Day 153 – A View from Here


Science 9 – Students were asked to create a small project.  Each group was given an object to research. They had to find a bit of information about the object, and then describe what the Earth would look like if a person were on the object looking at us right now. So if a person was in the Andromeda Galaxy which is 4 million light years away, they would see the Earth as it was 4 million years ago. It was a great activity to learn about different types of objects in space and learn about distances in the universe.  This activity was taken from the Perimeter Institutes teacher resources.

Day 149 – Space Center



Science 9 – Today the grade 9’s had their field trip to the Space Center.  I chose for them to do three activities: cosmic courtyard, planet hunter and a movie on black holes. As anticipate, the black holes movie was the highlight.  The cosmic courtyard needs a major refresher, as many of their exhibits don’t work anymore….

Day 147 – The Expanding Universe


Science 9 – As part of their learning about the Big Bang and the expanding universe, students do an activity where they model this expansion with balloons.  They noticed that all of the galaxies move away from each other and that the expansion goes in all directions.  To help with these topics, I’m using parts from the Perimeter Institutes resource package.

Day 140 – Questions about Space


Science 9 – For our first day about space I had the students generate their own questions. I used the methodology outlined in Make Just One Change.

Space is a fantastic unit for inquiry. Pretty much every kid has things they wonder about for space. And by going through all of these questions they’re interested in, we actually cover all of the required learning objectives.

Pseudo Day 124 – Stars

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Science 9 – May 21

Today the students were supposed to learn about different types of stars and I had planned for them to learn about the Hertzsprugn-Russel diagram.  Most kids were content to methodically work through the sketch activity and I was ok with that.  The grade 9 students are in their “calming down” phase that I’ve seen happen after April.  They are getting more mature and becoming better students.  It’s a welcomed relief.

Pseudo Day 117 – Qfocus Day 2

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Science 9 – May 6

Today each group finished coming up with 3 high priority questions that relate to our Qfocus.  Many groups came up with questions that were right on target and approachable.


Some questions were really difficult, such as “What came before time?”


Some groups were off-track as seen above. I didn’t step in to change their questions though, as I wanted to validate what they were genuinely interested. Next year I won’t let this happen though, I will take tighter control over what their final questions are.  I made this decision after hearing a quote from Grant Wiggins, where he said that we make no apologies for setting the learning objectives.

This process was interesting and a bit worthwhile. However, the students were able to answer their questions within a couple days of work and we were still left to go over many more learning objectives in the unit.  This is a perfect example of me needing to share a methodology with other teachers doing something similar yet I still feel like I’m working in a bit of a silo.  This stuff is really difficult to do when you have no one else to share ideas with.