Thursday, May 24, 2012


So today is our last "academic" day, the day where we tie up loose ends before spending our official last day at the Georgia Aquarium (dolphin show, here we come!!). Because we will be "out of the office," and because I have been so lax in blogging, I am posting "Resource Friday" today.

This week has been a flurry of curriculum-seeking activity as I prepare to teach a  six-week course in chemistry to an ELL. How do you get an understanding of chemistry that is intriguing and throrough without simply memorizing? And in six weeks?

You start by making a cheeseburger, of course.

Visit this link and type in "Cheeseburger Chemistry" for six short videos on six parts of the cheeseburger; concepts include states of matter, fermentation, physical/chemical change and more. A great intro to how chemistry is used in real life.

Great article on making homemade mayonnaise that hammers home the concept of solutions v. emulsions, too. I think we will take this whole series and make lunch, starting with pickles the first week (they need some time to ferment!).

Another great chemistry resource is The Periodic Table of Videos from the University of Nottingham (yes, where Robin Hood is from!!). Each element has a short video that features some sort of chemical reaction (lots of explosions) and an interesting explanation of what each element is for.  The presenters are pleasantly British and universally good-humoured (note the British spelling for authenticity).

Along those same lines, these periodic tables in words and pictures have each element, where they are found in the world and a description; families are color-coded. No atomic numbers, but this is a great way to show the relevance of the periodic table (I am always seeking to answer the inevitable question, "Why do we have to know this?") and a good starting point for the non-science-minded student of any age.

The Innovative Educator has an awesome blog this week that profiles a school with a remarkably similar framework to HoneyFern. Nice to have company in the endeavor, even if only through cyberspace!

And finally, on a personal note, here is what we are doing on this long weekend to start off summer - making peach butter! I can't think of anything I would enjoy more than to capture the taste of summer in a jar. Nothing like opening the seal on sunshine in the middle of the winter.

Have a great weekend!

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