Posts Tagged ‘astronomy’


Been Away, But Now I’m Back — Reflections on 2014-2015

June 7, 2015

One of the reasons that I haven’t posted anything this year is directly related to one of my favorite tools this year: One of my main purposes for writing this blog is to allow me to reflect on lessons that I have taught, and with planbook, I set up a tab called “Reflection”, that allowed me to do that and have all of the lesson information right there. As far as a year-end overall reflection, I felt that a blogpost would be more helpful, so thus…

In almost every way, this school year was a lot of fun. I had four PAP Geometry classes and two Astronomy classes. My PAP kids were great (I also had about 16 8th graders who were generally adorable), and it was a blast finally being able to teach Astronomy. My schedule even worked out so that I did not have to have “Freshmen Lunch” (35 minutes). With that being the case, I will mention the few minor annoyances just to get them out of my system, and then go on to what I think worked, and what I’m changing for next year.

To summarize:

  • Astronomy is great!
  • Not just a flipped classroom, but a flipped-mastery learning classroom!
  • Canvas is a really good tool for the aforementioned classroom.
  • Having students make a Kahoot quiz for their presentations is a great way to ensure engagement.

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Astronomy Class Structure

July 30, 2014

I think I’ve got it! After lots of internal debate, I think I’ve settled on how I want to run my new astronomy class this year.

To Flip or Not to Flip–That is the Question

I fell in love with the flipped class model last year for my geometry class, so I’m definitely continuing it for geometry. That’s no big deal–even when I’m not trying some projecty-thing, I can make up new problems for them to solve all day long. Astronomy, though, doesn’t quite work that way. I think I’ve found some interesting problems/activities/”labs” to go along with the textbook, so we’ll see.

Because all of the freshmen teachers are getting them, I will have the luxury of a Chromebook cart in my room, so I plan to make lots of use out of it for astronomy. First off, I wish I could remember who recommended Blendspace, but this has proven to be incredibly helpful. It lets me pull together different resources to supplement the reading they are supposed to be doing. Check out my first lesson!

I will also be using Edmodo to manage everything (Blendspace is also an Edmodo app), and since I figured out that I can use LaTex on the quizzes, I will probably use it in geometry as well. Pearson, the publisher of our textbook, has some good online assignments that the students will be expected to complete.

The Plan

  • Students will be expected to read about two sections of the textbook for each class and write a one-paragraph summary of each section.
  • They will have Blendspace lessons on each section as additional resources.
  • I will not be checking homework. The class day after the end of a chapter is the due date for all homework from that chapter.
  • During class, we will be doing some sort of exploration/project/activity.
  • The day homework is due, I will give an Edmodo quiz over the whole chapter, broken down into the standards. Students can retake any standard they do not get a 4 on. Since I am giving so few quizzes, I will be willing to go back and change a previous six week’s grade should it be necessary.
  • Grades will be weighted as follows:
    • 20% Homework
    • 20% Classwork
    • 30% Quizzes
    • 30% Six Weeks Test/Major Project

I have felt so paralyzed this summer because I wasn’t sure what/how I wanted to teach this class. I don’t know whether this will work or not, but at least I’m not paralyzed anymore.