Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Don't Need No Stinkin' Stress Ball

I am proud of my freshmen. They showed remarkable restraint during our DVD lesson today.

We began with a discussion of the differences among mass, weight, and volume, complete with my visual aid of an Office Max fake apple. The kids are fascinated by this apple. Several years ago, our superintendent gave each of the faculty such an apple. I don't want you thinkin' I'm anything special. Surely the apple was a promotional freebie from Office Max. Why not pass them out in mass quantity? Don't cost nothin'! The students think the apple is a stress ball. Why they believe their teachers need a stress ball is beeeeeyond me! The apple really grabs their attention. I squeezed my cushy red foam apple, to show that while mass and weight remain constant, volume can change . "Ooohhhhh," they aaahhhhhed.

But that's not the awesome part about the students' behavior. We went on to compare weight on the moon to weight on Earth, and noted how mass still stays the same. After a short session of guided practice, I whipped out the 23-minute DVD. It was about the formation of the galaxy, composition of the planets, and how specific conditions must be present for life as we know it to exist. We have been studying the universe and galaxies since school started. Part of the earth science concepts which make up 50% of the learning requirements for freshman physics.

"Uranus is a gaseous planet."

That's it. The most giggle-baiting quote ever. And my freshmen did not erupt into guttural hoots and hollers. They maintained. A couple looked sideways at each other, and raised their eyebrows. One lad looked back at me, the corners of his lips twitching, just before catching his friend's eye. Their shoulders shook momentarily. But they pulled it together.

We are nearing the end of 1st Quarter. They still fear me.


Kathy's Klothesline said...

I am amazed! Just goes to show you how much faster they mature these days ........... I would have laughed and I am 57!

Hillbilly Mom said...

Another voice-over line was, "One side of Uranus spends 45 years in total darkness."

And there was that needy girl who kept shouting at me, "Uranus is my favorite planet!"