Tag «activities»

Almanacs in Astronomy Classes

In memory of my maternal grandmother Dorothy Marie Blalock Clark (1912-1997) TL;DR: Ubiquitous farmers’ almanacs are an inexpensive printed source of accurate astronomical information despite being mostly advertising vehicles. This information can be used in the classroom to generate questions and learning about not only astronomy, but also history, mathematics, and computation.  Thanks to my …

Learning Critical Thinking Through Astronomy, Week 16

What time is it anyway, and what does that question even mean? I want to describe a classroom activity that is the culmination of our discussion of time. I’ll start with a brief description of the background leading up to this activity and then describe the activity itself. If there is any aspect of astronomy …

Learning Critical Thinking Through Astronomy, Week 15

Because of Thanksgiving, this week was a short week, only two days (Monday and Tuesday). However, because of a bizarre institutional policy (described here) Tuesday ran on a Friday schedule. Therefore, my MW evening astronomy section only met once, the TuTh section didn’t meet at all, and the MWF section met on two consecutive days. …

Learning Critical Thinking Through Astronomy, Week 11

This week was mostly devoted to informal formative assessment (I’m really beginning to hate those words). Students were asked to explain aspects of a stick’s shadow’s behavior in terms of, for example, Sun’s diurnal and annual motions. Example questions would be something like: “In one sentence, explain why a stick’s noon shadow changes length during …

Learning Critical Thinking Through Astronomy, Week 10

This week was all about observing. Students were assigned Activity0301, which consists of two main parts. The activity, both parts, is to be done from the same location each night. Students are expected to have previously established the four cardinal directions at their respective observing sites. The first part is observing Moon. This can be …

Learning Critical Thinking Through Astronomy, Week 9

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week constituted our fall break. Unfortunately, that means the evening section, which meets MW, did not meet at all and the two daytime sections (one of which meets MWF and the other meets TuTh) only had one full class period each. This “week” was devoted entirely to what I …

Learning Critical Thinking Through Astronomy, Week 6

Note that I’m posting this one week late. This was an interesting week in that there were both highs and lows. I’ll start with the lows. We are now a week behind where we need to be. On Monday of this week, my expectation was that students would have completed the first three shadow activities, …

The Learning Critical Thinking Through Astronomy Activities

I am somewhat limited in what I say in this post because I don’t want to give anything important away to students who find my blog (not that I care if they do). It occurred to me today that a post describing my astronomy course materials might be helpful for anyone considering using them or …

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