Monday, January 15, 2007

Bill Nye

As a special project of winter school, my employers have added science classes to the English class schedule. Guess who gets to teach those! Just call me Bill Nye the Science Guy.

So far, we have experimented with paper airplane flight, helicopters, and static electricity. I am still trying to figure out the potato light bulb experiment.

The challenges are three-fold. First, getting the students to complete the experiment and report in the allotted time. Second, getting the students to develop a science vocabulary because most of them don't use science words in their other English classes. Third, getting them (first, second, third and fourth grade level students) to understand the science behind the experiment.

All of this I am supposed to magically do in an hour and twenty minutes with 30 students per class whose first language is not English.

My secret suspicions are that they want to make 'winter school' fun. If I can play with them once a week, blow things up, and make objects fly, my employers will be happy. We will develop a facade of learning by calling it science class and maybe (just maybe) one or two students will learn something.

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