Tuesday, September 30, 2008

To Predict or Prevent...That is the Question

What a great class today! I really enjoyed listening to everyone's thoughts on these topics. Just to summarize each scenario:

Prediction Team:

Your team has a new prediction method that has never been tested before, but you believe it will predict some earthquakes larger than magnitude 5.0 on the Richter scale. One day at work, your instruments tell you that there is a 3% chance of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in San Fransico within the next 15 minutes.

The essential question:

Would it be worse to send a Warning, but then the quake doens't occur or you don't send a warning and the quake does occur?

Prevention Team:

Your team has been developing a method to prevent large quakes from occurring. You know five things:

1. A fault in your local area has built up enough strain to cause a 6.0 earthquake
2. There is a 50% chance that it could occur in the next ten years.
3. You may be able to prevent it by causing a series of about 25 smaller quakes in the same location to relase the strain on the rocks.
4. You predic that each of the smaller quakes will be less than 5.0.
5. There is a 10% chance that the small er quakes could actually trigger the major quake instead of preventing it.

Essential Question:

Should we take our chances and/or prepare for the one large one or should would we cause the series of 25 smaller ones, hoping to release the strain of the rocks?

I'd love to hear what all of you think. I'm looking forward to reading some great comments.

~Cool Teacher Dude

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Edges Of The Plates!

So today we learned about the edges of the plates. Boring, not, see without all this movement we mite still be in the posision of Pangaea, the form scinctists beleive the contonets were in millions of years ago. The different ways each plate moves can be catigorized. There are the divergen boundrys wich are when the plates move apart, the convergent boundrys, when the plates push together, and the transform boundry wich is when they scrape on the others side.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Earth Millions Of Years Ago, To Now!

Today and yesterday we learned about Alfred Wegner and his theory years ago. His theory was that Africa and South America were once conjoined. He found this out because He was looking at some old maps and found that they fit together like a puzzle. Many people didn't belive him, but he proved he was right with a thing called "The Continental Drift". It's when the earth's continets move so slowly. We can't feel it though, but the earth is constantly moving. Long ago all the continets were conjoined and were called "Pangaea". It was a supercontinent. Another thing Alfred Wegner found was that fossils from one place matched the other in a different place. It was very interesting to hear about! To learn more, visit this site!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

egg activity

Today in class we did an egg experiment by comparing an egg with the layers of the earth. We were put in groups of two and we had to peel off the shell and then cut the egg straight down the middle . To do this our supplies were a hard boiled egg, a plastic knife and a napkin. Then we had to draw the layers of the earth and we had to draw the layers of an egg. The layers of the earth are lithosphere [crust], asthenosphere, mantle, outer core and inner core and in an egg the layers are the shell, membrane, egg white and then the egg yolk. After we have finished we got to eat the egg and we got to put a little bit of salt on it if we wanted to.


Welcome Back!

It's so good to see all of you again! I wanted to take a minute to review what we were learning about before we left for track-out. Remember, we started talking about the Lithsophere. There are three main layers of the Earth: The Crust, Mantle, and the Core. Also, you learned about the Asthenosphere, the layer directly below the crust. Also, the core has two parts, the inner core and the outer core.

The next thing we are going to learn about are Plate Tectonics. I'm looking forward to all of your great posts and comments. Let's get this thing going again!

~ Cool Teacher Dude

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bubble Lab

Today we finished up our bubble lab experiments and started or finished our graph. Some people got to their conclusions. We blew bubbles A, B, and C. We measured the area of our bubbles and put the data into a chart. We then graphed the data.

We had a substitute for our substitute today!

Today in class we were finishing up solution B, C, and we did a bar graph to show are data to see what solution did the best or which solution did the worst.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Finishing Procedures and Starting Results

Today in class we finished up our Procedure(if we didn't finish it on Friday of last week) for the Bubble Lab experiment. For the people that are struggling on what the Procedure is... it is the step by step directions for having a successful experiment/Bubble Lab. For example, #1 was(I think everbody has this one) collecting the materials.

The Results of an experiment is the information that you discovered during the Lab and after the Lab. For example, if something affected the results of the Bubble Lab then you would write that down, and you would also put what you found out from the experiment. Like, if you found out that your hypothesis was not supported because Solution X produced more bubbles than Solution Y you would also include that in the Results for the Bubble Lab Experiment.

