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Friday, June 29, 2012

Travel Diary - Corning Glass Museum

Today, we had the opportunity to go to Corning Glass Museum in Corning, NY.  It is a great place to take the family for a day.  Kids up to age 19 get in free which is a really great deal!
There are galleries and live demos available all day long. We spent about 3-4 hours there with our four kids who range in age from 7-18 and my parents. Some of the highlights were the Glass Lab.  Check out the glass eyes, human anatomy, and bombs. There is a video that shows how all of these items were made.

There was a demonstration of glass breaking that showed the difference between safety glass, tempered glass, and bullet proof glass.  We watched the glass blower making a Christmas Tree that someone in the audience had drawn.  We were hoping that they would choose to make the drawing that John submitted. It was fun to watch anyway.  We watched the artist creating a delicate glass dog too.

There was some really great history and information shared in the gallery.  I think it may work into some interesting lessons.  For example: 4.P.2 Understand the composition and properties of matter before and after they undergo a change or interaction.  

The change that takes place when glass is heated, cooled, reheated, and annealed could be discussed after sharing some of the video I took while we were in the museum.  I'll be posting the videos, pictures, and lesson plan ideas as I have time to give them consideration and development.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tracking Download Stats

As a part of the accountability to the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, I have been trying to find a way to track the download stats for things I offer on my Stimulating Science Simulations website.
In particular, I wanted to be able to state the number of times a simulation unit has been downloaded in comparison to the number of feedback forms received. After several failed attempts, I finally came across a very simple method.
It relies on the use of shortened URLs created with a free account at bit.ly
Bit.ly tracks clicks on the shortened URLs and these are immediately available in the stats section.
I am pretty excited about this and glad I haven't already added too many things that I will want to link in this way.  I only have a few items to re-link and a reliable method for linking from this point forward in order to collect trackable data.

There may be other tools that provide even more detailed information, but for now I am satisfied.
If you have another method that works or if you have tried this, I would love to hear about your experience.

Elementary STEM - Weekly Update (weekly)

Check out the latest resources bookmarked in Elementary STEM on diigo

Saturday, June 23, 2012

NC Essential Standards Planning for 2012-2013

I spent 4 days assisting in the facilitation of professional development for our district this past week.  I was assigned to the physical science strand which is really one of my favorites.  Students love the hands on physical changes that come with force and motion along with changes in matter.
If you want to know what tools we're using for planning, click to read more. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

On the Move

I can't imagine what my classroom would look like if I stayed in one place for more than 4 years.  That's because I never have. It seems that every couple of years I find myself either changing grade levels, schools, or classrooms. Sometimes it is by choice and sometimes it is out of necessity.
This year is unique in that everyone in our building is relocating to a different school a few blocks away.

Elementary STEM - Weekly Update (weekly)

Check out the latest resources bookmarked in Elementary STEM on diigo