Sunday, March 27, 2005

Upcoming

Spent the weekend decompressing from the Science Expo. Now I'm taking a look at what to teach this coming week. I have my unit on plants all planned out, but I have to make sure I have all my materials ready - I'm always really ambitious when I plan my units and sometimes feel far less adventuresome as the day of the lesson approaches. Here are some of the things we are going to do this week:

On Monday, I'm going to hand out a survey asking the kids to give me some feedback about the Science Expo, and also to encourage reflection on their part. Meanwhile, they are going to do observations of their FastPlants, which are growing like, um, weeds... and I'm going to give them a chance to start their experiments over if they want to, since some quads got knocked over during the last week, and some of the experiments were so extreme that no plants grew at all. Also, we ran out of vinegar mid-week, so the groups watering with acid were stuck, and I never managed to make it to the grocery store to get more. So, in the interest of science, many groups will want to set up new experiments.

On Tuesday, I'm doing a PowerPoint lecture on seedless vascular plants, a.k.a. ferns. I was also hoping to pass around some fern leaves for them to observe - perhaps fiddleheads - but the fiddleheads I saw at the grocery store weren't that impressive. With any luck I'll find a florist whose got ferns on Monday evening, or else they'll just have to look at pictures.

On Wednesday, we're going to take a look at seeds. I must remember to soak some beans overnight so they can disect them and see what's inside.

On Thursday, they are going to design germination experiments. With the FastPlants, we don't get to see what's going on during the first few days when all growth is under the soil. There are many simple experiments you can do involving the germination of bean and corn seeds, using variables like the direction they are oriented, amount of water, amount of air, etc.

On Friday, we'll take a look at leaves.

Meanwhile, in sixth grade health I need to come up with lessons on the health problems caused by obesity, and in seventh grade health we'll be doing the non-health-related costs of smoking, such as smelly hair & clothing, the insane amount of money smokers spend on their habit, etc.

On Monday afternoon, we have a staff meeting. I might have to present at that meeting, not absolutely sure.

On Tuesday afternoon, a consultant is coming to meet with me about the laptop program.

On Wednesday I'm working with the HS Prep kids about reading difficult reading passages and answering multiple choice questions about those - I must find some poorly-written, overly-complex writing to give them as examples. Sadly, few textbooks, magazines, and even fewer pieces of literature feature writing this bad.

On Thursday I'll take my drama kids down to the auditorium for the first time and see what we can do about blocking the first scenes from "Charlie."

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