Sunday, November 27, 2011

Earth/Space Science Unit Ready to Blast Off!

With each new unit and topic, the kids ask me, "Is this your favorite topic?" and, I most sincerely say, "YES" each time! But, as I review my content, double check my materials, and get ready for this unit, I am REALLY excited.

These are a few tricks in the bag...

Oldies, but goodies:
1. Marcus Chown's Solar System app- love, love, love the science content and manipulation of app.
2. Pocket Earth app- Great to add to lesson using models and flashlights for a deeper understanding of day/night cycles.
3. NASA app- Do I need to say's NASA!
4. Recycled robots project- This project is designed to give students a week in class with various recycled containers, motors, lights, gears, and every other gadget you can imagine to build a robot. It is crazy fun, and it is the way to bridge earth and space science to physical science. So, it is towards the end.
5. Solar System walk outside to see spacing of our planets and other bodies from sun.
6. Solar System in a cup- Objects represent planets.
7. Cool Brain Pops, TED talks, They Might Be Giants, and more!
8. Pages project for order of the planets.

New this year:
1. Edmodo badges to award at each concept check. Giving the unit a game like feel (thanks for the link T.J.), we will build from Earth Cycle Experts to Lunar Landers to Planetary Explorers to Solar/Galactic Guides to Futurists.

2. NASA Lunar and Meteorite samples will be delivered to our school in December because THAT IS AWESOME!
3. Participation in the GRAIL project with Sally Ride Science. Students will be in control of photographing the moon! Wicked cool!
4. Students will be creating Planet Postcards with the LifeCards app.
5. We will be assembling and using NASA robotic arms to simulate real use of robotic technology. Imagine students moving Legos and various materials in a sand box with these robotic arms...better yet, doing it remotely (another classroom) by using an iPad 2 dialed into our smart board with Skype! Two Skype accounts will be utilized to "call ourselves" to work remotely. Hope that is is in my mind, and I'm SO excited!
6. Design your own moon/planet base or space probe with Legos, Blocks app and Keynote to present.

And more!

So, yeah! This is my favorite unit. ;)

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