GiantScience from the ScienceGiant

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GiantScience from the ScienceGiant
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Time for a brain break! It's the first few days back from winter break. ❄️ Let your middle and high school students walk and talk about their New Year's celebration. Teenagers like to talk about what they do during their free time. These partner
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Time for a brain break! It's the first days back from Winter Break ❄️ and a chance for team building in the classroom. Let your middle and high school students walk and talk about their New Year's Resolutions with this "Find Someone Who..."
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This question exploration asks: How is a Scientific Theory Different from a Law? And Why are some scientific theories modified? Question Exploration Routine is an instructional methods that teachers can use to help a diverse student population
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These Framing and Question Exploration Routines are classroom tested to help students with the following Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards in Science. SWBAT SC.7.P.11.1 Recognize that adding heat to or removing heat from a system may
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Many people use the terms “accuracy” and “precision” interchangeably. However, for those students of science, these words have different meanings. This concept comparison is between: accuracy and precision in measurements. The Concept Comparison
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This concept comparison is between: physical and chemical properties of matter. The Concept Comparison Routine is used help compare and contrast key concepts. Specifically, students use like and unlike characteristics and categories shared and not
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This Question Exploration asks the Essential Question: How do Index Fossils help us relatively date rock layers? Question Exploration Routine is an instructional methods that teachers can use to help a diverse student population understand a body
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The Concept Comparison Routine is used help compare and contrast key concepts. Specifically, students use like and unlike characteristics and categories shared and not shared by two or more concepts to better understand the overall concept. This
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This concept comparison is between: Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion, and how they relate to Newton's Laws of Motion and the Law of Universal Gravitation. Bring a calculator! It covers the following Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standard
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Why is the Seafloor Spreading? This question exploration explores the process that occurs at mid-ocean ridges, where new oceanic crust is formed through volcanic activity and then gradually moves away from the ridge, and helps explain continental
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How does the Moon move around the Earth? How does the Earth move around the Sun? How does the Sun move around the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A? This Question Exploration asks the Essential Question: What are the motions of bodies in space?
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The film "October Sky" (1999) is adapted from "Big Creek Missile Agency" and "Rocket Boys: A Memoir," by Homer Hickam Jr. They tell the heart-touching story of growing up in a rural West Virginia mining town in the late 1950’s, and a boy and his
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What methods are used to locate and keep track of storms and hurricanes? This question exploration explains latitude and longitude coordinates, and contains a lab activity from NOAA to practice hurricane tracking. Question Exploration Routines are
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How do you finish the sentence: "It's so hot that..."? Good punchlines aside ("It's so hot... the fire ants are really on fire") Dan Fahrenheit, Andy Celsius, and Lord Kelvin had three ways to answer that question. This Concept Comparison contrasts
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This Question Exploration asks the Essential Question: What is radioactive dating? (such as carbon-14 dating) Question Exploration Routine is an instructional methods that teachers can use to help a diverse student population understand a body of
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How to review withOUT drill and kill: Logic Line-Ups. I use this Logic Line-Up in my Science classes to review optics and thin simple lenses (concave, convex, prism and plane lenses). Develop your students' thinking skills with hands-on
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How to review withOUT drill and kill: Logic Line-Ups. I use this Logic Line-Up in my Science classes to review atomic theory on parts of the atom (protons, neutrons, electrons, and photons). Develop your students' thinking skills with hands-on
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This Question Exploration asks the Essential Question about cosmic distances: How Do Astronomers Measure Extreme Distances? (astronomical units and light years ) Question Exploration Routine is an instructional methods that teachers can use to help
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This product includes two versions of my M&M half-life laboratory activity. One version is a more traditional Earth Science radioactive dating lab. The other is slightly more advanced Physics inquiry based lab that requires the use of a graphing
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What are telescopes and how do they work? This Concept Comparison Frame and Question Exploration asks the Essential Question: How do telescopes work, and compares refracting, reflecting and radio telescopes. Framing Routines and Question
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TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Rub shoulders with @TheScienceGiant on Twitter
https://twitter.com/TheScienceGiant
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I've been teaching science classes (including Comprehensive Science, Physics, Astronomy, and Earth Science) in Palm Beach County, Florida at the middle and high school level for two decades. And I volunteer for NASA, offering teacher training and classroom activities highlighting NASA missions of discovery and exploration. I was awarded the Palm Beach County School District Science Teacher of the Year for 2002-03, received a RadioShack National Teacher Award in 2004, and won the SECME National Teacher of the Year in 2010, and The Engineering Council’s Outstanding STEM Educator Award in 2014. Before entering the classroom, I was planetarium director at the South Florida Science Museum, and at the Savannah Science Museum in Georgia. My students over the years have become national competitors in rockets (SECME & Team America Rocketry Challenge) and robots (VEX & FIRST Robotics World Championship). They earn it as they learn it! Personally, I'm married to my DW Heather for 20+ years, and we are proud parents of our daughter Lily. Lily and I are a black belts in taekwondo and enjoy off-road mountain bike riding.

