As a teacher, the past month or so has been kind of tough. You see, I was asked to be part of a team that was given the opportunity to design a completely new learning experience for next year's freshmen class. Sweet opportunity, don't get me wrong I'm having a great time, but it means that I am out of the classroom every Monday. Working on designing something that has never existed is great, but I think my poor students are getting sick of the subs. Thankfully, they have been fantastic, for the most part, and have done what has been asked of them. All that to say, planning engaging lessons has been difficult.
A couple of weeks ago, my fantastic science coach, Fritz Robinette, suggested a couple of air pressure demonstrations for the class' introduction to air pressure. In one experiment a can is crushed without me touching it and in another a hard boiled egg is spontaneously sucked into a bottle. Once the egg was in the bottle I challenged the students to get it out. You'll never believe some of the things they dreamed up to free the egg. This was pretty cool stuff, even to the most jaded students. What was better though, were the discussions that ensued after the demonstrations. Students were thinking, learning, and actually enjoying it.
That engagement is reflected in the latest edition of the week in review (10/22-10/26) by Mariah Mackinnon.
Update: Just went through my email box. Low and behold, a stack of weekly reports regarding this week. So, here is the new and improved version with additions by Leah Charles, JaNaudia Terrell, and Brenda Velazquez.
Last week in Mr. Kite's Earth and Environmental Science Class we learned about Air Masses, Air pressure, layers of the atmosphere, and the four fronts. One of the many things we learned about fronts is the names, which are cold, warm, stationary, and occluded. Also this week in Mr. Kite’s class we learned how to interpret weather maps. Last Wednesday October 30, 2012 we related frontal boundaries to cloud formation, wind, and storms. Mr. Kite did a little experiment in where he had an empty glass mike bottle and put an egg on top to cover the hole. As he lit a piece of paper then, put it at the bottom of the bottle and placed an egg back over it air inside tried getting out popping the egg a centimeter in the air. When all the air out of the bottle was released the egg gently slid inside. As the class thought of ways to get the egg out we were clueless. Mr. Kite said the way you get it in is the way you get it out which is to put pressure on the bottle. Eventually the answer came about, to blow on the egg. These are some of the thing we did this week in Mr. Kite’s classroom.
This in week in Mr. Kite's class we covered a whole lot of material. We talked about the layers of the atmosphere and high and low air pressure systems. We had to complete a packet were it talked about the layers of the atmosphere, and we had to plot points according to the temperatures and altitude. We also did a fun experiment in class were we put a egg on top of a bottle, were the egg didn't exactly fit through. To make it go through, Mr.Kite put smoke in the jar and the whole class watched with excitement as the egg quickly dropped in. We then talked about what have made the egg go in through the jar. We also talked about hurricanes and more about it. We learned how hurricanes form and more. We recently took a test, covering all the material we have learned.