Staff members from Berne Union, Liberty Union, and Amanda Clearcreek joined our staff on September 28th for a day of professional development to share resources, strategies, and best practices. Over 450 people attended the full-day event. The AM session consisted of over 40 presentations for staff members to select from and customize their day of PD; while the PM session organized teachers by grade level and/or content area for an afternoon of sharing ideas, assessments, pacing guides, technology integration strategies, and more.
New High School Science Lab Equipment Put to the Test
This year, the high school science department has added cutting-edge technology to their classrooms called Vernier LabQuest 2 equipment. This innovation equipment is “the most powerful, connected, and versatile data-collection device available for STEM education.”
What is LabQuest 2? LabQuest 2 is a stand-alone interface used to collect sensor data with its built in graphing and analysis application. Within the software, there is real-time graphing, powerful analysis with linear and curve fits, built-in periodic tables, scientific calculators, and more. Students can collect, view, analyze, and annotate data from the handheld device.
This week, students in Mrs. Gudde’s first period Physics class were using the LabQuests and photogates to measure the velocity of a rolling ball just before it leaves the table. They used the velocity to calculate the distance the ball traveled after it left the edge of the table. During the following day’s lesson, students will be positioning targets on the floor representing where they predict the ball will fall. Students will then see how accurate their calculations were and analyze their data. This lab activity ties in very well to the study of horizontal projectiles.
LabQuest 2 Video: To learn more about this device described as “the most powerful, connected, and versatile data collection device available for STEM education, click on the link provided to watch an 8 minute video on LabQuest 2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNyKZaPFwXQ
Exploring Exponents through Different Mediums
Students in Mrs. Wood’s 8th grade math class were introduced to an upcoming topic on exponents through a lesson designed with guided stations. Each station featured a different medium for presenting information and connected review of prior knowledge of squares, square roots, and cubes with introduction of new knowledge about cube roots and exponents.
1. Critical thinking questions with exponential expressions
2. A LearnZilion video showing the inverse relationship between squares and square roots.
3. A guided inquiry question comparing 2D figures and area to 3D figures and volume and how those relate to exponents.
4. A Khan Academy video introducing cube roots and their function
5. A timed test assessing students' current understanding of perfect squares and square roots
Learning objectives for the lesson were for students to understand how squares and square roots are related, as well as reviewing cubes, cube roots, and their relationship. Students also learned what exponents really mean and how those can show up in real life situations. The students really enjoyed all the movement, the variety, and the fast pace of these stations!