Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lesson Plans - Astronomy Unit

Monday - We just got back from Thanksgiving break so I did some review. Our science fair projects are due this week so I spent some time reviewing the requirements and I let some early submissions present to the class. This didn't leave a lot of time left but I was able to go over the difference between rotation and revolution. I got the kids up and moving rotating and revolving. The main lesson was really for students to learn why we have day and night. I showed a streamline video on the subject and taught them a poem I made up with hand gestures (will post video). The end results were that my students should have been able to tell me the difference between rotation and revolution, how long does it take Earth to rotate, how long does it take for the Earth to complete a revolution around the Sun, and why does that rotation give us day and night. The only thing we did in our notebooks was to record the current moon phase on the calendar in our notebook.

Tuesday - Students took turns reading the day and night notebook page that was glued to the left hand side of the notebook. We reviewed the poem and hand gestures we learned the day before. On the right hand side students wrote and illustrated the poem and then colored. We recorded our current moon phase and then played vocabulary BINGO in our notebooks.

Wednesday - Recorded moon phase of the day. Reviewed rotation, revolution, day and night, and our poem. Lesson today was on why Earth experiences seasons. I put together a PowerPoint that I showed the students with embedded video clips...which was the first time I had done that and it did not work that well. The video didn't keep pace with the audio. I was able to show the video clips by themselves but I was disappointed it didn't work like it was suppose to. Will try again...going to see if putting them in a Promethean flip chart might be better. Showed a short BrainPop video on seasons. We read the right hand "Seasons" Information and put together a seasons flip foldable for the left hand side. Taught students a kinesthetic way to remember why we have seasons with hand gestures (I have a lot of students who like to "move" and this is a good way to let them get their need to move out during a lesson).

Thursday - Recorded moon phase of the day. Promethean review of everything we have learned this week. We watched Bill Nye video on Seasons. Gave students a quiz that accompanied the video. Recorded moon phase in the notebook.

Friday - All science fair projects were turned in so we spent the class periods presenting. This went well with two out of the three classes and was a disaster in one of my classes. The students in that class do not do well in a "sit and listen" environment so I spent most of the class period frustrated that students weren't listening, staying in their seats, etc. I should have given that class some focus during the presentations...i.e. given them a review sheet to fill out, or limited presentations to two minutes and had a timer, etc. Oh well, live and learn :)

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