MY TEACHING STYLE

Strategic Instruction Model™ (SIM)
SIM is a research-validated literacy program from the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. Content Enhancement is an instructional method that uses powerful teaching devices to organize and present course information so that all students can understand and remember. Teachers use SIM Routines to transform abstract main ideas and key topics into a concrete representation that helps students think about and talk about the key topic and essential related information. SIM is about promoting effective teaching and learning of critical content in schools. SIM strives to help teachers make decisions about what is of greatest importance, what we can teach students to help them to learn, and how to teach them well.
- Think about and organize content
- Explore text, topics, and details
- Teach complex concepts
- Help students complete their work

Kagan Cooperative Learning
Cooperative learning is a type of structured peer interaction emphasizing collaboration between peers, active learning, academic achievement, positive human relationships, equal participation and equal status of students in the classroom. Students can work together by following the steps to the structure, using material or content selected by the students themselves or by the teacher. The structures have various aims, such as: building team spirit and positive relationships among students; information sharing; critical thinking; communication skills; and mastery (learning/remembering) of specified material. Many of the structures can fulfill a number of aims simultaneously, depending on how the teacher uses them. Structures can be mixed and matched, and adapted to the particular student group.

HONORS/AWARDS/SHINING TEACHER MOMENT


2004 Radio Shack National Teacher Award for Excellence in Teaching. Each year, the RadioShack National Teachers Awards program honors 110 high-school recognizes teachers who demonstrate a commitment to educational excellence in mathematics, science and technology, and awards a cash prize of $3,000 to teachers with more than three years experience and $1,000 to teachers who are in their second or third year of teaching. Since it began the National Teacher Awards program, RadioShack has awarded more than $3.9 million to 1,330 individuals for their commitment, excellence and innovation in the classroom.
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2002-2003 Science Teacher of the Year School District of Palm Beach County
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2006-2007 SECME County Coordinator of the Year for exceptional SECME program coordination in Palm Beach County (at Boynton Beach High) at the high school level.
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April 2008 – nominated for an American Stars of Teaching award. The U.S. Department of Education seeks nominations for its annual American Stars of Teaching project, which recognizes and honors superior teachers with a track record of improving student achievement, using innovative instructional strategies, and making a difference in the lives of their students.
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2009-2010 SECME County Coordinator of the Year (high school level), for exceptional SECME program coordination in Palm Beach County (at Seminole Ridge High)
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2010 SECME National Teacher of Year. The award recognizes an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and innovative K-12 educator, with have proven leadership ability in advancing student development and outcomes in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and demonstrate commitment to the SECME program and mission. The honoree will receive a Teacher of the Year trophy, a $5000 cash award, and a $500 mini-grant for their designated SECME program.
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2014 The Engineering Council Outstanding STEM K-12 Educator Award. With this award, the Engineers’ Council recognizes individuals who are outstanding in professional qualities and have a top reputation for engineering education, mentorship and leadership. Candidates contribute significantly to students’ academic and extracurricular engineering fulfillment and enrichment.
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MY OWN EDUCATIONAL HISTORY

Sept. 1987 - Dec. 1991 Wagner College, New York, NY – Bachelor of Arts, English & Physics Academic Honors: Dean's List 1989, 1991
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Sept. 2002 Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL Continuing education

ADDITIONAL BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

When we remember the sinking of the HMS Titanic, one question has often been overlooked: for a ship heading into New York City, why was an iceberg in it's path? Why wasn’t the iceberg deflected or dissolved by warm water well before the collision?

Florida science teacher Erich Landstrom has created a classroom investigation on how the Gulf Stream current is responsible for the wreck of the ill-fated ocean liner. The NSTA News Story is available HERE at http://bit.ly/Hl1AjS

The sinking of the ocean liner Titanic 100 years ago is perhaps the most famous–and most studied–disaster of the 20th century. Countless books and movies have examined in great detail the actions, choices and mistakes that led to the Titanic colliding with an iceberg the night of April 14, 1912, and sinking within hours, with approximately 1,500 people losing their lives in the icy waters of the North Atlantic.

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