Friday, November 6, 2015



With today being the last day of the marking period, I had a stack of papers to grade and toss into the gradebook.  We had also finished a section on the structure of the sun, so I thought it might be a good day for a craft.


I found a really cool "Structure of the Sun" activity on The Wise Nest.  It was originally designed for elementary school, but I modified it by taking all of the labels off and removing the definitions.  I had colored pencils available and had them create a solar flip book with terms and roles for each layer.

The kids were really into it.  3rd period had about half of the students who just flat out refused to do the activity.  Since it was designed to help them and provide a fun way to learn the layers, I focused on the kids who was interested.  It was a great day.

We did have to have multiple discussions about how there was no "right way" to color or assemble it.

"It's a study guide for YOU. As long as the information is right and you understand it, put it together and color it however you want.


Since I didn't have to spend any frustration or energy on trying to get kids to stop talking over me, the extra manifested in the form of song and dance throughout the day.  I also kept yelling "ARTS AND CRAFTS DAY" in the style of an excited, deep-voiced toddler!

And then came Physics.  I put a scenario on the board.
I asked them to find the angle at which the tank would have to fire in order to hit the hoard of zombies that were 18 km away.

This was a MUCH harder problem than they were ready for.

I intentionally didn't work it out ahead of time.  If I know an answer or process, I have a tendency to answer their questions in a certain way that may lead them down an inauthentic path.  With this problem, I couldn't answer any of their questions, except for in theory.

In addition, when I started working through the problem with them, they were able to see my authentic process and struggle.

And struggle it was.  The numbers I picked were WAY too big and we ended up having to solve a quadratic with a "c" term of 7,779,240,000.  It was a mess.

But it was a glorious mess.  It didn't take too long to solve, but at the request of a few of the students for "more direct" ways, we dove back in and tried to work through it.  When the bell rang at the end of the day, I was energized and my students dragged themselves out, once of whom claimed that she was GOING to do it over the weekend because she hated not knowing.

**tear**  I'm so proud.

I also spent most of the day walking around asking people if they wanted to see a picture of my sun.
"I love my sun. He's so bright, but he keeps his distance."
 I don't know why I got weird looks.  Were they expecting a different picture?

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