Thursday, March 27, 2008

This just in...

Area girl spots cutest puppeh EVER....leeetle guy.

Monday, March 17, 2008


I bought three bunches of daffodils yesterday from Trader Joe's, and they've already opened into terrific yellow blooms in vases around my house. Daffodils always make me smile on account of this memory: In Oregon, there was always a festival each Spring, at which they would sell bunches of five flowers for $1. For that price, it seemed like the entire town became transformed into a brightly-hued kinetic sculpture, with blooms peeking from bobbing backpacks, tucked behind ears on happy heads, and sitting in sills all up and down the little neighborhood streets. For a limited time, the sunny accessory seemed to transcend genres; everyone seemed to want one. Such a fond springtime memory from an era during which a handful of life's greatest gifts converged: youth, optimism, curiosity, hope, friendship, and learning. Le sigh.

Friday, March 14, 2008

During which they had a mad fine time...

Today was the last day before Spring Break. We had a party with donuts and juice boxes. We had a great time. I'm excited to have 2 weeks off, but will miss my little bits. Ready to have some fun? Gurrrrrl...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pyroclastic Bombs

One of the most fascinating units I teach is volcanoes. Today we made "pyroclastic bombs" in my classroom. These are the volcanic rocks, full of air, that are ejected from very explosive volcanoes.

Here is our experiment!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mentos and Diet Coke Geyser

Did you know that when you combine mentos and diet coke it makes a geyser? (Make sure to check out the link to the video--totally sweet!) Today in my Science enrichment class we tried it.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Snack Tectonics

This week in my classroom we studied plate tectonics. My theory about science is that "talking" about concepts is usually about as exciting as watching paint peel, so I generally try to find something a little more engaging that the kids will have some fun with. It generally makes it harder for them to forget the concept.

Anyway, we did "snack tectonics", a model that simulated the way that plates interact at their boundaries.

The materials we used were:

1) Chocolate frosting=asthenosphere (mantle): the viscous layer on which the plates ride.

2) Graham cracker=continental crust (thin, brittle lithospheric layer).

3) Fruit roll-up=oceanic crust (thin, dense (stretchy) lithospheric layer).

4) Wax paper (to contain the mess).

We simulated the following plate boundary interactions:

*Divergent Boundary (plates moving away from one another--the boundary at which rift valleys are formed). The mid-atlantic ridge and the Great Rift Valley in eastern Africa are two examples of divergent boundaries.

*Convergent Boundary (plates moving toward one another). This is the boundary at which mountain ranges and volcanoes can form.
*Transform (Sliding) Boundary (plates sliding past one another). The San Andreas Fault is an example of this type of boundary. Earthquakes tend to occur along transform boundaries.

When we finished the simulations, everyone got to eat their "snack". We had fun :)