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October 24, 2009

The Arch Ford Science Newsletter provides national and state news related to science education, links to science websites, lesson plans and other information. Email your comments, subscription requests, and other information to: Include your name, school, and grade level(s) teaching assignment. Teachers, Are you just about sick of all the rain? October is usually one of my favorite months, but this year my enjoyment of the crisp days and fall color has been washed away! I’m hoping that the precipitation doesn’t continue into winter as the frozen kind, unless it is short snowfall for Christmas. Don’t forget, if you’re stuck inside on a dreary day you have your newsletter for entertainment.

Madelon Cheatham

In This Issue: Primary

Middle/High School

General Interest

Ask Ms. Inquiry – Corn is an “Amaizing” Plant Virtual Pumpkin Carving Moon Phase Model Wind Vance Model Model Barometer

Genetics Lesson Plans Green Eggs and Ham-Simple Machines Ohm’s Law Lesson What’s in the Soil? Arkansas Curriculum Conference Bizarre Slime Marine Science- All Levels Pumpkin Science How Big Are Your Lungs? Wings and Arms Tech Tip – Selecting Text/Hotkeys SMART Board Workshop Classroom Management Tips Weekly Weird – Weird Science Game

Happy Halloween!


Dear Ms. Inquiry, Do you know where Avogadro stays when he goes on vacation? Chris Yes, I do. He stays in a “moletel”. MC

Information for Primary Teachers K-4 Corn is an “Amaizing” Plant This lesson includes a history of corn and its uses and could easily be tied to your social studies curriculum. You will also find a description of the structure of the corn kernel. To fully engage the students buy ornamental Indian corn at the local super market to use during your lesson. There are many hybrid varieties of corn available. Later you can plant some of the seeds and study the growth of corn plants. You might also want to include some lessons using popcorn at the same time. Visit the popcorn page for a large list of resources and websites.

SMART Board Users: Virtual Pumpkin Carving Try this website on your SB for some Halloween fun. Complete with creepy music.

Moon Phase Simulation Model-ESS.10.2.1 Build this simple model to demonstrate the phases of the moon as seen from different locations. Necessary materials include a shoe box, Styrofoam ball, flashlight, and other easily obtained items. No witches necessary!

Make a Simple Wind Vane-ESS.8.4.11 Use a bottle, soda straw, and index cards to make a simple wind vane that students can use to gather long term data on wind direction. Making and Using a Barometer-ESS.8.4.11


Information for Middle Level and High School Teachers Genetics: Contributions of Scientists This lesson compares the lives and contributions of scientists who worked in the field of genetics and technology. Short biographies of each scientist are included and ready for printing. Not what you’re looking for? Browse this comprehensive list of genetics lesson plans and information. Check out “Making a Face” for your biology classes.

Green Eggs and Ham This website has lesson plans using easily obtained materials so that simple machines can be constructed in class. It also includes suggested questions for students and real world applications. There is also an interesting application of the principles of simple machines to the book “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss. See Part VIII for questions and specific references to page numbers.

More Simple Machines A 55 page booklet with a concept map, explanations, lessons and illustrations. Everything you need to teach simple machines. And another….Simple machines booklet with assessments and lesson plans: grades 59.

Ohm’s Law Lesson Plan: Physics- Hands-on

What’s In the Soil? ESS.8.8.13 A lesson that involves stratigraphy and soil artifacts; no soil required. Student worksheets.

Information of General Interest Arkansas Curriculum Conference November 5-6, 2009 State House Convention Center, Little Rock AR Content sessions at all grade levels for Science, Math, Literacy, and Social Studies. Exhibits, program vendors, luncheons, hospitality and more! Registration Information:


Stuff You Can Make In Your Kitchen or Classroom This bizarre website has a dozen recipes for slime, and many more experiments that can be accomplished with very little lab equipment. Click the categories tab for a list of other topics.

Marine Science A variety of lesson plans and activities with graphics that focus on marine life and the ocean. Construct models of ocean dwellers, a salt marsh or plankton net. Lessons also include salinity, percent oxygen, pH, food webs, fish morphology, currents and mapping the ocean floor. Something for all age levels.

Shark! An activity guide for teachers. K-3: Grades 4-8:

Pumpkin Science Pumpkins fascinate me. I don’t know why, maybe it is the fact that they can be carved into funny faces or the incredible mold that invades them later. I don’t question, I just go with it. Just in case you have some spare pumpkins around the house here are some ideas for what to do with them. Primary Grades: A complete unit- Foldable book: Sink/Float: Measurements: Structure: Vocabulary matching: Lifecycle activity: Lifecycle sequence cards: Observations: 7th grade and up: Pumpkin Lifecycle: Pumpkin facts and trivia: Pumpkin riddles: Pumpkin Pollinator, Behavior of the Squash Bee Fact Sheet: Pumpkin DNA: Substitute pumpkin, it has DNA.

How Big Are Your Lungs? Try this experiment on lung volume. All you need is plastic tubing, a dish pan, and a plastic milk jug. Student activity sheets on tidal/residual volume included.