We(Block 3) started the Results with Solution A and/or Solution B(because there were no more beakers of Solution A).

Monday, August 4, 2008

Procedures and hypothesis for Bubble Lab

Today we started on our Procedures and hypothesis. the coolteacherdude sub. walked us through the procedures we had to figure out what to write but but she demonstrated what to do so we could write it down. The Bubble Lab (for those of you who were not here) is just a simple lab to find out which type of soap would make the largest bubble. One funny thing that happened during class time was that coolteacherdude's sub, every time she poped the bubble she blew some soap hit her. Also today we made a hypothesis for the Lab. Your hypothesis can be about which bubble brand would make the biggest bubble.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Beginning of the Bubble Lab

Today in science we went over our hypothesis/Identify Problem Paper. Then we started to write up the beginning to the bubble lab paper. Ms. H put us in groups of about three people. It was cool because we were with our friends. We enjoyed being able to touch the liquid that we are using for the bubble lab because the liquid felt slimy. On the paper we began with the "Purpose" and stopped for the day at the "Hypothesis". We all had a lot of fun feeling the liquid and working in our groups. I can't want till tommorow. I found this link and thought it was pretty interesting.

Monday, July 28, 2008

city tempetures assignment

Today we did an assignment dealing with the temperatures that we found for any city in the us for the past 10 days over the weekend so we could do the assignment today. Tomorrow we will use the data to make line graph. sorry it was short i couldnt say anything else!

Friday, July 25, 2008


Today in class we talked all about conclusions. The particular conclusion we wrote about was about the Paper Towel Lab. In the template Cool Teacher Dude gave us, it has the standards in what the conclusion needs to have. The conclusion that the whole class did together would be graded an A. Here are the four steps to the conclusion.

  1. First you respond to the hypothesis

  2. Next you reflect on the data.

  3. Third, you identify the independent variable, the dependent variable, and the constants.

  4. Last but not least, develop questions for further study.

When writing the conclusion, you want it to be fluent as if you are writing a paragraph. Make sure that when you are writing about the reflection part of the conclusion then make sure it has to do with the data. Not just some random facts about ponies. Another trick that Mr. Sherman showed us was that in the example he made us all right down, we said the variables for IV and DV without using those words. Another tip to remember is that try to take the data table and cut it down to 2 or 3 sentences. Also when writing the conclusion, make sure that it is not two or three sentences. To get a higher grade than that, you have a right more.


  • Mrs. Russell is BACK!:)
  • For homework this weekend we need to find the high temperatures for any two cities in the United States of America.
  • All our teachers have mostly everything they hand out to us.
  • Check out blackboard every so often
  • PLEASE comment on this blog posting.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bar graphs and Paper Towel experment

What we did today on July 24,2008 was Mr. Sherman showed us the right way to do bar graphs. For it to be a good bar graph it has to have: a x and y axis, x and y labels, title, key, and a scale. If you need to know more go to :http://www.ncsu.edu/labwrite/res/gh/gh-bargraph.html.
The next thing we did was the paper towel lab. That was a lot of fun and we loved it a lot. What we had to do was take three different brands of paper towels without knowing which one is which. Then we observed the paper towels and made a hypothesis of witch one would absore the most water. Then we measured 100 ml. of water and then soaked the paper towel in the water until completely covered with water. After soaked in water for one minute we would hold the paper towel over the beaker with the tongs and let it drip all the water that was not absorbed. Then we would see how much water was absorbed. Then we repeated it for the other two.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Introduction to: the Paper Towel Lab and The Form of the Lab Report

Today we were introduced to the upcoming experiment; The Paper Towel Lab. Tomorrow when we actually do the experiment, Mr. Sherman will show us how to do it first then he will split us into groups and let us do the experiment on our own.

