Glen Westbroek's Blog (56)

AARGH - or the lappy hard drive dies

So over the weekend, my laptop hard drive crashed big time. I have had district technology working on it today. Perhaps the thing that I find most helpful is how the district technology people put me on the front burner. It really made me appreciate these technical people and their skills. Each person who has worked on it so far has been efficient and tried their best to determine the problem and solve it. So far, no luck with a solution. I am using a "loaner" laptop and was able to get… Continue

Added by Glen Westbroek on December 16, 2007 at 1:12pm — 1 Comment

Egg osmosis - or the egg that pees!

Students in my 7th Grade Science class soaked eggs in vinegar and then soaked the eggs in colored water. With a softened shell, the eggs absorbed the colored water quite well. We went outside and the students poked their egg with a toothpick. They got so excited they wanted to have a video uploaded on youtube (now done.) I realized that while the activity was not technology related, they had a lot of fun and expressed the desire to share their results with the world. My take on this is that… Continue

Added by Glen Westbroek on November 28, 2007 at 8:35pm — No Comments

Individual Response Devices

Today was a lot of fun. In the BIology classes, students took a quiz on the parts of cells and how they function. The quiz was conducted using individual response devices. (I use a set from TurningPoint http://www.turningtechnologies.com and am very pleased with them.) It was great to see how many students really comprehended the material. They enjoyed taking the quiz and asked when they could take the next quiz "Using clickers again!"





My 7th grade students also used the… Continue

Added by Glen Westbroek on November 2, 2007 at 5:34pm — No Comments

e-MINTS:)

Two of the three science teachers at my school decided to apply for the e-MINTS grant provided by our District. There were about 160 applicants. 60 grants were awarded. We were excited to participate in the first training today. Each person in our training group is excited to be a part of this program. We enjoyed the introduction into how and why collaborative groups are so important in the success of students in secondary schools. We also agreed that these same students will understand the… Continue

Added by Glen Westbroek on October 30, 2007 at 10:00pm — 1 Comment

Wonderful District Training Day

On Monday, 10/15/07, my district scheduled a professional development day based on content area. There were over 100 science teachers in attendance. Of the breakout sessions that were available, over 50% were based on techology. I was particularly excited to see that over 60% of the participants came to a session on Podcasts that I presented. During this session, we learned what a podcast was (many had never even heard the term). We also spent time learning how to download podcasts. Finally,… Continue

Added by Glen Westbroek on October 15, 2007 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Entire science department considering more technology!

On Monday during our department meeting, the entire department began a discussion of how we should implement more appropriate technology to improve student learning. Every member of the department is excited about ways that technology can positively influence students. What a great start as we begin the new year. We are now looking for ways to demonstrate to our administrators that what we are doing is helping students learn science better.

Added by Glen Westbroek on September 26, 2007 at 9:28pm — 2 Comments

Using Podcasts

I have used various Science Podcasts to begin each class period of my classes this year. This has lead to some unexpected results. I've had students comment regarding the science occupation discussed in the Podcast as well as discussions about the topic being discussed. In each and every class, students quickly help one another become quiet so they can hear the Podcast. It has been a great way to begin classes. While the topics are not necessarily the same as that day's lesson, each covers some… Continue

Added by Glen Westbroek on September 15, 2007 at 8:33pm — No Comments

Using Vernier Probes in Science

I had the opportunity to have students in my Eighth Grade Science class explore the differences between temperatures in various types of water this week. Using Vernier Temperature probes and LabPros they measured temperature change as ice melted, as ice with salt added melted, and water without anything added. I was impressed with how well the Vernier Temperature probes worked for us. In addition, I was thrilled to see the engagement of students. Each student was actively involved and very… Continue

Added by Glen Westbroek on September 7, 2007 at 5:11pm — No Comments

Departmental Professional Learning Community planning

Today our school reviewed the guidelines and expectations of professional learning communities. Each department at the school by default is a professional learning community. Together the other members of my department and I reviewed data from last year's student testing. We identified several areas that we can focus on during the coming year. We also decided there was data missing that we needed from administration. We specifically want to look at how we have been able to improve the learning… Continue

Added by Glen Westbroek on August 27, 2007 at 8:48pm — No Comments

Introducing the concept of Web 2.0 in the classroom

Today I had students back in the classroom as we began another school year. As part of our discussion, I explained my vision of how they could contribute to the global knowledge of material we learn in class this year. There were smiles on each student's face and a lot of excitement as they realized what I was asking them to do. Our first attempt will be to have them involved in creating Podcasts that explain what they have done as they complete science experiments. I hope this new form of… Continue

Added by Glen Westbroek on August 20, 2007 at 6:02pm — No Comments

Collaborative discussion on Web 2.0 tools

I had a great opportunity to discuss the NETS standards for teachers and students with a peer during today's Professional Development. We considered how we can encourage more faculty members to desire to learn and implement WEB 2.0 tools and become NETS proficient. We realize we have a way to go, but between us have determined that we are going to work on one teacher at a time to bring them along and then invite these teachers to bring along others. While it may be slower than instructing the… Continue

Added by Glen Westbroek on August 16, 2007 at 11:06am — No Comments

Musings on our District Middle School PD day

Today's schedule was quite full - opening keynote, 2 breakout sessions, lunch, afternoon keynote, followed by school team building activities.) The keynote sessions were given by Jack C. Berckemeyer of the National Middle School Association. The breakout sessions had a good mix of technology and adolescent development. The highlight of the conference for many was Jack. Berckemeyer. He understands and is animated in his enthusiastic delivery. Everyone was… Continue

Added by Glen Westbroek on August 13, 2007 at 7:36pm — No Comments

Planning for a District Science training

Last spring, I worked with my secondary science committee on a grant. The grant proposal was accepted and funding was obtained. Today I accepted delivery of the laptops to be used with the proposal. This is the first year of what we hope will be five total years. We will work with four schools each year - training teachers so students are able to use computers and probes to do science experiments. Teachers will be encouraged to have students use Web 2.0 tools to share what they discover. I look… Continue

Added by Glen Westbroek on August 8, 2007 at 9:18pm — No Comments

Planned District Middle School Conference

I am excited ... for the first year that I remember, my district will be holding a Middle School Professional Development day prior to the start of this school year. The keynote will be given by Jack Berckemeyer - Assistant Executive Director of the National Middle School Association. I received the agenda in today's snail mail. The Breakout Sessions look to be quite good - there are 31 choices. Of these choices, nine focus on technology and/or 21st… Continue

Added by Glen Westbroek on August 7, 2007 at 4:04pm — No Comments

Technology and Science

I have long held the belief that "Students who actively do Science learn and love the subject!" I also am a firm believer that along with inquiry and experimentation there needs to be a sharing of information. I have set a goal to change how information is shared this year by implementing more Web 2.0 into my lessons. I have a strong opinion that after students have learned through inquiry, they naturally want to share this information with others. I hope to provide a positive report on both… Continue

Added by Glen Westbroek on August 6, 2007 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

Suggestion of joining Classroom 2.0

While sharing the Intel® Teach Program in Savannah Georgia this week, I was informed of and invited to join Classroom 2.0. After reviewing the site, I realized the concepts, ideas, and concerns were similar to my own. My thanks to Kevin and Tammy for inviting me.



I really enjoyed my time in Savannah - And I even thought the downpour was cool. While dining at the river, a great thunderstorm began. I learned what flooded intersections are… Continue

Added by Glen Westbroek on August 1, 2007 at 10:30pm — No Comments

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