Van de Graaf


142 Friday 4/19 was a day when it was nice to forget all the things going on in the world and have some fun. Despite the rainy weather, the Van de Graaf generator was working up a nice electric potential, and we successfully made a number of students’ hair stand away from their heads. I love the Van de Graaf generator. (It was also the day of the spring pep rally. My students usually do not wear glitter on their faces.)



141 Thursday 4/18 was “poem in your pocket” day. I could not decide, so I actually printed out THREE poems (there is another on the back of this page). These two on the front are definitely on my all-time top 10 list of poems I like. I did not read them all to all my classes, but I did read each poem multiple times throughout the day.



140 On Wednesday 4/17 I tried to forestall difficulties with calculations using scientific notation with the conceptual class by using several different calculator examples. This is one of those times when I am so happy that I have a document camera! Perhaps you recognize the number in the display of each calculator.



139 This was Tuesday, 4/16. The AP class was determining the relationship between the magnetic field strength and distance from a long current-carrying wire. Almost all of my photos turned out blurry. I am not sure what I had messed up in my phone’s camera settings.

Back at school


138 This is my desk today. Papers, equipment, demo materials, document camera, sweater, multimeter, markers. I hate returning from an absence and trying to catch back up. I feel like I am trying to do too much at once.



137 On Friday the 12th I went on an NSTA-sponsored field trip to the Canyon Lake Gorge, a gorge formed in 2002 during a flood. Lots of fossils were revealed by the water and rocks that scoured a deep trench into the earth, including dinosaur footprints! I can barely stretch my legs to match the stride of the Acrocanthosaurus that may have made these prints. The dinosaur’s belly would have been 7 feet above ground when striding along!




136 On Thursday the 11th I arrived later than planned in San Antonio due to a flight delay, but the sun was still shining and the weather was beautiful when I finally did get in. This is right outside the convention center, which is out of view on my left.



135 I am attending NSTA this week so I will be out for two days. This is the pile of stuff I am leaving for my sub. It includes the AP tests for tomorrow, in two parts, with a timer and an answer key for the multiple choice questions. It includes reading material for my conceptual classes as well as a post-test that they don’t know they are getting (unless they read this blog post. Anyone?). And that is Thursday. Friday is a wacky day between the Red Cross Blood Drive and a guest speaker in the afternoon, for which we have a special schedule. All the classes will be short and some students will miss class. So the conceptual classes will watch a video and the AP classes have pages of Knight’s workbook to complete by Monday.


134 The conceptual classes are playing with this sim today. It is one of my favorites. I love watching the charges in the wall when you bring a charged balloon nearby. Nicely done, PhET!


133 This is a panorama shot (I was playing with that feature on my phone today, for kicks) of my last class of the day. It is the last day of the marking period, and some students are re-assessing while others do various computer-based activities. It was a good day because everyone was busy and focused.