Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Classroom strategy: The math / computer science aspect required for animation could be a hook for some students to sustain their interest in math through high school and possbily for them to pursue mathematics on into college. Students could do research on the history of animation and careers in the field of animation.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Classroom strategies: Have students compare and contrast a "Smart Choice" food and another comparable food. Using the food pyramid, discuss what would make the food a "Smart Choice" food. If possible, have a nutritionist come and talk with students about smart food choices. Have students research and list General Mills cereals, then categorize them and use Excel to show their results. Use the food pyramid and have students measure out actual serving sizes for a balanced meal and the nutrition value. Use Chew on This, to research and discuss the chemistry of food.
Lesson: Students at schools where recesses have been take away due to concerns over low testing scores should research more about the lack of vitamin D in kids. After investigating daily habits of kids diet, exercise, and sun time, students could create an ideal routine for diet, exercise, and sun exposure. Next they would write letters to the school administration and the local news media giving the reasons for the value of recess for exercise and sun exposure.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Lesson: What a wonderful field trip this could be. Students would actually be able to see how robotics can be used in such an ordinary task as building a brick wall and even incorporating the art while building the structure. Students could then experience making machines using Lego-blocks. If budgets allow, invest in some robotic kits to increase students' understanding about what makes a robot a robot, how robots sense, think, and act as well as the uses and limitations of working robots. Then host a classroom exhibit.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Scientists are exploring the possibilities of using silk generated by other creatures besides silk worms, specifically spiders. Silk from the caterpillars of the silk moths has been used to make clothing for hundreds of years. It has also been used by surgeons, but some people are allergic to the sticky resin on the fibers. Scientists have experimented with silk from spiders for its strength and elasticity and the fact that humans are not allergic to it. Spider silk is so strong, it is used to make bulletproof vests. There are advantages and disadvantages of using spider silk.
Students can sort the advantages and disadvantages of silk from worms and silk from spiders. They can also design an experiment, using the inquiry process, that scientists could use to determine which type of spider silk is the strongest. To integrate writing, students can write a persuasive essay from the point of view of a spider convincing people who don’t like spiders that they are very useful.Here is a short video on how a spider makes silk. Spider Silk
New Eyes to Scan the Skies
New telescopes will help save humans from extinction. One of the four proposed telescopes, located on a mountaintop in Hawaii is called Pan-STARRS. Nick Kaiser, a scientist who works on the project, says the Pan-STARRS telescope has been designed to find “90 percent of all killer asteroids, near-Earth asteroids bigger than 300 meters.” Smaller asteroids often crash into Earth, but if a giant “killer” asteroid were to strike our planet, it could mean the end of human civilization. Three new telescopes will be added to the collection to ensure that at least one telescope is functioning properly so that scientists will know if there is an asteroid on its way to Earth before it is too late. By using four telescopes instead of one, scientists hope to get a more accurate picture of space. If a giant asteroid were identified, astronomers would plot ways to deflect it or break it up long before it reached Earth.
After reading the article as a class, students can research the history of telescopes and their importance to science as we know it today. They can create a time-line of the history of telescopes and key inventors/scientific advances from the time of Galileo Galilei, to today. Students can then brainstorm methods that could be used to break up the killer asteriods before they hit the earth, and disucuss other relevant tools of astronomy that may be useful to utilize in their plan.
Summary: According to a recent article published in the American Journal of Public Health, people are not washing their hands as often as they should. British researchers found that of 250,000 people observed, only 32% of men and 64% of women, washed their hands with soap. Over one million children die each year from diarrheal disease. Simple handwashing could significantly reduce those numbers by as much as half.
Lesson Uses: With H1N1 of major concern in our communities, it is imperative to encourage our students, one of the most vulnerable populations, to wash their hands often with soap. Glogerm.com offers lesson plans and worksheets for grades kindergarten through six in English, Spanish, and French on handwashing. Lessons meet Arizona State Comprehensive Health Education readiness standard Strand 1, 1CH-R1, PO2. Set the stage with the book, Germs Make Me Sick!
Friday, October 23, 2009
- Summary: Each year Nikon sponsors a competition where scientists send in the best photos taken from underneath the lens of a microscope. This years top ten images include a sea star in the early stages of its life, cross sections of a plant and strands of cotton.
- Lesson Uses: Have your students create a hypothesis or predict what the image is when displayed in front of them on the board. The students could possibly write down their predictions on a sheet of paper or could participate in a think-pair-share, possibly writing down their choices on a master class list. For more advanced students they could hypothesize how the images were taken, using what type of microscopes and method for creating the slide. These images can also be used as a non-fiction writing assignment, where the students would describe the details they see in the images.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Being aware of news that is important to today's learners is one of the professional responsibilities of all teachers. Each member of our class will post to this blog on recent and newsworthy ideas to make science and math relevant every day to our students.
Post one news story, your summary, and a strategy for incorporating this story in your classroom to our blog. Example from a previous class. Post to our blog at least once each week throughout the semester.
- Junk Food Turns Rats into Addicts
- Summary: Paul Johnson of the Scripps Research Institute bought an assortment of typical Western fare, including Ho Hos, sausage, pound cake, bacon and cheesecake. Johnson fed rats either a standard diet of high-nutrient, low-calorie chow, or unlimited amounts of the palatable junk food. Rats that ate the junk food soon developed compulsive eating habits and became obese.
- Classroom Strategy:
- Provide students with food logs and have them track their food intake for one week
- As a class, generate a list of "junk food"
- Use Excel® to create graphs of the percentages of junk food consumed by individuals and the class as a whole
- Discuss the implications of students' diet and their long term health based on inkormation from the news article.
- Science Daily
- Science Daily: Mathematics News
- The Why Files
- Google Science and Technology News
- Google Health News
- Science News
- Science in the News
- Science in the News: English Edition
- Math Digital Library
- Mathematical Association of America Archives
- 360: 12 tables, 24 chairs, and plenty of chalk
- Math Goes Pop: Math in the News
- Hollister Kids: Math in the News