Monday, September 15, 2014

First Week of School Field Trip | Part 2

Some people might think I'm crazy by going on a field trip the very first week of school, but I've never been a conventional teacher. I aim to make learning hands-on, to foster creativity and curiosity, and to make learning authentic and applicable to real life. And sometimes that means taking a field trip during the first week of school!

During our field trip, the students were challenged to find and identify as many glacial deposits as they could. Here, two intrepid eighth graders are searching for a kame (the kame is right between them in the background - the gumdrop shaped hill!).

Here we're atop of Parnell Tower viewing the kame field in the distance. Our eighth graders were challenged to calculate the height of Parnell Tower in three different ways using only a 25-foot tape measure, a stop watch, and some steel marbles. This led us into a great discussion of Galileo's experiment with falling bodies as to whether a larger body would fall faster than a smaller body. Our calculations determined that the tower was about 46 feet in height (actual height: 60 feet). We then discussed variables and possible errors in our system of measurement. Our field trips are not just field trips! They are learning adventures!

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