Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page

Which Do You Think…

Would have the most impact on the way teachers teach and students learn:

  • Amazon’s Kindle
  • iPod Touch
  • Netbook computer

Imagine the school was trying to decide which of these tools to purchase for student use.  Each costs roughly $300.  Which one do you think would have the most impact or the most potential use for classroom learning?  What ideas do you have for how each would be used in your classes?  Feel free to post your thoughts as a comment, or a new post on your blog and put the link to your post as the “Website” of a comment.


Weather Map Test Study Guide

Below you will find the study guide for you test on Friday. The test will cover:

  • Weather Maps
  • Station Models
  • Water Cycle
  • Fronts
  • Air Masses

In addition to the study guide, review your notes, the weather map we created in class, and the questions that went along with it.


Weather Maps Test Review 2009

Hurricane Strike

Today in class we looked at planning for severe weather. We started tracking a hurricane heading toward Fort Walton Beach, Florida. In the simulation, the family we were staying with was getting the house ready and going over their plan for hurricanes/severe weather. I thought some of you might be interested in exploring the simulation more in depth. The link below takes you to the main page for the Hurricane Strike activity. When you get there, you will need to enter an email address and a password. I have set up a single account that you all may use.

The email address is my school email: You can copy and paste the address into the box. The password for that address is bulldogs.

If you have a faster internet connection, you’ll want to scroll down and click “Access all English Versions on the Web.” There are several versions of the activity available. The one we were working on in class is the Standard Multimedia version. This version requires the Flash Player application and is fairly graphics intensive. The Keyboard/Captioned Version puts word bubbles into the multimedia presentation so you can read along with the audio. The Accessible Text version is a text based, less graphics intense version of the simulation. All three give you the necessary information, just in a slightly modified format.

With a slower connection, the files can be downloaded (though this will still take some time) as a .zip file that can be unzipped into a folder with all the necessary files. I have not done this and don’t have further instructions, but if you’re adventurous this is an option. Also, the text based version I mentioned before should be a little better for slower connections than the multimedia version we were using.

Good luck and enjoy! Feel free to comment the blog and let me know what you think!

Weather Myths and Realities: Heat Lightning

"Rayo de Zeus" by Christian Frausto Bernal, licensed through Creative Commons

The following post is an example of a completed “Weather Myths and Realities” blog post.

People often refer to late summer evening lightning storms as “just heat lightning.”  The impression is that there is no danger from this lightning.  They think that because there is no accompanying sound of thunder, the lightning is not actually striking the ground.  I have even heard this lightning explained as “just light in the clouds” not electric discharges.

The reality is, heat lightning does not exist.  “Heat” lightning is regular lightning which occurs too far away for the thunder to be heard.  Sound and light travel at different speeds, so the light can travel further, and the sound eventually dissipates to a point where it cannot be heard.  Since it’s so far away, there is rarely any direct danger from the lightning for those viewing it, but it does indicate that a storm is in the area and could move in quickly.  All lightning is electrical discharge within clouds or between the clouds and the ground.  Though the “heat” lightning does not pose much danger to the person calling it such, it is dangerous to those experiencing it within the sound of the thunder.

Many people probably refer to heat lightning because they’ve never fully grasped the differences in the speed of sound and light.  Since it poses no immediate danger, they feel they can stay outside doing whatever activity they are participating in at the time.  Thunder and lightning are so closely related that people think they can’t have one without the other.  Therefore, if there is no thunder heard, the lightning must be something other than what we normally experience.