Thursday, February 28, 2008

Feb 28-29, Solar System Walk

Today in class we walked a scale model of the solar system and took down facts about each planet and dwarf planet. If you missed today's class please review chapter 3 pages 64-74 and page 84.

Feb 28-29 Easy bake fossil bake off

Today we completed our homemade ovens and proceded to create our fossil cookies--No homework this evening. If you missed this class please review chapter 3 pages 68 to 70.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Feb 26-27 Family O' Planets

Today we did independent research on the planets, dwarf planets, asteroid belt and Kuiper belt. We pulled together facts and created posters which we will use in our next class when we go out and walk the solar system.

Feb 26-27 This will go down on your Fossil Record

Post snow day we created the worlds first (well Thompson's first) xerox paper box oven and verified that yes, we can bake cookies in class with a lightbulb and some Aluminum foil. We also did some research on the various types of fossils--and we passed around a coprolite fossil--much to the chagrin of most students once they realized what it was.

We also briefly discussed two theories on the changing earth--Catastrophism and Uniformitarianism.

Homework is to read pages 56-58 and to do the section review questions on page 58

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Feb 14 Igneous Rocks

Today was a 40 minute class due to yesterday's Diversity day schedule.

We discussed briefly that one of the features of igneous rocks is their crystal size. We also said that if the rock cooled quickly--like lave falling into the ocean or bursting up on land--then the crystals did not have time to get very large. If the magma cooled slowly then the crystals did have time to grow larger before the rock solidified.

We followed this up with a lab--we dissolved Magnesium Sulfate into distilled water and then allowed crystals to form both rapidly and slowly. We will review our results during the next class.

Our homework was to read pages 33-36 and complete the three section review questions on page 36.

Feb 13-14 Birth of the Solar System

We continued our exploration about the birth of our solar system.

We watched an animation found at this website:

This animation showed the various stages of the formation of a solar system. Similar illustrations are found in our textbook on pages 36 and 37.

We also discussed gravity--and we did asked and then answered the question "What if you dropped a rock into a tunnel that went through the earth? What would happen?"

At the end of class we looked at the flash game orbit found at the following website (or google Orbit Game)

We investigated Keplers 1st and 2nd rule, then drew and labelled ellipses.

Our homework was to read pages 39-42 and complete the section review on page 42

Friday, February 8, 2008

Feb 8/11 The rock cycle continued

Today we reviewed the rock cycle, then took a quiz on it.

After the quiz we completed a lab that modelled the rock cycle. We used chocolate chips to model the effects of erosion, deposition, cementation, melting and cooling and heat and pressure on rocks.

Our homework was to complete the lab handout.

Feb 8/11 How the Solar System Formed

We took our quiz on telescopes (chapter 1, section 2-3) the Big Bang (chapter 4, section 4) and then discussed gravity and gas laws--two ideas that helped explain how the solar system formed and heated up. Some classes viewed a demonstration of the fire piston--a device that compresses air causing it to heat up to 210 degrees C--causing a piece of cotton to burst into flame.

We then got into groups and gathered facts about the planets. We then used a computer simulation program to look at the orbits of the inner, rocky planets and the outer gas giants.

Finally we viewed several slides that showed the relative sizes of the planets, our sun and other larger stars.

Homework was to read pages 34-38 in the astronomy textbook, then complete the section review questions on page 38.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Feb 6-7 What is a Rock?

No, it isn't a country we went to war against.

Today we worked on understanding the rock cycle. We discussed classifying rocks into igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary based upon how they were formed.

These formation processes were;
  • Melting and Cooling-for igneous rocks
  • Being subjected to heat and pressure-for metamorphic rocks
  • Rocks turning into sediment via erosion and weathering, then being cemented together--for sedimentary rocks.

We drew the rock cycle from memory--several times.

At the end of class we took time to observe rock samples from each of the three categories.

Feb 6-7 The Beginning of it all

Today in class we discussed the Big Bang theory about the origin of the Universe.

We read pages 114-115 then sketched stars onto a balloon and measured the distance between them. We then blew up the balloon and remeasured the distance. We found that the distance between each star became greater. This modelled how astronomers observed that all the stars and the galaxies we see are getting further apart from us and each other.

Finally we worked on a critical thinking worksheet entitled "Fleabert and the amazing watermelon seed". A copy of this worksheet can be found on my website.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Feb 1-4 Telescopes, how they work

Today in class we reviewed our notes, then took a quiz on sections 1 and 2 of chapter 1 in the astronomy book.

We then did an activity called the mysterious floating penny. This activity demonstrated the property of refraction.

We also made a water lens which further showed how refraction can be used to magnify objects.

Finally we took brief notes on refracting and reflecting telescoptes. We noted how they were different and why most large telescopes are not refracting ones.

This finished chapter 1, we will start on Chapter two on Wed Feb 5.

There was no homework assigned, however students may read ahead in chapter two.

Feb 1-4 Mineral Detectives

Today in class we reviewed mineral properties then took a quiz (similar to the online quiz given as homework the previous class), and finally completed a lab named mineral detectives.

To complete the lab we were given 10-12 mineral samples, a flowchart and some tools such as streak plates, glass slides, sandpaper and Hydrochloric acid. By using the properties of minerals we were able to identify each sample.

We also took notes on metamorphic rock and the differences between surface and deep mining.

This ends chapter 1.

There was no homework assigned today.