Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Planets, Moon, Sun

I feel like a genius!

Do you ever have those days where you feel like beating your head against a wall? Well, that has been my life with the moon. Yes, that lovely crater filled rock that his hurtling around our plant. Bless my little kiddos' hearts. They LOVE plants. PlanETS - not so much. I think it's because they can't "touch" it. Well... we watched brainpopjr.com (FYI If you don't have an account ... your school needs to get one ASAP!) on planets. It was good and the kids started "getting it." However, the MOON is a different conundrum. We watched the movie from brainpop, talked about the phases, created play-dough phases, cut paper phases, etc. Yea .... NOTHING. No enjoyment .... until my genius bulb flashed on. 

If you are a blessed teacher, you have a camera style projector. I was blessed to receive one in my 3rd year of teaching. Well, who knew you could use it to show HOW the moon phases work? The pictures below kind of show how it worked. First, I laid BLACK construction down on the proctor table. Then I cut a white circle (moon) and layed it on top so all of the kids could see a "new moon." Then I turn off all of the lights in my room except for the lamp on the projector. It worked like the sun. I cut one more little black circle as the earth. I told the kids that I wasn't putting detail into the earth because that wasn't our focus. Actually, it was that AND I was winging it! So, I started moving the earth between the moon and the sun and it actually showed how the moon "changes." They were AMAZED! I almost gave myself a pat on the back, but I decided to keep it on the down-low for my excitement. 

My lowest science child called out, "So ... the phases of the moon are just shadows of the earth from the sun's brightness?" WOO HOOOOO .... He had his "ah ha!" moment. Praise the LORD for the simple things in life ... construction paper, circles, and lights!

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