I am in my fourteenth year in education. For the majority of my teaching career, I have taught math, science and writing to fourth and fifth grade students. I have two children of my own and four step-children. My family stays very busy with all of our different extracurricular activities. I love Fall and am looking forward to the holiday season!
Juggling Makes Physics Fun
Wed, Nov 30, 2016 5:12 PM Making Science Fun
The title of this article intrigued me. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from reading it, especially considering that the only other review of the article was slightly negative. However, I was pleasantly surprised by what the author offers the readers. Physics is an abstract science. As young children, we are taught to believe in this invisible force called gravity to explain why things fall down. In middle school and high school, we are shown models and diagrams of things called protons and neutrons and are expected to understand the concept of atoms and molecules. So, an article about using juggling as a way to teach physics was an exciting read for me.
Our district is working to promote STEM and problem-based learning throughout all of its classrooms. Many of our teachers are working to develop the craft of providing students with a scenario and allowing them time to research, explore, experiment, create and learn from the problems presented within a particular scenario or situation. I love how this article provides an example of presenting students with the question of how juggling works and the forces and characteristics of objects that one must be aware of in order to successfully juggle.
This specific lesson could be modified for a fourth-grade classroom during their unit study on forces and motion, or in an eighth-grade Physical science class. However, the problem-based concept that this article presents is very appropriate for all grade levels. When students are given an engaging dilemma to work through, they are more likely to stay focused and on task. This article provides a great starting point for anyone wanting to get started with problem-based learning.
The Moon’s Phases and the Self Shadow
Tue, Nov 29, 2016 9:41 PM Modeling Moon phases
I love how this article not only explains the phases of the moon, but also highlights some of the common misconceptions students have when learning to make sense of them. It also provides teachers with clear models to use to demonstrate why the amount of light on the surface of the moon seems to grow and shrink. Additionally, the author provides an assessment rubric that is easy for teachers to use. Overall, an article worth reading!
Tue, Nov 22, 2016 9:51 PM Ways to Assess Students
This is a great article for any teacher looking to understand the meaning and purpose of assessment. The author tells of four different types of assessment: diagnostic, formative, summative and confirmative and also describes the number and types of questions that would appear on each type of assessment. Additionally, for teachers looking to expand their repertoire of questions used on assessments, the article mentions the sample test questions written by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) that provide examples of higher order thinking questions. A great article for teachers wanting to truly assess their students' learning to purposefully guide instruction.
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