Friday, October 11, 2013

Day 33: Off Topic, But Educating Anyway!

In geometry, we continued our discussion about truth tables and, as per my wont, I managed to get sidetracked and started talking about space travel and all of the scientifically inaccurate pieces of the new George Clooney and Sandra Bullock movie, "Gravity."

My favorite astrophysicist, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson spent a large portion of his twitter feed listing the reasons that the movie made little scientific sense.

He is the Carlos to my Cecil.
 We talked about the difficulties of space travel and the pioneers who will travel to Mars and never return.  It was a very lively conversation.  Then one student asked why we would land ON Mars and the Moon, but when we come back, the people go INTO Earth.

This is not the first time I've heard this.  Apparently, there is this conception that when we are walking on the ground, we are "inside the Earth" and when we go into space, we are "outside of the Earth."  They seem to think that the surface of the Earth is a sphere within a sphere, which I suppose could be argued if you consider the atmosphere as separate from the Earth itself.  I had NEVER heard this idea before last year when a kid INSISTED that right now, as we walk around, we are INSIDE the Earth.

I don't even know where to begin with this.  It puts me in mind of Planet Druidia.

In pre-algebra, we continued working with decimals and fractions, and converting back and forth between the two.  The activity today had the students draw lines between equivalent rational numbers with the final result being a beautiful picture.  I was honestly worried that they would be bored, but most of them jumped in with both feet.

Next up! Fraction multiplication!  I'm not really excited about that topic, but I plan to deviate from the standard curriculum to talk about unit conversion and dimensional analysis.  You're welcome, science teachers.

On Tuesday (in-service Monday) the geometry kids will be working through the Promethean flipboard that I made around The Lady or the Tiger.  It's pretty basic and pretty awesome!

Not bad for a day where I slept through my alarm!


  1. hey! You are a Nightvale fan too? LOL, my kid got me hooked on it.

    I just reviewed fraction multiplication with my 7th graders using a picture of a Hershey's chocolate bar. It was my best class all year so far!

    1. I am! @Mythagon got me into it and I fell hard! I don't even think about the dog park!

      Did you blog about it? I'd love to do anything that could be described as "my best class all year"

    2. You are NOT to even acknowledge the dog park! Wait what dog park?
      However about the Hershey problem, yeah I blogged about it and immediately feel intimidated because its so not anything spectacular. Anyway here's the link:

    3. Awesome! Don't feel intimidated! This is a very cool way to introduce it! Thanks for writing about it!


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