Thursday, October 30, 2014

Teacher Spotlight: Math/Science Mrs. Brice and Mrs. Dissenger

Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Brice and Mrs. Dissenger

8th Grade Math and Science: Forces and Motion

     Students in 8th grade science and math classes are having a fun inter-disciplinary study of the forces and motion.  They are using the study of airplanes and flight as a means to help students mastering this concept.  Let's see what Mrs. Brice has to say about this fun interactive learning.

What are the students doing?  

In math the students are measuring and identifying types of angles in order to design their own glider in their science class with the appropriate angle of attack. In science, they are determining the forces acting upon the gliders, how to create lift, and using engineering practices to design their own glider

 What do you hope students accomplish by completing this activity?

The hope is for the students to understand the relationship between the types of angles and their measures on the optimal design of their glider (wing to fuselage relationship). For science, students will learn how engineers test and redesign in order to get a better product/results. They will apply their knowledge of forces and angle of attack to fly their glider farther than anyone else.


How did this activity tie to your standards?

 In math, this ties directly to my Geometry standards as the students are learning angles and their relationships. This also reinforces the geometry strand of the 8th grade math standards. In science, this relates to Forces and Motion standards and Science as Inquiry standards.

How did this activity promote student learning?

The students worked collaboratively in math to create complementary and supplementary angles.  The students saw a direct connection between math and science. Mrs. Dissinger and I both brought different discipline - based perspectives to the study of flight and forces and motion. In science students created a glider and tested it. During testing, they made modifications in order to fly their glider into a box. After discussing these modifications and other concepts such as fuselage to wing ratio, students designed and built a new glider. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Nadorff Science

Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Nadorff 6th/7th Grade Science

What are the students doing?  
The students had to pick a location within the United States.  Once they chose their area, they had to do daily weather reports and find the high/low temperature, chance of precipitation, wind speed, wind direction and barometric pressure for at least 5 days of weather.  Then they had to predict the weather using their daily weather forecasts for the next 2-3 days.  Once they had their weather predictions, they had to write a script in their groups.  One person was the news anchor, one was the meteorologist and the other was the camera person.  They had to first practice their scripts using we-video on the Chromebooks.  Then students had to present their final rehearsed script in front of the class.  Once students were finished practicing, they got to create a background for their weather video. Once they did their final video take in the library, students edited their videos using we-video and inserted their backgrounds for the video.  Then they uploaded their final videos onto their weather portfolios.  

videoWhat do you hope students accomplish by completing this activity?
 I hope that students will understand that it takes a lot of information and data in order predict weather.  I also hope they learn how to have a better stage presence.  Students really enjoyed making their videos and scripts.  Some really took their roles of news anchors and meteorologists seriously, while matching their own personalities with the script.  

How did this activity tie to your standards?
The new science standards involve performance tasks.  Students need to be able to gather weather data, interpret the data, and make weather predictions. This activity involved students gathering weather data, analyzing the data to make predictions.  Then they needed to communicate their results via we-video.   

How did this activity promote student learning?
Students were actively involved in the entire process on collecting data, making predictions and writing their weather scripts.  Everyday the students could not wait until the end of class to continue working on their scripts and videos.  I believe that students learn better by doing, rather than seeing.  Students were so excited to see their ending results using we-video after two weeks of working on gather data, interpreting data, writing scripts, making videos, creating backgrounds and editing their videos.  


Friday, October 3, 2014

Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Dobyns, Orchestra

Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Dobyns Orchestra

Excited today to share with everyone great work happening in our Performing Arts classes.  Let's take a look at what Mrs. Dobyns did to engage and empower her students to have a deeper understanding of her content.

What are the students doing?

The 8th grade orchestra students are learning to play two octave major scales (16 notes). I had 16 volunteers come to the front of the classroom to form a "human scale," where each person represented a note of the scale. They lined up with different spacing between them (some were standing close together) to represent how the notes of the scale are spaced.

What do you hope to accomplish by completing this activity?

My hope is that this activity will help the 8th graders have a better understanding of how their scales are constructed, that will enable them to perform them successfully.

How did this activity tie to your standards?  

Standard 1: The student will sing and perform on instruments a variety of music, alone and with others.
The students perform their scales in class by themselves and as a part of their instrument section.
Standard 4: The student will listen to, describe, analyze, and evaluate music and music performances. 
The students analyzed the picture of the "human scale," noticing the spacing between "notes" and then applied that to their scales.

How did this activity promote student learning?

After seeing the attached pictures, some of the students had an "aha" moment where everything clicked. Seeing themselves up there as the notes made understanding and playing the scale so much easier.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Teacher Spotlight: 8th Grade Science Mrs. Zeis

Teacher Spotlight: Jodi Zeis Two Examples
Twitter @mrszteachesme

Today's spotlight features Mrs. Zeis and her 8th grade Science students.  Let's see what great work these students are doing.

What are the students doing?

The students were on a website that tracks the movement of some mako sharks.  Students collected the data on the screen which showed the travels of a mako shark.  Students calculated the total distance, caluclated the average speed, and graphed this in a time/distance chart.

What do you hope to accomplish by completing this activity?

By completing this activity, students applied their knowledge of finding average speed and graphing into a real world situation.  The sharks are something that they can continue to follow and analyze throughout the year to continue practicing their skills.

How did this activity tie to your standards?  

This activity ties in with our standards by putting into practice the content about average speed, motion, and utilizing a graph to indicate differences in speed.  Additionally, students attend to precision and model with math. Students were requried to determine how to set up the graph and set it up functionally.   As students worked in groups, they collaborated to determine strategies for completing the tasks as they used technology to gather information.

How did this activity promote student learning?

This activity promoted a connection for the students to show how we can utilize our science skills in a real way while creating curiosity not only about sharks, but about how we may track them.  In the future we will be studying how those tracking systems may work.

Lesson Two - Analyzing Speed

What are the students doing?-    
 The students are finding the average speed it takes them to complete specifc tasks (such as walking, running, walking backwards) and are calculating average speed.


What do you hope to accomplish by completing this activity?      

By completing this activity, students will master how to find average speed and they will master coverting one metric unit to the other- such as m to cm - when necessary.  Both of these skills tie in to expectations and standards in 8th grade.  Students are expected to apply skills, compare and analyze.  Students had the opportunity to compare data from other groups and determine if accurate data was collected.

How did this activity tie to your standards?  

We are currently learning about forces and motion which encompases identifying distance vs. displacement which was another part of this lab. Students were also creating mini time/distance graphs to compare how something faster or slower appears on a graph.
How did this activity promote student learning?

This activity allowed students to work together to identify how to approach the tasks at hand and create a way to find the answers.  Once students developed a strategy, they practiced utilizing formulas that they learned to find average speed.
Creative Commons License
Make Common Sense Common (MCSC) by Tyler Abernathy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.