Friday, June 22, 2012

Disappearing Spoon

So I've always been a math/science person, you probably already know that, but notice that the math is first in my description.  It's logical, sequential, and so me!  Science is application of math and it is fascinating and interesting and there is so much of it.  Trying to be an expert in genetics and astronomy and chemistry and geology and ecology and...I know there is more but some days my mind begins to go numb.

I've been reading a lot these last three weeks, and alright I did indulge by ready the 50 Shades trilogy, but the Disappearing Spoon book by Sam Kean is really a great read.  It takes science pieces and intertwines the historical perspective and little know facts behind the stories.  Although it seems to be a chemistry based book, there is a little bit of knowledge about just about every area of science I will be teaching.  It is the interesting background that I've been looking for and need as I begin to map out my new school year!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Bye-bye JASON Project

If you haven't yet checked out the JASON Project's free online curriculum, you'd better hurry!  Beginning July 1st, the online science curriculum aimed at middle school students will no longer be available for free. I was so bummed this morning when getting online to look for quality activities for next year to find that it is no longer being funded.  These online textbooks provide the quality that I really would like all curriculum to provide.  The labs are linked to real life and require higher level thinking skills, the online interactive games and activities are absolutely amazing and integrate other areas.  I guess it looks like grant writing is in my future if I find that I can't live without it.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Flipped Classroom

Flipped Classroom
Created by Knewton and Column Five Media

For several years now I've used the Livescribe Pen to help students that have been absent.  When the Khan Academy came online, I was excited that kids were finally having access to learning in a way that I believed in, but had no idea that it would take off on such a global scale!  Now that I've read information about the flipped classroom, I'm excited to do a unit next year using this model.  I'm not sure which one, or when, but it is my goal to give this a full fledged effort next year.  Since I will be using PBLs with the students, I feel like this will be able to maximize our time for labs in the classroom.

Is anyone already doing flipped classrooms?  Any pointers for middle school kids?