Monday, January 16, 2006

Calling The Silent Majority

It seems that we teacher-bloggers mostly missed National De-Lurking Week. Maybe we can schedule a make-up for the coming week?

So. Lurkers, I'm going to give you a choice of three writing prompts. Choose one and leave a comment... or write your own prompt, and respond to it. (Look at that! Choice! Differentiation!)

1. What is the most memorable science lesson of your own education?
2. Listened to any good music lately? Bonus points if it's upbeat without being stupid. Beautiful songs about heartbreak are permitted. Avoid Yo La Tengo and Wilco at all costs.
3. I have a burning question that I wish you would answer.....


Blogger Euclid said...

While I have always thought myself much more of plant biologist (Back from my days as a Foresty major), I always remember disecting a sheep's eyeball in Advanced Biology back in HS in the mid-70s. Black gushy liquid. yuck!

6:51 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I've been listening to a lot of Death Cab For Cutie, esp Soul Meets Body. I guess this comment doesn't really count since I'm not a lurker, but oh well!

7:23 PM  
Blogger jen said...

My best science project (not so much a lesson as an assignment) was in 7th grade, to make up a song about anything we'd learned so far that year. I was so excited I wrote two Weird Al-esque ditties: "Help Me Rana" (as in the frog) to the tune of the Beach Boys' "Help Me Rhonda," and "Spore in the USA" to the tune of "Born in the USA" ("I was born on a piece of bread/with a spore case on my head...") Good times. Science wasn't fun again until 12th grade physics.

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Bill said...

"pretty shoes" by Jens Lekman. Pretty funny tune. The story behind it and the download itself can be found on his website:

7:32 PM  
Anonymous eddie from nyc said...

I've been listening to XM satellite radio ... Ethel Merman, the Who, Tears for Fears, Tony Bennett, Jackson Browne, George Michael, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Perry Como (PERRY COMO???), New Riders, Joan Jett. Slightly eclectic, no?

7:59 PM  
Blogger Jules the Crazy said...

my high school chem teacher did all kinds of cool experiments in class. one of the extra-cool ones involved filling a balloon with two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. then he touched a spark to it, and it imploded. awesome!

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Nicole said...

My high school chemistry teacher brought in a love song about an ionic (?) bond, something about wanting to share his electron with someone I think. It was very cute, although I can't really remember the chemistry now.

I am a third-year ESL teacher in a New York City public high school, and I read your blog almost every day. I can relate to so many of the struggles and joys you post about. Thanks!

10:32 PM  
Blogger Alexis Walker said...

I don't remember the lesson per se. I just remember my elementary school science teacher's pet boa constrictor, Susie.

10:53 PM  
Anonymous un-lurker said...

3. I have a burning question(s) that I wish you would answer.....

I'm currently student teaching in middle school science - to learn more, I wanna watch videos of great science teachers / lecturers doing their thing. Any idea where to find any? Drop names and I will google like mad.

Also, we were taught constructivism in teacher ed, but now I find myself going totally traditional, as in give a lecture, demonstrate, then pass out worksheets. Every. Day. Is this wrong?

11:46 PM  
Blogger Polski3 said...

I am not a lurker, but right now on my cd player is:

*Last DJ (Tom Petty)

*Let it Ride (Bachman Turner Overdrive)

* Love Hurts (Nazareth)

* Love Gun (KISS)

*Hard Luck Woman (KISS)

*Wheel in the Sky (Journey)

*Sweet Child of Mine (Guns & Roses)

*Ain't talkin' Bout Love (VanHalen)

*Running with the Devil (Van Halen)

several Rockers from Def Leppard and the Cars, finishing with

*Holiday (Green Day)

11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anything by Nickel Creek is good.

12:04 AM  
Blogger Miss Dennis said...

Hi Ms. Frizzle,

I'm Miss Dennis, a new Bronx teacher blogger. Your blog is great. I'm sick of talking about teaching, though, so I'll answer your song question: "Eleanor Put Your Boots On" by Franz Ferdinand. Check it out when you get a chance! Lots of Brooklyn references. "Kick you heels into the Brooklyn dirt ... run to the Coney Island roller coaster .... I could be there when you land ..."

I'm at

Feel free to link me and I'll do the same as soon as I figure out linking.

1:01 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Cheifs, Guster, Razorlight...they are all British bands (very upbeat stuff).

And yeah, I'm a lurker.

2:12 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Guster isn't...forgot about that.

2:13 AM  
Blogger Lord Zagato said...

hi im chris i'm in medschool, but am currently under an alternate route for a teaching certification

i still remember the first time we were instructed to do a complete physical exam, whew quite nerve-wracking, you can't let the patient know that you're still learning

i enjoy your blog so much, thank you for sharing

4:42 AM  
Blogger jaclyn said...

My favorite science assignment: throw an egg out the second (or was it third) floor window and have it land in one peice. We could only use an egg carton, saran wrap, tape and tissue or something like that. My mom was thrilled (sarcasm) with my practice out my bedroom window and I think almost the entire class failed to keep their eggs in tact. What a cool mess though! 7th grade I believe.

