Learning Center Profile

About Me: I teach 7th and 8th grade Math,Science, Design and Engineering. I received my National Board Certification in EA Science in 2006. This is my 20th year of teaching.
Affiliation: Pacific Middle School
Location: Renton, Washington
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Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2002 12:00 AM
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Total Posts: 1307
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IM: gadysj
Recent Posts by Sandy
Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:44 PM in Name craters on Mercury!
Cris, thank you for posting this. I will be sharing this with my middle school students. It looks like something several of them would be interested in participating in. Often I hear them complain about the name of something. Now they have a chance of making history. As a teacher, I am particularly excited students will have to some research as part of the naming process. This is a ...

Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:47 PM in Science Study Logs
Shalen, your post caught my attention because I have never used study logs, but have heard of them. The first question that comes to my mind is what do you hope to gain from the students using the study logs? I use graphing notebooks in my Design and Engineering and Science classes and for the first time have gone away from scoring them myself. Instead, I am creating a half sheet with q...

Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:01 PM in Rethinking Google Glass
Carolyn, great question. One way to get hooked up with Glass is to become a “Glass Explorer.” http://www.google.com/glass/start/how-to-get-one/ will take you to the initial web page where you can either sign up for more information if you are not ready to take the plunge. If you choose to pursue Glass, click on “Become an Explorer.” This will take you to the page where you can purchase G...

Recent Reviews by Sandy

5 Just in Time NGSS PD, Priceless
I left this conference with a much greater understanding of NGSS and how others are incorporating the new standards in their classrooms. While all of the sessions were outstanding and the available resources helped promote deeper understanding, I was particularly drawn to the sessions on “Modeling” with Cynthia Passmore and “Explanation and Argumentation,” by Jonathon Osborne. I have had so many questions the past year as I have tried to grasp the implications of NGSS on my middle school classroom, I am feeling more confident I am headed in the right direction. These sessions would make for wonderful PD opportunities. This is one conference I am looking forward to revisiting several times. As I grow, these sessions grow with me

3 Time Challenge
This would be an interesting challenge to put to my middle school Design and Engineering students. I like the idea of the challenge, but am wondering how many solutions there are. Immediately my mind went to pendulums, though I don’t know how you could keep the pendulum swinging throughout the entire song. The other thought was a metronome type of device, which would be more challenging for students to figure out how to construct. The advantage would be, once you had the mechanical piece working, it would not, or at least should not decay over time. I would have liked to have seen some actual photos of completed student designs created for this challenge. I would also have liked to see some sort of rubric for scoring and questions that might be posed to students as they went through the challenge, both to move progress forward and cause students to think about the process as well as the science behind their solutions.

3 Earthquake Resistant Structures
This article provided a fair amount of time setting up how to have the students create a model of a building and testing it for its durability in an earthquake. Sixth graders tended to like this activity better than the seventh or eighth graders, most likely because of the experiences I had given them that were similar to this activity. The greatest revelation to the students was the fact the structure with the rolling foundation support proved to be the most resistant. In fact, they thought they had done something wrong initially, so they retested it several times to validate what they saw was indeed true. I would have liked to have seen some actual photos of completed student designs both before and after they were tested.

Recent Public Collections by Sandy

More Than One “Right” Answer
Type: Journal Article
Grade: Elementary School

Inquiry, Argumentation, and the Phases of the Moon: Helping Students Learn Important Concepts and Practices
Type: Journal Article
Grade: Middle School

9 Resources

The Benefits of Scientific Modeling
Type: Journal Article
Grade: Elementary School


1 Resources

Sheep in a Jeep
Type: Book Chapter
Grade: Elementary School