Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Variations on a theme....

"I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."

--Sir Isaac Newton

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dancer in the Dark

I am coming to realize that a good measure of how happy I am depends upon how frequently I close the blinds and dance around the house by myself.  

"Only when I'm dancing can I feel this free.  At night I lock the doors where no one else can see...."

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Wind

Ever have a week when you just need a song, something, to make you feel better?  I have my iTunes on shuffle right now as I work (11 pm for the fourth night in a row), and The Wind by Cat Stevens just came on.  I needed this.  

Friday, November 21, 2008


MOOMBA stands for My Only Obstacle Must Be Attitude. We gave out our first bunch of MOOMBA awards today for the 2008-2009 school year. These little bits deserve a HUGE, huge round of applause. Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Vice Grip

This is what happens when you put a quarter through the vice grip...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day

It was another beautiful Fall day out there, kiddies.  I spent my afternoon riding around.  

Crayon Lab Final Analysis

Awesome.  These kids rock.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Rock Cycle Simulation: Crayon Lab Parts II and III

Picture one shows a sample of what our "sedimentary" and "metamorphic" rocks look like.  

Notice the sedimentary rocks, formed by W.E.D.C.C. (weathering, erosion, deposition, compaction, and cementation) have the following characteristics:
  1. Thick Layers
  2. Loosely Compacted
  3. Distinct Particles
  4. Dull Surface
Whereas the metamorphic rocks (formed by heat and pressure) have these characteristics:
  1. Thin Layers
  2. Tightly Compacted
  3. Blurred Particles
  4. Shiny Surface
  • Parts II and III of our rock cycle lab simulated the processes by which metamorphic and igneous rocks are formed.  
The second picture here shows part II (the process by which metamorphic rocks are formed), during which we used our hot plate to subject our "rocks" to heat.  We used a vice grip then to add pressure (simulating the process by which rocks undergo pressure inside Earth's surface).  

Part III of our lab simulated the process by which igneous rocks are formed (melting and cooling).  
  • First of all, we heated water to use as our "cooling" device.  

We had four beakers, marked with the following tags:
  1. Very quickly cooling=ice cubes
  2. Quickly cooling=ice water
  3. Slowly cooling=warm water
  4. Very slowly cooling=hot water

  • Intrusive igneous rocks (formed deep within the surface of the Earth) were simulated by the "molten material" that was cooled over warm and hot water.  
  • Extrusive igneous rocks (formed on or near Earth's surface) were simulated by the "molten material" that was cooled over ice water and ice cubes.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

In which she dreams in fault lines....

I had a dream the other night that referenced the Carizzo Plain.  Really?  


Is a good day...Obama 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Crayon Lab

This is a great rock cycle simulation we do every year. 

1.  The first picture (the crayons with wrappers) represent a rock in nature. 

2.  The second picture represents the weathering process in nature (or, when rocks are broken down into small pieces). 

3.  The third picture represents the erosion and deposition process in nature (or when rock fragments are moved from one place to another and dropped in a new location). 

4.  The fourth picture represents the compaction and cementation process that rocks undergo as they become sedimentary rocks.

Parts 2 and 3 of this lab will take place on Wednesday, when we subject our sedimentary rocks to heat and pressure (metamorphic formation), and finally melt and cool our rocks (igneous formation). We will post further pics then!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bridge Challenge Fall 2008: Works in Progress

Dave visited LA recently and came to my classroom one day. The kids were making bridges for the bridge challenge, and Dave helped me take some pics. They have turned out pretty well. We'll make sure to post the finished product when they are all done!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Magic Gardens

This is totally funny....this is the "before". Will post the "after" tomorrow....

Zoom Machines

"Create a zoom machine that will travel the longest distance in the shortest amount of time...."

Junk Box Materials:
  • CD's
  • Dowel rods
  • Straws
  • Plastic Bottles
  • Index Cards
  • Tape
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Rubber Bands
  • Popscicle Sticks

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Lil' Pumpkin....

Sam brought me a pumpkin, and we decorated it!

Density Demo: Coke VS. Diet Coke

Our density demo today....we tested coke vs. diet coke (or regular vs. diet soda) and found that the regular sodas sank, whereas the diets all floated. When we measured out the amount of sugar in an average regular soda (anywhere from 39-55 grams of sugar) vs. the equivalency in non-calorie sweetener (we used Splenda) the kids were totally grossed out! Our conclusion was that the regular sodas were more dense (we talked about an elevator packed with 20 people, vs. an elevator which held only 2 people), therefore sank to the bottom. Pretty fun!