Thursday, May 21, 2009

Having Some Fun

After you complete the final you'll probably want a little down time. Here are some sites that allow for creativity to rule. Enjoy.
Imagination Cubed - Invite a friend to collaborate on a drawing.

Make a Pixton Comic about something.

Animate your cartoons with GoAnimate.

Playing with words at Wordle. Write a poem and Wordle it. Put your favorite words into a wordle. There's lots you can do.

Explore science simulations.

And then, for those interested in using their iPods to their fullest educational potential, there is 100 Ways to Use Your iPod in Education.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Atlantis Shuttle Mission to Hubble Telescope

If you're interested in sniffing around a bit more and participating in a spacewalk simulation similar to what the Atlantis crew will be doing visit the NASA Spacesuits and Spacewalk site. Be war - the simulation only works on PC's at the moment and is in beta testing at the moment.

The NASA video page also has great footage if you're interested in learning more.

There's so much on the internet regarding Hubble. is another great resource to investigate Hubble. The great thing is that every time you read something new it generates more questions.

How does that monstrous ship get into space? Let's review the Newton's Laws of Motion.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Orbit Origins

Over the next few days we'll spend some time exploring orbit origins.
Go to the My Solar System website and await further instruction.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Year of Documented Learning

We have studied many topics in Earth Science this year and all are documented in both your Science notebook and your blog. Review your blog entries and your table of contents in your Science notebook for the entire year.

For your final blog assignment, you will tell me about your favorite topic from each of the units of study in Earth Science.
  1. Astronomy
  2. Weather and Climate (Earth's Atmosphere)
  3. Geology
  4. Weathering and Erosion
  5. Earth's Waters
Label each unit of study and identify your favorite topic. Provide a detailed explanation (evidence) as to why this was your favorite topic.
Include a picture for each topic.

This is due May 15th.

* Your last blog post should be to sign off from your 8th Grade Earth Science blog or to redefine the blog's purpose. Your choice.*

And always, remember your larger audience when writing.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Water's Journey

Compare and contrast the origin and journey of Manitou Springs drinking water vs. Colorado Springs drinking water. Write your response as a new blog post.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Log in to use Mutter, the Mustang Twitter page.
Create a response to the question posted by Mrs. Casey

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Water Cycle Activity

Time to re-familiarize with the water cycle.
Visit the Pearson-Prentice Hall website for an active art activity on the water cycle.
Type in the webcode: cfp - 4024
Complete the activity, take the quiz, and then create a new blog post about the following:
  1. What is the water cycle?
  2. Does the water cycle have a beginning or end?
  3. Starting with a puddle on a sunny day, describe how water might move through the water cycle and eventually fall back as rain.
  4. Create a diagram (using Google docs or word) of the puddle to rain scenario you created for extra credit.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Investigating Ice Balloons

Last week we spent some time investigating ice balloons, balloons filled with water and then frozen for four days. Gasses within the water try to escape as the water freezes, creating incredible pathways of escape, emphasized when lit by a flashlight in a dark room. After a ten minutes or so we introduced food coloring to the ice balloon. Soon after salt, then sugar.

Students received an unlimited supply of index cards. Their sole task, other than to experience the beauty of the ice balloon, was to ask as many questions as they possibly could and write them down during the experience. One question per card. Each substance introduction evoked more questions.

Upon completion, they divided their cards into two categories - investigable questions vs research questions. Discussions on characteristics of each of these categories resulted.

Students could have the option of choosing a question and carrying out the experiment as a class activity or as homework.

Takes about 40 minutes for the investigation and 25 minutes for the question discussion.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Observing Water's Properties

Today in class you completed the Observing Water's Properties (At-Home Activity) on page 11 of your Science Textbook.
Complete the following in a new blog post by next Tuesday, April 14th, 5:00 PM.
  • Title
  • Overview of procedure
  • Prediction
  • Outcome
  • Explanation of accountable water properties. (Why did this happen?)
  • Image - Optional (Be sure to use correctly cite your sources.)

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Photo by D Sharon Pruitt

Today you are going to investigate water.
  1. Go to the the USGS website and take the quiz to see what you know about water.
  2. Learn about water.
  3. Take notes on the structure of water and the properties of water in your composition notebook. Include diagrams and text in your notes. This will help you to create a useful poster related to water in class tomorrow.
  4. Go back the USGS website and retake the quiz to see what you have learned. Report your results to me.
Websites to use:
Create a poster detailing the structure and properties of water.
Take a screen shot of your poster and upload your poster as a jpg image to your blog in a new blog post.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Earth's Waters

Waterfall in the Rainforest by Phillip Roth

Each of you have a movie file to view.

After viewing your movie file, imagine you were visiting this location. What would you see? What are the conditions there? What is the relationship between humans and Earth's waters at your location?

Do some research on this area.

Your next blog post will include an image and a brief description of the area. The image can show any scene from your visit. The description should be thorough, engaging, and answer the following questions:
  1. What is the name and location of your place?
  2. What might your role and the purpose of your visit? (Examples of roles might include engineer, tourist, biologist, scientist, or sailor.)
  3. How would you describe the place? (sights and sounds, plants and animals , and any significant structures)
  4. What does this place reveal about Earth's waters?
  5. What is the relationship between humans and Earth's waters at your location?

If you finish early, feel free to view other movies on the CD provided to you.

You will then need to choose another location. Respond to the blog post. In your response reflect on the significance of each source of Earth's waters. How do they compare to your location? Be ready to explain this location to the class later in the week.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wordling the Visitors

I decided to Wordle this blog's visiting countries and the result was so outstanding I thought I would share it with all of you. Now just imagine if we each took one of these countries and learned a bit more about them. Then, imagine if we each found a school or a student in that country to learn from and exchange stories with. Oh the possibilities.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thank You

Receiving the 2007-2008 Colorado Teacher of the Year sponsored by Teacher's Insurance was quite an honor and surprise. I owe many thanks to the students at school. Without you, there would not be an award. You are the reason I aspire to great teaching.

