For those of you who don't know, at our school J-Term is a week-long opportunity for our students to take some unique classes and learn things their teachers don't normally get to do during the school year. For instance, many students took iPad video making, or an interesting Hunger Games exploration, knitting, chess class, etc. The teachers suggest offerings and the students sign up for three different classes they'd like to take.
This year I offered two classes: Astronomy (which I have taught before) and a new class which I called "Did You Get My Email?" but might more formally be called Digital Communications.
|Star and Planet Locator|
by Edmund Scientific
The Star and Planet Locator made by Edmund Scientific is an great tool for teaching these concepts -- and at only $3.95 per unit it's one of the cheapest I could find. I bought mine a few years ago and kind of remember a 25 for $50 deal so if you're interested in a classroom set, look around.
These worksheets I offered:
- Learning the Constellations: Identify the constellations you see in different maps
- Using a Star Finder:
- Using a Star Finder Part 2:
- Seasons: Questions regarding seasons and sun on star finder
- Angles Between Stars: measuring altitude and azimuth with hands, degrees, etc.
- Estimating Location of Stars: practicing altitude and azimuth with a star finder
- Celestial Coordinates: practice with declination and right ascension
- Stars and Heavens in Scripture: Bible passages referring to the stars and heavens
- The Star Clock: Using the big dipper to tell what time it is
I learned from this that I enjoy doing things hands-on and should take more time to make that happen in my classroom. I learned that radio shack has a lot of small circuit components for sale, such as LED's, solar panels, resistors, switches, etc and I have a lot of material now that I'll be able to use in our electricity unit in physics. And I learned that classes will survive, even if you are fully prepped for them. Maybe that wasn't the lesson I should have learned -- but I did.