Well first let me explain to you what the Paper Towel Lab is. It is when we test to see which brand of paper towels absorb the most water in a period of time, but the catch is we don't know which brand is which so people can't be like: Oh, I use this brand and I just love the way it feels so I'm going to choose this one to put in my hypothesis. We are keeping the paper towel in the water for a minute then take it out with the tongs, hold it there to let the water drip of of the paper towel into the beaker then pour the water that's in the beaker into a graduated cylinder to measure the amount of water that the paper towel didn't absorb then move on to the next brand. You have to do this three times with paper towels A, B, and C. For this experiment the independent variable is the brand of paper towels and the dependent variable is the amount of time in & the amount of water.

For the Lab Report page you have to use these categories and remember them:

purpose-Why are we doing this?

research-What does it look like?Feel?

hypothesis-Educated guess/prediction

procedures-How to do the experiment

results-What happened after/during the experiment?

conclusion-What is the main statement that comes from this experiment?

repeat the work-Do the experiment again to see if the data is accurate.

If you want a copy of the science Lab Report template it is on Blackboard under Science.

That's what we did today in science. if you have any questions, feel free to ask!!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Line Graphs

Well, today in science class we talked about bar graphs. Some of the things we learned about were how to label the x-axis and the y-axis. Through yesterdays lesson on dependent and independent variables(IV & DV) we found that the x-axis (no. of days) was the IV and that the y-axis (temp. in Fahrenheit) was the DV. Of course everyone knows that your graph needs to be clear and understandable so peers can collect data easily.On every graph there is a interval. an interval is the pattern that the graph follows.For example: if every line equaled 2 (2,4,6,8,10, etc.) then 2 would be your interval. Depending on how you scale your graph depends on how the lines on it look like. When you scale your graph, you're basically labeling the axis. For example: if the scale was from 0-80, the interval would be 10. When you don't have enough room to fit all your info. on the graph you would use what's called a break. If you have data that doesn't go lower than 60, then you would use a break in your graph and go up from 60. With all of the info. that Mr.Sherman has taught us today, it would have been bogus to miss class.


Monday, July 21, 2008

The Scientific Method

Today was great! Mr. Sherman talked to us about The Scientific Method a series of steps that you do in a experiment. He talked to us a littlle more about hypothesis. If you don't know what hypothesis , hypothesis is an educated guess or prediction of what the results will be in a experiment. If you weren't here or want to learn more about The Scientific Method vist this website http://www.sciencebuddies.org/mentoring/project_scientific_method.shtml

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Scientific Investigation Terms

Today was a pretty informative day. If you missed it don't worry, just keep reading. Well first things first, observation. An observation is just a description of an item or event. For example, I observed that the ice cream was vanilla with chocolate chips in it, that's an observation. There are two types of observations one of them is called a Quantitative observation. A quantitative observation is observing how much of something there is. Like the vanilla ice cream had 20 chocolate chips on it. But the number has to be precise not like over 10 chocolate chips. The second kind of observation is Qualitative observation which involves your senses (hear, see, etc.). For example the flower smelled sweet and it was yellow. Enough with observations lets move on. The next thing we learned about was inferences. Inferences are conclusions based on evidence about what has occurred or from prior knowledge. Like I inferred her tongue was blue because she was sucking on a lollipop I inferred this because I saw her buy a lollipop. Next we learned about variables which is the part of an experiment that changes. There are two types of variables independent variables (IV) and dependent variable (DV). The IV is something we change on purpose and the DV is the result from the change. The depends on the IV. What I mean by that is say the IV was a flower I put in water with blue coloring dye and the and the blue flower in result of what I did would be the DV. There would have never been a DV if I hadn't put the IV in the blue water. On to constants constants are the factors of an experiment that are kept the same and never change. Like if we were to soak paper towels in water to see which one is more absorbant we wouldn't change the amount of water we soaked each paper towel in because that is a constant. Next is control a control is the part of an experiment that serves as a comparison to the variables. Next we learned about experiments which is a process in which a problem is tested and observations are made in order to find a solution . An experiment would be like if I mixed baking soda and vinegar to see what would happen. Then we learned about data which is facts found as a result of an experiments. Another way to put data is what you record while observing an experiment. Then we learned about line graphs which shows change over time. Here's a page about line graphs http://www.mathgoodies.com/lessons/graphs/line.html . Next we learned about bar graphs which compare 2 or more items. Lastly we learned about a conclusion. A conclusion is a summary of what happened or was learned during an experiments. That was what we learned today. Also all of the worksheets from today are on blackboard.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More Metric Measuremeants

