Posted by: Amy | August 24, 2009

Baby Chicks Hatching

Posted by: Amy | March 16, 2009

TI CAL Conference

tical_logo_sqIn February, I went to a conference in Little Rock called TI CAL, Technology Information Center for Administrative Leadership.  Here are some of the sessions I attended.  The links will take you to more information about each one of these topics.

Atomic Learning

Virtual Field Trips

Web 2.0 Tools

David Warlick – Luncheon Keynote

Good stuff!

Posted by: Amy | February 16, 2009


oobleckOobleck is a fictional form of green precipitation invented by children’s author Dr. Seuss in the book Bartholomew and the Oobleck. The word has since been used to describe a mixture of corn starch and water used to demonstrate the dilatant property of non-Newtonian fluids. Oobleck is also known in the United Kingdom as “goop” or “gloop” in many primary and nursery schools.

Go to the wiki, Story Book Science, for instructions on making oobleck.


Posted by: Amy | February 5, 2009

Winter Investigation

Giving directions for insta-snow investigation
Axle Annie comes for a visit
Axle Annie comes to visit

For an investigation during the cold, winter season, try some insta-snow from Steve Spangler.  This can be used with different ages depending on what concept is being taught.  I have used it with K and 1st grade classes with much success.

There are several books that tie literature in nicely with this investigation.  Check your library for Axle Annie, Katy and the Big Snow, or Ezra Jack Keat’s book, The Snowy Day.

Have a snow day!

Posted by: Amy | January 31, 2009

Return on Investment

p4120086In an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Linda Darling-Hammond writes,

“The shortage of well-trained, career-committed math and science teachers has created a vicious cycle for our nation:  Because those subjects have frequently not been well taught, we have a nation of math-phobic citizens, few of whom are prepared to pursue higher-level math and science in college, which in turn makes it harder to produce enough graduates who can effectively teach those subjects….”

She goes on to say that to break the cycle, we must develop a national policy that will:

  1. Raise the quality of teacher preparation in math and science.
  2. Enhance the supply of well-qualified science and math teachers.
  3. Improve the retention of qualified teachers through effective mentor programs.

“The evidence strongly points to the central role that effective teacher play in educational improvement- a role that leads to success and employability, and contributes to our nation’s competitiveness.  The investment would be repaid many times over.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 21, 2007

The road to improvement can be long and arduous.  Results can take time to become apparent.  Hopefully, our society will be willing to make the effort and take the time to make the changes needed.

What do you think?

Posted by: Amy | January 28, 2009

TIMSS Trends in Science Scores

The U.S. is statistically unchanged compared to 1995 scores in science.  The 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) shows other countries improving science scores while the U.S. remains the same.  At many schools, as a result of NCLB, increased time and attention has been given to math and  literacy while science education has taken a back seat.  

In many schools science has been all but eliminated in the elementary classroom.  Nearly 75% of teachers questioned in a National Survey of Science and Math Education, conducted by Horizon Research, said they needed substantial professional development to deepen their own science content knowledge.

Minnesota and Massachusetts scored higher than the international average in science.  Both states have increased their focus on science.  

From NSTA Reports, January 2009

What is your opinion about this report?

Posted by: Amy | January 25, 2009

Arkansas Faults


The upper Mississippi Embayment is underlain by faults of the New Madrid Fault Zone, the most active earthquake zone in the central United States. The New Madrid earthquakes of the winter of 1811-1812 were the strongest in recorded United States history and were caused by movement along the New Madrid faults in Missouri and extreme western Kentucky.

A new fault has been discovered in Arkansas.  Scientists say it could cause an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.  Read the full story HERE.  

The Exploratorium has several earthquake and volcano activities for students HERE.

There are directions HERE for making a squeeze box to  model faulting and folding.  There is a website where one can be purchased HERE. squeezebox

Posted by: Amy | January 20, 2009

Google Better

How many times a day do you use Google search?  The following video has some great tips on how to search more efficiently.  There are some notes at the end to help you remember.

This is not meant to take the place of the video, but might help you remember some of the tips explained.

Google Search Tips

  1. use double quotes or dashes for specific phrases
  2. use minu sign to exclude words or sites
  3. google will spell correct
  4. use the plus sign if you don’t want spell correction of odd words
  5. recognizes tracking numbers, flight numbers, international times (time in Zurich)
  6. natural logarithms
  7. currency conversions (five dollars in yen)
  8. define: colleague
  9. file types   (civil war filetype:ppt)  or doc or jpg  any file type
  10. fill in the blank (Mt. Everest is * feet high)
  11. number range search (mt. everest base camps 10000..20000)
  12. price range search (DVD $100..$300)
  13. movie title and zip code will search for that movie in that zip code
  14. site: search will return site specific results ( site: gov mortgages) will return only government sites (site: edu technology) or (site: exploratorium weather)

Happy searching!

Posted by: Amy | January 16, 2009

Brave Enough for Technology

handcomputerIn the book, web 2.0: new tools, new schools by Solomon and Schrum, a teacher is quoted as saying “When enough people are brave enough to use it, it will become the norm.”   This comment was made in reference to the new Web 2.0 tools that are available free to those who will use them.  Some of the tools are so sucessful that Google and Yahoo are offering them as part of their collections of free applications.

What does being brave have to do with technology?  Why would one need courage?

Posted by: Amy | January 13, 2009

Free Safety Documents

Are you concerned about lab safety?  There is a website that offers free documents to help you take steps towards making your lab a safer labstudentplace for learning.  The Lab Safety Institute makes these documents available to teachers as a favor.  They do not endorse the validity or quality of any of the documents.  These are a starting place for safety in your lab.  Click here to view the documents.

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