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.


Friday, 26 July 2013

Space Week: Some of My Fave K-12 Space Products

Often I think of how nice it would be to be teaching in an elementary school.  You know, being with the same kids all year, decorating a classroom for different thematic units, having recess...  And then I think of my beloved mother-in-law and how much time she spends writing report cards!  I'm really happy where I am, thank you!  But these products make me wish I was teaching the little ones.  Here are some of my fave SPACE-themed teacher-made products:


The Moon and Space Flip-Flap Books


First up is the creative Anna, from Simply Skilled in Second [blog, store, product].  I want this.  I need this!  Yet, alas, these super cute flip-flap books are meant for Grades 2-4.  (Sorry, Grade 9s!)  The books look really easy to cut out and put together, and on each page your students will fill in facts about the sun, moon and planets, color the phases of the moon and (my favorite) compare and contrast using a Venn diagram.  The Venn diagram is great because I still encounter students entering my Grade 9 class with the misconception that Earth is larger than the Sun?! Anna has lots of other neat flip-flap books like this.  If I was teaching Grade 2 I would own them all!

Astronomy - Unit Activities and Posters - Planets, Constellations, & Moon Phases


Next up is the wonderful Melissa from Common Core & So Much More [blog, store, product].  This pack has posters for each planet, the sun, Pluto, the phases of the moon and a whole bunch of constellations.  This is just not for decor, however.  The planet posters have facts on them and she includes reading comprehension passages for each planet and Pluto.  I would print these out and laminate them in a heartbeat if I was teaching Grades 2-5!  I think these would go great with Anna's flip-flap books to make for a really fun unit!  Melissa has so many bright and beautiful products from K-12, make sure to check out her blog and store!

Space Calendar set and Classroom Decorations

If you're like me and your classroom just doesn't seem to have enough space (decor, that is!) check out the fun set from Monica at Bilingual Classroom Resources [facebook, store, product].  So much cuteness!  Even if you only teach about space for a few weeks, these decorations help to build a really fun theme in the classroom.  I can only imagine how many teachers around Houston and Cape Canaveral would love this set!

That's all for now, but I will be adding products here and on my Astronomy K-12 Resources board on Pinterest!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Space Week Linky Party


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