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making it fun?

Discussion in 'Science' started by Woozle, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. no worries doesherbest- probably the best preparation for the type of teaching descibed here is being a mum ( or dad of course)! Infectious enthusiasm, tons of praise and a firm hand - and the desire to make it fun- are receipes for sucess in my book - plus you'll be an experienced hand with glue, glitter, papier mache and making things a la blue peter.

    PS Don't mention glitter to woozle - she gets very excited
  2. Parents make the best teachers :) Nothing like coping with the little scrotes 24-7 to make you realise that the ones at school aren't that bad really, I guess.

    In fact, can't parents get extra points on some payscale or other purely for the experience of being parents? Someone told me that, but not being a parent myself I don't know if it's true.
  3. Didn't mean that being a parent makes you a better teacher necessarily - just got more props available!!!

    Didn't mean any offence to non parents, parents, those thnking of parenhood or any other catadgory I may have unwittingly offended!!!!!!!
  4. Hello all,

    Been having so much fun trying out some of your ideas.. and the kids are starting to enjoy it too instead of just lookng at me as if I am mad as a hatter! I have an interview of a job next week and am up against some pretty strong competion. I have to teach a 15 min lesson to a bunch of year 7s on the introduction of the energy topic. I am trying to think of an innovive fun thing to do. Which wont scare the interivew panel or kids I dont know too much. I would be soo grateful for any ideas. Thanks and keep the ideas coming!
  5. oooh Glitter, Sparkly things....
  6. alm721

    alm721 New commenter

    Don't know if this really belongs on here, but for forces, floating/sinking.
    Diet coke/coke can(unopened) - ask kids for similarities/differences should get that they are the same size can, same amount of liquid different colour etc. Then ask whether they are going to float or sink. Loads of debate but all assume they'll do one or the other. They put them in water- kids amased cause the coke sinks and the diet coke floats.
    You can measure mass and volume by displacement of each can and get the kids to calculate density,(really careful measuring of volume needed as there is v little difference between them).Best to do it yourself first and check value. But it works well.
    The coke sinks because of the 39g of sugar in it as opposed to small amount of sweetner in diet coke. I measured this mass of sugar out to show them so you can get a bit of healthy diet type stuff in. Good as a plenary to a lesson on density.
    I found this on the internet by the way, so I'm not claiming credit for the idea, but I thought it was good and my mixed Y7 liked it.
    regards alm
  7. Have you actually tried it?

    I did, and it doesn't work :)

    Which is a shame, because it would be brilliant, but the densities aren't different enough. Both cans float. The non-diet one floats a little lower in the water, but nowhere near enough to make a good demonstration.

    I don't know if Coke have changed their formula in recent years, or whether Coke sold in the UK has less sugar than Coke sold in the US, but I definitely couldn't get it to work. I did contemplate experimenting with different drinks (e.g. Lilt, which I suspect has a LOT of sugar in it) but I ran out of money and time.
  8. alm721

    alm721 New commenter

    Yes, I did it last week and it worked fine. I agree though that the densities are not very different, maybe it was just a variation in the can, or as you say, maybe sugar content is slightly different in US.
    Dunno really maybe someone else could try it and let us know, prehaps I was just lucky,
    regards alm
  9. Tried mining things today ('cos I'm losing my voice)..as in 'Ok I'm going to mime some things to do with forces - you call out words to do with forces that would describe what I am doing ' Worked well
    Tomorrow they get to mime to a partner (or a group (I'll probably do it as charades)

    (PS Sainsburys are selling glittery Red Nose day deeley boppers - must get one to be an alien with, and for the glitter)
  10. Durr...

    Miming should be MIMING

    (goes to hit head on wall till it feels better)
  11. Hrm, maybe I was just UNlucky... Perhaps I'll get some more cans and try again. I suppose it could even be something as simple as the amount of air in the can - if your regular Coke can happens to have a bit more air space that would mess it up completely.

    If I find two cans it works with I'll put them aside and keep using them forever ;-)
  12. Found this on web, looks interesting, worth a try for enegy topics

    'Wrap the upper half of a paper match in one or two layers of aluminum foil. Push a straight pin up under the foil to the match head, and remove the pin, leaving an exhaust channel. Place the match rocket on an incline, a bent paperclip does fine, and heat the foil covered match head with a lighter or another match. Make sure it is not pointed at anyone. As the match head ignites, the chemical reaction produces a lot of hot gasses which escape down the channel at high speed. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, so that the match will be flung in the other direction.'
  13. ok - you have been let off the hook for too long. I have a new challenge for you.

