Sunday, 28 July 2013

Space Week Finale: What Am I Excited For?

I love teaching about space.  I mentioned earlier that I typically spend a full class just answering the kids questions and seeing what aspects of space they are interested in.

I am always excited to see progress in space exploration.  I think it's going to be pretty crazy in 20+ years when we start seeing reality TV shows about people going into space.  But for now, here is what I am excited for when it comes to Astronomy:


The Perseid Meteor Shower: August 10-13 2013

Photo credit: Jason Gunders in Queensland, Australia
This annual meteor shower is my favorite because
1. it is warm enough to be outside for hours (unlike December's Geminids)
2. I don't have to teach the next day so I can stay up as late as I like.
3. Lots of meteors! About 1 every minute.

Gravity: In theaters October 2013

Oh, am I ever excited!  I would love to bring my 9s and 12s to see this in theaters.  It works so well with their curricula!  I would love to for both classes to analyze the accuracy of the film.  Word is that they added explosion sounds for the trailer, but the film itself would have silence.  Realistic Physics in a movie?  I can't wait to find out!

Sungrazing Comet ISON: November 28, 2013

Photo credit: NASA & ESA

On the day after Bill Nye's and my own shared birthday (coincidence?) there is potential we may be able to see a comet's tail across the sky without the aid of telescopes.  How cool would that be?!


Total Solar Eclipse: August 21, 2017

Credit: NASA

It's WAY off in the future, but there will be a total eclipse of the heart Sun in only a few years.  I can't believe that I am only 8 hours from the point that will experience the greatest eclipse!  How exciting!

I had a great week posting about Space!  I hope you enjoyed reading about it.  Don't forget to link-up your space-themed products!


Never fear teaching about Space.  It is one of the most interesting and fun topics in the Universe!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Space Week: Great Space Videos

Have you linked-up yet?  Join in on the Space-themed linky party for K-12 Astronomy Products!

Videos are a great resource when teaching space.  Of course, we all know that Bill Nye has quite a few videos on Astronomy, as does NOVA, and the documentaries The Universe and Through the Wormhole.  All great videos, but Americans may not have seen the following great videos related to space since they're from Canada and the UK.  

Top Gear has covered NASA's newest rover:

This one is great, especially if you have students who are fans of the British show.

Chris Hadfield is responsible for the rest of my favorite videos.  The Canadian astronaut and all around amazing guy is responsible for these gems you and your students will love :)

How do you sleep in space?

Can you cry in space?

Wet washcloth in space - the kids loved this one so much!

And some of his music recorded in the ISS:
Space Oddity

And ISS - Is Somebody Singing
The last one year is great if you are teaching Physics - have your kids use celestial mechanics equations and with a bit of research they can validate the values in Hadfield's lyrics.


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Space Week & One of my New Fave Games!

I'm loving Space Week!!
Scroll Down to find out where to get this get and how to customize it!

Check out Space Center Houston:
 It is just so cool!  Once Mr. Brosseau and I have some kiddies I definitely want to bring them back here to play in the giant Angry Birds play area and give them a chance to be brave and climb to the top of those green pillars.
 There is other really neat stuff there too, like animals, all sorts of space suits, sing-alongs and cool memorabilia.  



But the games, oh the games!  They make me wish I was ten years old again!

With the amount of games I play in my high school courses you might think I'm a ten year old.  I posted earlier this week about my Freebie Astronomy Terms Domino Puzzle, here is another game that I just love!  It's from Gina Wilson at All Things Algebra.  She's got lots of games for math but when the Koosh Ball Game Template went up for sale I snatched it up.  What a time saver!  

Kids throw a Koosh Ball (or in my case, the Slingshot Monkey or a dollar store ball that looks like Earth) at the SmartBoard and it gives them their question. Don't have a SmartBoard?  No worries, I also used it just on the pull-down screen and I click where they hit.  And if they miss - too bad ;)

It's really easy to type in your questions and answers.  It's very cute how there is applause once the answer is revealed.  Now because it's space week I will show you how to edit Gina's game for your subject.  It's so easy!  


Open up the file, this is the trickiest part ;)

Select the object you want to change, and click Fill then Picture

Select the picture you want to use

Beautiful, but let's remove the outline

Click on Outline and select No Outline

Repeat and Voila!  I used smaller celestial objects for the higher point values.  Not to scale, certainly, but more in that direction.


Just remember now that you've personalized Gina's game doesn't mean you can go and sell your version of her work! 

Check it out, I think you'll like it!








Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Space Week, Some Inspiration and an Elementary Teacher trapped in the body of a Secondary Teacher


If you ever get the chance, check out NASA in Houston and throw down the $90 for the Level 9 tour.  Here are some of the really cool things I was able to geek out about while on my tour:

Saturn V Rocket

Space Shuttle Simulator


Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory

An astronaut training in the pool

Lunch, included!  Definitely not space food!

Mission Control Center, watching the ISS travel above the Pacific coastline


Now if you're wanting to do some celestial mechanics calculations, you may want to know the equations involved.  Here is a great editable Physics Formula Folder!  



It has over 100 formulae/equations that get my students through Grade 11 and Grade 12 Physics, but because it's editable you can change the variables and even add another custom column.  Such a time saver (I know... it took me a couple days to type in all those equations!)

I turn it into Folders for the kids to use during tests.  They love it because they get the equations. I love it because they don't even realize that I now have test dividers! ;)





Finally, are you in a summer slump?  I certainly am not - I'm inspired, but whenever I need a pick-me-up I can count on Taylor Mali.  His incredible YouTube video on What Teachers Make has been turned into a comic by Zen Pencils: Zen Pencils - What Teachers Make.  There is some inappropriate language and visuals, so make sure there are no kiddies around :)



Monday, 22 July 2013

Space Week & An Astronomy Vocabulary Freebie!

I recently visited NASA in Houston - WOW!  I spent all day there with my husband on the Level 9 Tour and we were blown away... but more on that later this week.

I found out that I will be teaching Grade 9s again in September and I am very excited.  One of my favorite units to teach in High School Science is the Grade 9 Space Exploration unit!  Day One is always a fun day because the students and I just have a Q&A day.  They write their wildest, wackiest and weirdest space questions and I spend the class answering them.  

The questions range from the simple:
What is a black hole?
What is a shooting star?

To the profound:
Do you think there are aliens?
What is beyond the Universe?

and always includes some silly ones too:
Are Mars bars really from Mars?
Why is my teacher so out of this world?  (My personal fave!)

We use up a lot of sticky notes with all of the questions they ask!  Speaking of sticky notes, check out some of my finds!


Sticky tabs from Heaven The Container Store and light bulb sticky notes from Target (only $1).  I can't wait to put these to good use!

Now for a space-themed freebie!  

Some of my students have a hard time with the Astronomy unit because there is so much new vocabulary.  So for them I made the Astronomy Terms Domino Puzzle.



 My kiddies love it!  Hopefully yours will too.  
Here is how I store my games: in a giant ziploc bag with duct tape on the bottom so I can hole punch it. 
Mrs. Brosseau's actual Binder
Solutions
The game in action
It's really fun to turn this into a competition (depending on the class) to see which student or group can finish first.  I also let the kids borrow a game to review terms before the quizzes and test.  Make life more awesome by printing on colored paper and laminate - two of those simply teaching joys.

Enjoy!
Update:
I've been adding lots more of these Domino Puzzles in my TpT shop.  Check them out! :)

Periodic Table Terms
Periodic Table of Elements - Chemistry Terms Domino Puzzle
Organelle Terms
Organelle Domino Puzzle - Plant and Animal Cells
Ecosystems Terms
Ecosystems Terms Domino Puzzle
Plant Parts
Plant Parts Domino Puzzle - Biology Puzzle

Manic Monday at Classroom Freebies


  

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Oh! The Places You'll Go!

I am obsessed with like decorating, but until I have a classroom to call my own (I'm what I like to call a "mobile teacher", usually teaching in 3 different classrooms) I claim the hallway bulletin boards.  



Here is an example of the bulletin board I created for our Grade 8 Open House.  I had a few days between semesters after my exams were marked and my report cards comments were sent away to work on this.  Yes... days...  that doesn't happen often!

This bulletin board advertises the courses that we offer in the Science Department.  Yep, that's Einstein leading the way!


He guides the students through the 3 pathways...


...and shows all of the courses they take in those pathways, and all of the units in those courses:


There are also the career opportunities, you know, "the places you'll go" if you follow that path.



And some trees for that beloved Seuss feel :)  The trees were the most fun to make!



I used the Grinched font I found on Dafont.com (love that site!), my inventory of bright papers, dollar store wrapping paper for the background and some dollar store ribbon for the balloon.  I laminate everything important things (hence why the picture is so shiny) so I've got this ready to go for next year!  

Grade School Giggle has some time saving tips on making bulletin boards.  I love the idea of using cloth for the background.  I remember reading about using dollar store table cloths too.  Great ideas - got any more?






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