Wings and Arms Compare the structure of a chicken wing to that of the arm and learn what each muscle does to aid movement. 4

Tech Tip

Selecting Text and Using Hotkeys You already know that you can select a body of text by holding down the left mouse button and dragging your mouse over the text until it turns blue, but there is a quicker way to do this. 1. Position the insertion point (that little flashing straight bar thingy) in front of the text you want to select. 2. Move the mouse cursor to the end point of the text. 3. Hold the shift key down and click the left mouse key Windows Hot Keys once. Walla! 4. Now learn the “hotkeys” to make copying and pasting the CTRL-X Cut text easier too. CTRL-C Copy 5. And don’t forget the “Alt. Tab” combo. This switches from one application to another in the main window so CTRL-V Paste that you don’t have to move the cursor to the taskbar CTRL-Z Undo when you want to paste from one window to another.

SMART Board Workships at AFSC

November 5th – SMART Board Level 2 - ESC Works Session: 109178 Contact- Christy Trantina for more information:

Classroom Management There’s no way around it, the most effective teachers have excellent management skills and also fewer discipline problems. If you sometimes find your class has run amok, or you feel that very little is accomplished and everyone (including you) seems bored….maybe it’s time to sharpen your management philosophy. Outlined below you will find some management tips gleaned from a variety of sources and personal experience. 1- The 90%-10% Rule: The good managers know that the first weeks of school are crucial. During this time plan to spend 90% of class time teaching procedures and 10% teaching academic content. The students need repeated instruction on a variety of procedures so that the class runs smoothly. Everything needs to be crystal clear; the little darlings aren’t mind readers, so if you don’t explain your system they will each make it up as they go along….that leads to chaos. 2- Everything Has a Place: Everything used or useful in your classroom should have an assigned location. This includes the students, texts, bulletins, journals, completed assignments, make-up work, equipment, and the pet goldfish. Explain to students where essential items are located and when they can be used. For example: what should students do with completed homework when they enter the class? Do you have a designated homework basket? Is there a procedure for turning in work, or do you spend valuable time asking students to turn in their work at the beginning of each class? 3- Chunk It: Most of us like to talk, but lecturing for a 45 minute class will result in boredom. Attention span averages 3-7 minutes, so break up the lesson into 4 or 5 chunks. What can you do? Start with a demonstration, follow with a question/answer time, introduce related vocabulary and add to your word wall, allow students to explore a similar event, journal observations and results, report to the class. Whenever possible make one of the segments active, this insures the kinesthetic learners are engaged. Provide time limits for each activity to keep the students on task. Don’t be surprised when students comment as they go out the door…”this class always goes by so fast”. (continued)


4- Consistent but Unpredictable: The best classroom managers know that consistency is important in providing a secure environment. Your procedures and expectations should be consistently applied, but that doesn’t mean that students should outline the chapter every Tuesday and take a test on Friday. Introduce variety into your daily lessons and develop a huge bag of “tricks” and strategies that can be applied in many situations. Soon the students will be eager to find out what will happen next. 5- R U Passionate? If you’re teaching a subject you aren’t wild about, how do you get up in the morning and face the day? Students need to know that you love what you do. The topic you are teaching at the moment may not be your favorite, but you have to let the students know it has value, and you do that by example. Imagine what goes through a kid’s head when he hears.... “This material is hard and it may not be interesting but you have to know it.”…..don’t be guilty of giving them a reason not to learn.

For more information or inspiration: The Firsts Days of School, by Harry Wong Tools for Teaching, by Fred Jones What Great Teachers Do Differently: 14 Things That Matter Most, by Todd Whitaker The Weekly Weird Students love weird science facts and they also like games. So here’s an idea for a weird science game that could make a great bell-ringer for the beginning of class. You may find that student’s can’t wait to find out what’s true and what’s not true so they set out to do some research on their own. Weird Science – Fact or Fiction Collect some unusual science “factoids” or discoveries from the Internet, there are many places where you can do this, just Google. List two on the board or type them on a slip of paper along with a third completely false idea or “fact”. Student Instructions: Select the science “factoid” that’s false, and then write an explanation to justify your answer. Here’s some facts to get you started. (They are all true, you supply the false “factoids”.) 1234-

If a tiger goes bald he will still have stripes, the stripes also represent bands of colored pigment on the skin. Right-handed people live an average of 9 years longer than left-handed people. Analysis of weather data shows that Tuesday is the rainiest day of the week. A man from Syria set a Guinness record by putting 22 scorpions in his mouth, and both he and the scorpions survived. 5- Kangaroo means “I don’t understand”. Europeans called them kangaroos after Australian aboriginies used the word when asked what they were called. 6- Rats can’t regurgitate or belch! 7- The blood vessels in one human body would circle the globe 2.5 times. 8- The average person accidentally eats 430 bugs every year. 9- On average women say 7000 words a day, but men say only 2000. 10- The petals of the world’s largest flower are 1.5 feet across. 11- Approximately 80% of all the scientists that have ever lived, are alive today.


October Science Newsletter  

AFESC Science Newsletter