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Let’s have a fun Friday!

This is the Friday before my birthday.  It’s my personal policy to not assign homework on my birthday.  So what did we do?

Intro:  We played 1, 2, 3 Switch from Tom DeRosa.  I’ve played this game with my students every year, and I always get mixed results.  In the past, students have been really confused about how to handle the K, Q, J, and A cards, so I went ahead and printed number cards for each student.  (This also stops them from trying to play other card games…another problem I’ve encountered.)  I have some changes to the cards that I’d like to make…but when I do, I will share them.

This year, the game execution was flawless and everyone knew how to play.  My 1st hour class loved the game, and I could tell that some of them were going to take it home and play it this weekend.  I brought out my camera and took pictures of them happily playing cards.  This weekend I hope to print out some of the pictures and hang them up in my classroom.  4th hour, however, were not fans.  Some of them whined and asked me to magically conjure a worksheet instead.  My paraprofessional and I had a good laugh over their behavior.  After all…how dare we ask them to play a game?

I asked myself if maybe I’d done a better job ‘selling’ the game to 1st hour…but I really think this one comes down to student attitude…because 7th hour liked the game just fine!

Physics:  I bought inexpensive little stomp rockets from Amazon.com.  Whenever I do an activity like this, it’s hard to say whether or not the students will buy-in until we try it.  When the rockets showed up at my place, I used my high-schooler sister as a test subject, and we shot the rockets at my mother’s house.  I had more fun than I thought I would, and I figured that this would be a safe and easy way to play with projectiles in a school setting.  It was about 34 degrees during lab time today and we walked to a park a few blocks away.  I had each student stomp the rocket 3 times, and with the help of their group, they measured the airtime and the horizontal distance traveled.  On Monday, we are going to estimate other properties of the rocket’s flight using algebra.  If this part of the lesson is successful, I will share the lesson here.

I took so many pictures of my two physics classes.  I was trying to capture the actual rocket launch, but I often missed and got a picture of teenagers staring straight up into the sky.  (Which are funny enough to send to the yearbook!)

I still have my usual round of Friday grading to do, but it was a good day!

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