    I am going to do a bit at a local teacher's meeting , by invitsation, with a colleague, and we intend to do the digestion demo from hammer, tights, blender intestine etc...

    but we want something really impresive - have lots of ideas - but what topic would you LIKE to see livened up if you were going to this event?

    and the key will be ...making it fun!
  14. Year 9 - Inheritance and Selection. I taught this and found it really dull - the QCA scheme is particularly uninspiring.

    Year 10 - Maintenance of Life (an AQA thing I think): Photosynthesis and plant structures, adaptation of leaf, transpiration system etc.
  15. When teaching inheritence, get kids to cut out pictures of different celebrities with different characteristics e.g ginger (chris evans) and blonde (billie) and mate them, and them get them to find their "offspring" in the magazines! HELLO/OK and HEAT would be particulary good for this! Might be an idea to check the content of the rest of the magazine though!

    (p.s. credit must go to bham education department for this even though i dont study in that department!)
  16. thanks xenos - you now how to make it difficult don't you - especially for a physicist - will get back to you!!!

    thanks for the ideas bb
  17. On the subject of digestion.... I did this as a demo lesson in an interview, using a raw potato and carrot (discuss why we cook food), a cooked carrot and potato (mash it up with a fork and discuss chewing)... then produce a leg from a pair of tights and dicuss the current contents of the stomach. Produce a thermos flask with cream of mushroom soup, diced carrot and parmesan at a nice warm temp. Pour this into the tights leg, add the mashed potato and carrot and mush up with your hands (gut movement). Meanwhile, down at the other end of the tights leg you have pre-prepared a nice lump of cooked spud with gravy browning, carrot skin, tomato seeds etc. Once you have peristalsised (volunteers welcome, also have a sniff time) you can excrete this in a convincing lump of poo out the end. Bring a Polaroid camera, take snaps and stick them on a big diagram to remind them of what they have seen.
    Love the ideas on here... thanks, it has once more given me inspiration when I was starting to have the mid-year blues. (And no, I didn't get the job but I had a fun time doing the demo).
  18. Discuss......

    "Learn your theories as well as you can, but put them aside when you touch the miracle of the living soul. Not theories but your own creative individuality alone must decide."

    ~ Carl Jung, Psychological Reflections

    sounds like a good mantra to me....

    might put it on opinion too....
  19. Xenos repeat after me. Plants are fun, Plants are fun and get the class to chant it regularly. Ok so i'm tetchy having spent a whole AS topic trying to persuade my guys that plants are interesting. Ok so they don't bleed and move but really. Ok rant over please dont take it personally.

    Photosynthesis can be quite dull if not handled with care as they have met it lots before some ideas;-
    1,get a jam jar of air, beaker of water and a large pot plant. Try to persuade them that the beautifull green thing is infact just water and CO2 they will probably still think the plant is bits of soil.
    2,Structure of a leaf - Coloured chalk and a nice sunny playground. Draw out the leaf structure and invite them to walk through the leaf with you, they can make there own microscope slides and stomatal prints. I avoid the dreaded destarched geranium, varigated geranium iodine tests when possible as done to death so squish into a quick 20 min workshop.

    3, Plant pigments, try coleus (sp?) plants as tri coloured and isolate die then run on filter paper. (will try and find method for you)

    5, Learning plant structures, get a cheap plant for them to disect (White tiles, scalpels scissors) where are the veins, xyleum, phloem combine with stomatal prints and transpiration. Write up as a annotated poster.

    6, Obviously daffodils and celery, carnations in diff food colours as really pretty way of decorating lab and kids love odd coloured flowers. They could then disect these to learn structure and function of flower parts.

    7, A sexual reproduction demonstarte and then get each child to take a cutting, plant in yoghurt pot or loo roll tube. If poss also do runner plant like a spider plant. Competition for the tallest plant. They still love to grow things.

    Ok Im about out of ideas but I'd possibly start by taking them walkies around site showing trees and daisys etc. Scattegories A-Z of plants as lesson finish.

    Good luck and enjoy.
  20. please can you explain walking through a leaf in a sunny playground with chalk!


    ms phys

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