Today was so much fun! We got back our homework from yesterday with our grades on them. The grades did not count in the grade book though. Apparently most of us did not really get it, so we did not get great grades. Mr. Sherman then went over the Metric System with us. He asked us to tell him a question that we did not understand, and then we would work it out together. Today was great!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Using a Triple Beam Balance & a Graduated Cylinder

We had a lot of fun in science class today. First, we learned how to use a three beam balance and we measured a bunch of different things. We measured our staplers, and our red folders. In the meantime, another group was converting measurments. We had a lot of fun and Mr. Sherman did a really good job explaining to us if we needed help. He is the greatest teacher ever!
So if you were'nt here, that's what you missed.http://genchem.rutgers.edu/balance3b.html Click on this to see what you missed!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Lab Tools and Metric Measurement

Today we learned about some of the science tools we will use throughout this year. Some of the tools that were introduced to us today were a graduated cylinder, test tube, beaker, and a bunson burner. We also saw a hot plate and Mr. Sherman showed us how hot it was by pouring water on it, which was super cool.

Mr. Sherman also taught us how to make a post on our science blog, which is what we are currently doing. I think that scribe posting will be a lot of fun this year and I'm looking foward to hearing everyone's thoughts and ideas about science class.

Oh....one other thing we did today was learn how to make conversions in the metric system. For example, Mr. Sherman taught us that 1 g = 1,000 mg. That's just one example, he taught us several others and he's so COOL!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Science Safety Rules

In class today we learned about some of the important safety rules we should follow anytime we are conduting a lab or experiment. Some of the rules were pretty simple, but others we had to discuss to make sure we understood them. Don't forget to get the science safety fules from signed. Mr. Sherman passed this out in class on Friday.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

So Many Different Types of Scientists...

Oh my goodness...I can't believe how many different types of scientists there are. In class today we discussed 34 different types of scientists; from a herpatologist to a ornithologist. We also learned the differences between suffixes that are used in science.

Example 1: the ology suffix means "the study of" and the root word is what is being studied.

So the word Hydrology = the study of water (hydro means water)

Example 2: the ist suffix means "a person who studies" and the root word is what they study.

So the word Hydrologist = a person who studies water.

Just in case you were absent today or want some extra practice learning about different types of scientists you should try this activity.

Hope this helps!

Introduction To Scribe posting

The assignment is simply to post a brief summary of what happened in class each day. The instructions are as follows:

Write a brief summary of what we learned in class today. Include enough detail so that someone who was away sick, or missed class for any other reason, can catch up on what they missed. Over the course of the year, the scribe posts will become a "textbook" for class; written by students for students.

Remember that as each of you write your scribe posts. Ask yourself: "Is this good enough for our textbook? Would a graphic or other example(s) help illustrate what we learned?" And remember, you have a global audience, impress them.

Early scribe posts tend to be entirely text based. As the class progresses, successive scribes begin to try to outdo each other and their scribe posts begin to incorporate text, images and colour used in meaningful ways.

How do you go about writing a scribe post? Do you do anything differently in class when it is your turn to scribe? If so, can you describe what you do differently in class when you are scribe?

Read some thoughts from students who already scribe post:

Manny: "When I write my scribe posts, I try to make it so my classmates go, "ohh!" and "yeah that's it right on." That is my first priority because I want everyone in the class to do well, "we're all in it together" (at least that's how I feel anyway). During class, if it's my turn to scribe, I feel pressure that if I don't do well in helping my peers I'll let everyone down. So in class, I open both my eyes and ears wider than normal, and my pencil taking notes on just about everything related to the topic."

Corrie: "I think what makes a scribe post good, is the content. I think that's no. 1. But you also have to look at it differently. You have to be creative with your scribe. I think you should try to be different, do something that no one has done before. You should try to stick out from the group.

Teddie: "When comparing my first scribe and my very recent scribe I can see the quality of the scribes improve greatly mostly because of the competitiveness of the other scribers to make the hall of fame."

This should be an exciting year and I'm looking forward to
all of us working collaboratively on this project!