd graders...

btw, the most common phrase heard today* -- not "good morning" or "welcome back" but "44 days!" as in the number of school days until summer break. And it was an overwhelming landslide, not even close...

*at least until the temps hit triple digits, Praise the Lord for air conditioning!