The next stop on our week-long tour was Hamilton Middle School in the Denver Public Schools to shine the spotlight on Ms. Emily Pringle, science teacher extraordinaire. Emily Pringle has taught there for eight years and uses the scientific method to make the light bulbs come on in her bright, young eager students. She and the kids showed us her candle lab experiment, also known as the “composition of air” demonstration. Here’s the concept… A candle sits in the bottom of a dish full of colored water. The candle is lighted and covered with a test tube or jar. When the candle burns out (because of the lack of oxygen), the water rises in the test tube. Data is gathered as to the volume of water that displaces the air in the tube. Ms. Pringle’s class concluded from the experiment that 21% of the air that we breathe is oxygen (and the students are correct!). Read more.
When it comes to doing science, I’ll volunteer for anything – fear is not a factor for me. Then I visited Pam Schmidt’s class at Thunder Ridge Middle School in Centennial, Colorado… and 49 of her pet snakes! That’s right, at 5:30 in the morning, I was greeted by a room full of enthusiastic kids all holding snakes – big snakes. Each snake has a name – there’s Phantom, a 12′ 11″ Albino Burmese Python and Jazira, a 16″ Blotched King snake. Pam loves snakes, and shares that passion with all her students who learn plenty about their biology, habitat and eating habits. Read more.
When you work on the morning show of a news station, getting up early is just a way of life. The alarm clock went off at 3 AM this morning and I was on my way to meet another great teacher. The kids at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School in Lakewood love Fred Scherrer. He makes science come alive for 4th, 5th and 6th graders. Most days you’ll find him in his white lab coat, hunched over some kind of hands-on experiment that gets his kids all amped up and ready to learn. Read more
I approached my television producer with this idea several months ago… let’s invite viewers to nominate their favorite science teacher to receive a special visit from our morning crew at their school during our “Mad About Science” week at 9NEWS. My producer didn’t even have to think twice about the idea – do it! Within the first few hours after we made the announcement on-air, emails were coming in from all parts of Colorado. Every teacher nominated was worthy of a visit, but travel to some of the far reaching areas of Colorado played a factor in the selection process. The producers selected 5 amazing teachers who have their own special way of getting students excited about science.
Video: Day 1 of the Mad About Science Tour takes 9NEWS Science Guy Steve Spangler to the University of Northern Colorado on October 3, 2005.
We hit the road and made our first stop at the University of Northern Colorado to visit Professor Courtney Willis who prepare students for a career as classroom teachers. But these are no ordinary teachers of science… these pre-service teachers are getting hands-on experience in learning how to create science lessons with impact. Read more.
The explanation is simple if you understand physics and the principles of force, mass and weight. The weight of the person on the bed of nails is distributed across a greater surface area. One nail would be bad. Three thousand of them work fine.
Comedian, motivational speaker and magician Brad Montgomery has three children, ages 4, 7 and 8. My own kids are 6 and twins aged 3. All we have to do is tell each other what the kids did and we have plenty to laugh about.
The same thing happens with teachers. Just write down the funny things that happen throughout the year.
You can always tell the sign of a healthy school if you go into a teachers’ lounge at lunchtime and the teachers are laughing.
When people say: “Brad, we need our school to be more fun”, the first step is to decide that it’s OK for that to happen. I have seen people who are the most dour, sour, uptight people in the world and you can tell they are not funny. In fact, they are the opposite of funny. Funny is not allowed. Some teachers are like that.
Everything will follow if you not only allow yourself to be funny, but you allow others to be funny. How do you do it? Just laugh yourself. The next time something crazy happens in your classroom – laugh. Everyone else will see that, and they will realise you have and cherish a sense of humor. With your laugh, you are giving permission to share humor and have fun in the classroom.
How can kids be learning in the classroom if you are playing around? In the hands of a master teacher, laughter and humor can create unforgettable experiences. I think to be an amazing teacher you have to use humor. When a kid comes back 2-3 years later and he or she says: “You know, you really were teaching us” — wow! What a thrill! They actually get it.
Wouldn’t it be cool to set up a notebook in the teachers’ lounge and the job for every teacher is to collect the funniest things that happen during the day.
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