And the Winner IS ....

The classroom podcasting challenge winner is XXXX.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Weathering and Erosion Projects

Weathering and Erosion projects completed over testing weeks.

If you don't see your name listed, click on the archive link at the top of the page.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Requim - Kurt Vonnegut

I came across this poem written by Kurt Vonnegut yesterday. Phenomenal and timely considering our new unit approaching after spring break on Earth's Waters.

When the last living thing
has died on account of us,
how poetical it would be
if Earth could say,
in a voice floating up
from the floor
of the Grand Canyon,
It is done.
People did not like it here.

What do you all think of this poem?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Weathering and Erosion Project

Today you'll start investigating information for your Weathering and Erosion project. Information and directions about this project may be found by clicking here.

Below are some examples of weathering projects that may be found on YouTube:
Video 1
Video 2

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Vocabulary

Time to add some new vocabulary to your Google Spreadsheet. Due February 26th.

Do this by adding a new sheet to your existing spreadsheeet.
  1. Click on Add Sheet in the lower left of the spreadsheet window.
  2. Click on the arrow in sheet 2.
  3. Rename the sheet to Weathering
Your new words are:
Erosion, Weathering, Mechanical Weathering, Chemical Weathering, Abrasion

Monday, February 9, 2009

Vocabulary Spreadsheet

Today you will be creating a vocabulary spreadsheet that will keep track of your science vocabulary for the rest of the school year.
I wish we had done this in the beginning of the year - oh well. Sure beats vocabulary cards!
The directions are fairly simple and listed below.
You'll have to play around with the spreadsheet to build a comfort level, but that's the name of the game. Explore. Have fun. Be creative.

  1. Open a new Google Document Spreadsheet
  2. Title the spreadsheet: Vocabulary-last name
  3. Share with Mrs. Casey
  4. Label cell A1 Word
  5. Label cell B1 column Definition
  6. Label cell C1 Picture
  7. Click and drag the sort bar above Row 1
  8. Select all cells by clicking on the small box to the left of the letter A. All cells will now be blue.
  9. Make the rows larger by grabbing the row divider and dragging it to the desired height.
  10. Do the same for column width.
  11. Beginning on row 3, type the words and definitions on the vocabulary list.
  12. Find pictures to represent these vocabulary words and paste into the picture column.
  13. To paste a picture copy the URL and follow the commands for pasting an image. You will have to resize every picture by clicking and dragging from the lower right corner. Move the picture into the appropriate cell.
  14. EXTRA CREDIT - Create two new columns. Label cell D1 What it is and label cell E1 What it is not. Respond appropriately.
Be creative.

Word List
mineral, rock, sedimentary rock, igneous rock, metamorphic rock, rock cycle.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Rocks and Minerals

Over the next week we'll be studying Rocks and Minerals. You'll find a copy of the guiding questions here.
Thanks Mr. Dunn!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Volcano Field Trip

Today you'll be taking a volcano field trip by clicking on the title link.
A note taking guide may be found here.
Take careful notes (diagrams included) in your composition books.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Earthquake Webquest

Today and tomorrow you will be completing the Earthquake Webquest linked above.
All work is due by Thursday on your blog.

Faults and Earthquakes

The following is the slideshow from Thursday.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Plate Tectonics

  1. How have geologists learned about Earth’s inner structure?
  2. How is Earth’s interior like an apple? 
  3. What are the layers of the Earth?
  4. What are the characteristics of Earth’s crust, mantle, and core?
  5. How is heat transferred?
  6. What causes convection currents?
  7. What causes convection currents in Earth’s mantle?
  8. What was Alfred Wegener’s hypothesis about the continents?
  9. What evidence supported Wegener’s hypothesis?
  10. Why was Wegener’s hypothesis rejected by most scientists of his day?
  11. How does sea-floor spreading provide a way for continents to move?
  12. What is the evidence for sea-floor spreading?
  13. What happens at deep-ocean trenches and why?
  14. What is the Mid-Atlantic Ridge?
  15. What is the theory of plate tectonics?
  16. What are the three types of plate boundaries and what are their characteristics?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sea Floor Spreading/Plate Tectonics

All questions from sections 1.1-1.5 are due on Tuesday, January 13th.
Questions from sections 1.1 - 1.3 may be found on earlier posts.

Sea-Floor Spreading
  1. How does sea-floor spreading provide a way for continents to move?
  2. What is the evidence for sea-floor spreading?
  3. What happens at deep ocean trenches?
  4. What is the Mid-Atlantic Ridge?
Plate Tectonics
  1. What is the theory of plate tectonics?
  2. What are the three types of plate boundaries and what are their characteristics?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Continental Drift

  1. What was Alfred Wegener's hypothesis about the continents?
  2. What evidence supported Wegener's hypothesis?
  3. Why was Wegener's hypothesis rejected by most scientists of his day?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Convection Currents in the Mantle

  1. Preview pages 14-17 in text.
  2. Review Google Presentation below on Convection Currents. Create an outline as you view the presentation. You may need to use your book to continue with the outline.
  3. Visit website link on the last page of the google presentation and complete both quizzes on website after reading material.
  4. View movie.
  5. Answer questions related to Convection currents below in your google document.

How is heat transferred?
What causes convection currents?
What causes convection currents in Earth’s mantle?

Movie Link

Questions about Earth's Interior

Create a google document and answer the following questions:

How have geologists learned about Earth’s inner structure?

How is Earth’s interior like a peach?

What are the layers of Earth?

What are the characteristics of Earth’s crust, mantle, and core?