De-lurking from Tokyo... love reading your blog!

6:42 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Oh, un-lurker, once you are more confident, get those kids' hands dirty. Have them build crazy contraptions to test physics theories, have them make weird slimes and goos and molds, have them write stories from the point of view of a fossil or stomach or something, get your hands on some probes and have the kids measure the velocity and acceleration of their own movement. Science is DOING! I taught middle school science for 6 years and it was wonderful. Almost as wonderful as the 3rd and 4th graders I teach now.

And, in response to question #2: Sound Tribe Sector 9 (aka STS9). I can't praise them enough. Beautiful, wonderful, complex music.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Alexis Walker said...

Un-lurker--watch the lame, goofy, hyperactive "Bill Nye the Science Guy" videos to see some of the things you can do to get kids involved in science concepts. For the most part, he doesn't get things too wrong (my biggest beef with science activities was that they didn't actually demonstrate the concept they were intended to demonstrate) (yes I know I'm an English teacher now, but I taught science for 10 years).

2:56 PM  
Anonymous d. said...

Hi Ms. Frizzle,
I remember being taught about human reproduction by a very very pregnant science teacher, way back in the eighth grade. We looked on with wonder.
And as for music: there's a wonderful weird cd by a contemporary composer called Karlheinz Stockhausen, "Stimmung". It's delightfully strange and uplifting.
Delurking from the Netherlands,

3:16 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I had a wonderful physics teacher in high school -- my senior year, a handful of us chose to take the AP Physics C exam. We'd already taken AP Physics B, so with little to teach us, he decided to turn the class into his own little "what I wish I could teach every kid" course.

We built a potato gun, a hover craft, and a bed of nails; we dropped eggs from the football stadium and mailed a pringle to the teacher in the smallest possible package without having it break.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Aussieteacher said...

Hi Ms. Frizzle,

I am an Australian elementary school teacher currently working as an educational consultant in NYC (yes - ONE of those!:) )I read a number of US and NYC teacher blogs to give me some insight into what teachers are really thinking - yours is one of the most balanced I read - congrats on that!
Burning question: What do you see as the most pressing general issue in NYC education at the moment?

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Muriel said...

In 12th grade I took part in a program called The Chemistry Olympics. We had great chemistry labs twice a month, and our theme was sports and chemistry.
I loved the whole program and it all of it would deserve to bear mention here, as it was the first time I really saw the link between my chemistry classes and real life.
Two specific labs that I do remember pertain to dosing the sugar content in a sports drink (I think) and another where we synthetised a polymer used for floors in gyms.
Pretty cool ...

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Music! Nellie McKay's "Pretty Little Head" (album), Arctic Monkeys' "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" (single) and We Are Scientists' "With Love & Squalor" (album) are all in heavy rotation for me.

As for these lurkers, are they disgruntled teachers without the time to start their own blogs? Curious parents? Administrators? Hah!

8:02 PM  
Blogger andreea said...

burning sugar in aluminum foil in the 6th grade. i couldnt tell you WHY we did it but i sure remember doing it....

8:19 PM  
Blogger Hg said...

The black soot mark that lasted for years in the science room is my best science lesson memory. We all collected our hydrogen in balloons from an HCL + Mg reaction and collected it into one big balloon that our fantastic year 7 teacher ignited!

I just completed my teacher education for science and health (in Australia) but have a job starting soon teaching special ed with a class of 6 year olds.

I have only recently entered the world of blogging. Yours is a great read.


11:39 PM  
Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Neil Finn. Aimee Mann. Madeleine Peyroux-- whom you will recognize because suddenly she is in commercials and on Boston Legal tonight (!). Alison Krauss. Hot Hot Heat. Butterfly Boucher. Kate Bush.

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

My high school chemistry teacher stood on top of his counter/table which was on a raised dais. With pointer in hand keeping time on the table surface, he had us learn by singing to a very familiar tune:
"How do you get from grams to moles?
You divide by the molar mass."

I no longer even know what some of the words mean, and the concept is foggy at best, but by dang I can still sing it and remember it 33 years later.

3:42 PM  
Blogger MommyProf said...

Best science lesson: the whole year when we built a battery out of strips of metal, cardboard and an epsom salt solution in 6th grade (we moved and I had to repeat the curriculum in 7th, which totally sucked, but that's beside the point) or the first lesson in H.S. chem where we proved Archimede's principal and I felt super smart. I later realized that I just had a great teacher.

The Putomayo CD Arabic Groove is one of our faves.

8:10 PM  
Anonymous k said...

In biology class, 10th grade. We hiked down past the football stadium, around the cemetary and skirted the dog pound to a tiny little creek. Just a nothing little bit of water. We sketched the stream and id-ed all the plants and animals. We went back several times to see what difference the seasons had brought to this tiny environment. This was soooooo much better than id-ing animals in cloudy jars and dried up plants.

5:05 PM  

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