This Week In the Classroom: Pendulum Art (Swinging From the Rafters)

A quick video of our last major math project in my co-taught Math/Sci course.  I will take no credit, Ms. J took the project out of my clumsy claws and completely rocked it! We nicknamed this the spirograph project and you can tell from the wikipedia link that we are WRONG!  It should probably be described as pendulum art.  In reality, it’s just plain fun. The original prototype… And a great slideshow of other sandart created by our students. Continue reading This Week In the Classroom: Pendulum Art (Swinging From the Rafters)

This Week in the Classroom: Why Mothers Hate Me On Mother’s Day

As a parent, I know that art projects can be a mixed blessing.  Some are breathtaking.  Most should go in the circular file.  Worse still are things my kids build – they fall apart and break.  They take up space. God save me if my sons bring home noise-making pieces of art they have built. As a teacher, I conveniently ignore my own good sense.  I present wind chimes built in preparation for Mother’s Day as part of our “building music” unit. Make it safe and keep the rubber side down. Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Why Mothers Hate Me On Mother’s Day

This Week in the Classroom: Art Car

For the past three spring semesters (way back to my work at Citizen Schools) I have led a team of students in the design and construction of an Art Car.  An Art Car, if you don’t know, is an embellished vehicle of some sort.  Last year, I ran a sharkcar, the year before, a gatortruck.  This year, I received permission to use the school bus.  We run our car in The Houston Art Car Parade every second Saturday in May. Of course, whatever I did had to be removable.  Nothing like a challenge. Over two months my students designed, cut out, painted … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Art Car

If I Had a Boat (Sailing Curriculum Unit)

In my middle school/junior high class, we’ve been exploring the relationship between sails, force, momentum, foam boats and area.  I’ve used the unit to assess the graphing labs we conducted last quarter and introduce non-linear graphs. I began the unit by asking students to research old sailing boats and draw conclusions from the material they gathered.  The students completed a K-W-L chart.  I then introduced the question: what is the most efficient sail? After some fits and starts (we have been doing some standardized testing practice to get ready for this week’s Stanford tests) we realized we needed to ask … Continue reading If I Had a Boat (Sailing Curriculum Unit)

Little Toy Trucks

Brrrm brm brm brm brm brm brm, brrrm b’ brrrm, Brrrm brm brm brm brm brm brrrm b’ brrrm, Brrrm brm brm brm brm brm brrrm b’ brrrm. Brrrm brm brm brm brm brm brrrm. Take me riding in the car, car; Take me riding in the car, car; Take you riding in the car, car; I’ll take you riding in my car. — The Car Song, Woody Guthrie   Continue reading Little Toy Trucks

This Week In the Classroom: Probability Dungeon Crawl

When I’m not being a father or husband or woodworking, motorcycling, teaching, or any host of other things, I’ve been known to engage in miniature wargaming.  For those not in the know, think green army men on steroids.  Or Dungeons and Dragons on the battlefield.  Or…

Here's a shot of the starting point for Probability Dungeon Crawl

Anyways, I have two students which need to learn fractions and probability at the fifth/six/seventh grade level.  My hook: Probability Dungeon Crawl.  With miniatures.

Rules after the jump….

Continue reading “This Week In the Classroom: Probability Dungeon Crawl”