Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 5 - Monday, January 24

This day started with making copies and talking about what roles I would play for the rest of the week. We decided that this day would start with me answering questions and collecting the lab for 10 minutes before the body of the class, which would be the standard Power Point + note taking. I’m speaking, of course, of Chem 1. We still haven’t talked about when/if I’ll be the main dude in any of the two other classes.

AP – It was during this class I realized exactly how much of a punster my cooperating teacher is. I’d rather not repeat the joke because it hurts me. Today was a lot more geometry, talking about molecules with more than one geometric center, bringing up cis- and trans- terminology and σ and π bonds. It’s also at this point that I realize that today starts Spirit Week when I notice a large concentration of kids wearing pajamas. They even got all the way to talking about delocalized π bonds! Electrons are fun!

Advisory – Wait, we’re actually talking about Advisory Period? Yes! This is the first time I actually witnessed the ACT prep that goes on in this time. They work out of Barron’s ACT Prep books. Mr. CT gives a science focus, and reminds the students that they don’t need to know any specific science, all the information to answer a question is carefully included in the statement of the question. It seems the format for this is that Mr. CT has a specific class for 3 weeks, meeting twice a week (Mondays and Wednesdays), and then rotated on to a different class. Mr. CT’s part for this time seemed to be in highlighting the parts of a proper experiment, with an introduction of the concept of a result being different enough from another result.

Chem 1 – Today my role was to answer questions and point to some difficulties that seemed to commonly occur before they handed the worksheets in. This meant I really didn’t do much, especially in the first section, where they had time to work on the write-ups during Channel One. I got one question on what was meant by “shape.” The rest of the time was Mr. CT lecturing on air pressure, like why we are not crushed by air pressure and why there’s no such thing as suction. There were a lot of practice problems to give them a chance to work with pressure. The question of what happens to you in space, when there’s no external air pressure to balance your internal pressures. The movie answer is that you explode in some spectacular way, but the real answer is that your skin is strong enough to keep you all in one piece. Here is NASA talking about the dangers of space.

2nd section apparently didn’t make much of an impression on me, no notes other than a reminder of the term, “Factor-label conversion.”

The third section was much more interested in handing whatever lab they had in rather than listening to me talk about it more, which is a feeling I can sympathize with. Maurice was showing off on the air pressure intro question. The question had Mr. CT translating air pressure into psi, then doing a rough calculation of how much force is pushing into the palm of his hand (450 lbs) and making a show of lifting his hands against the 900 lbs of force! Maurice had apparently seen this kind of thing before and was quick to jump on the right answers.

Another good question: what keeps a boot stuck in the mud? The atmosphere!

Chem 2 – Still doing intro stuff. The community college course is a multi-front campaign, with homework assignments and quiz opportunities in several different places, so this is not too surprising. However, Mr. CT did manage to make it into some of the slides from the college instructor. They managed to get into the distinctions between Theory and Law and Hypothesis.

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