Thursday, November 12, 2015

Day 49: All A-Bored

I bored myself today.  Even with staying home yesterday, I'm still feeling worn down.  Perhaps I need more vitamins.  The transition to having my alarm go off at 4:30 hasn't been very smooth.

In addition, beyond fusion, I don't care all that much about the working of the sun.  It's easy to let my passion show through when talking about various topics, but this one? Meh.

I am, however, concerned that if I rush through topics that don't particularly interest me, I'll run out of topics for this course.  So I've decided to add a project and give the students a choice about which one they would like to do.

1) Sun Research Paper: 2 pages exploring the relationship between the sun and the earth.  Students will pick a topic to examine (space weather, atmosphere, climate, etc.) and look into what effects it has on human endeavors or the world around us.

2) Layers of the Sun Model: Students will create a 3 dimensional model of the sun that displays, identifies and explains the purpose and features of each later.

Both projects will be due on the Monday before Thanksgiving and I think it will be in lieu of a chapter test.  I'm tired of tests.

I think a large portion of this comes from my lack of familiarity with this content in an academic way.  I love astronomy, but never having taught it before, I'm not sure which topics I need to hit and which I can skip.  I also haven't built up a list of fun activities yet.

In physics, we kept working through problems, going over the ones I asked them to work in my absence.  I think much of their trepidation will be set aside through practice.

We finished class with a classic "two trains are travelling towards each other" problem and had an interesting discussion about relativity.

If one train is going at 80 km/h and the other is moving at 120 km/h, is that the same as one train moving at 200 km/h towards a wall?  They had several theories.

On a related note, I love when I do Google image searches and come up with pictures from sites runs by my friends.  Thanks, Math Forum!


  1. Secrets of the Sun is a good recent documentary. Can construct pinhole viewer to measure diameter or distance to sun. Also have Ss plot sunspot data using Google sheets. Can send you some stuff. Also have fun project designing model solar system.

    1. Yes please! I try to minimize tech since I don't have reliable access for my students.


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