More Moon Phases!

We have had lots of fun with moon phases but now it is time to show what we have learned about the moon and it’s phases.

On Tuesday, we will be having a little quiz about the moon and it’s phases. I have embedded the page below that we will be using for the quiz. While it is a long document, we will only be using the last page for the quiz. Students can use this to help them get ready for the quiz.

I also learned a very cool trick for figuring out whether a moon is waning or waxing. Draw a line on the moon in your head from top to bottom between the light part and the dark part. If the line and the lighted part make the shape of a “b”, then the moon is waxing. If the line and the lighted part make the shape of a “d”, the moon is waning.

Moon Phases Quizzes

For homework this month, students will be required to track the moon phases. Students should do this each night. There are lots of resources available to help with this, even if the night is cloudy. However, having a chance to go out and look at the sky at night is a great opportunity to learn about all the things in the night sky. If you have an ipad or ipod touch, there is a very nice app called, “Skyview”, that will tell you more about all the objects in the night sky above your head. It is a really cool app.

Each child has a received a copy of the calendar. I have also embedded one below in case of mishap. Please ensure that the calendar is done neatly. The calendars are for marks. I am looking for accuracy, neatness and detail. I don’t mind some creative license in creating a nicely designed moon with craters etc. I do not want a messy picture, however.


The Moon’s Phases Part II

Did you know the word “Month” comes from the word Moon?

So we talked more about the Moon’s phases today. We had a lot of fun moving the desks out of the week and setting up our “Sun” lamp in the middle of the room. Using some styrofoam balls and popsicle sticks, we made “Moon’s On A Stick” to simulate the movement of the moon around the Earth. Our heads being the Earth, we were able to get a good idea as to how the Moon gets it’s phases. Here is one of the videos we watched to show the phases.

You can also see a great page on the Moon’s phases that you can play with by clicking HERE.

Here are some other ways to visualize the size and distance of the Moon.


The Moon and our Earth

Yesterday we were talking about the moon and how it does some pretty amazing things that even have an effect on our Earth!

First of all, we learned that the Moon and Earth both spin but that the Moon spins much more slowly than the Earth. The second thing we learned was that we only see one side of the Moon because the Moon spins so slowly. We also learned that the Moon’s orbit is slightly different than ours so the Moon is not always hidden by the Earth.

Finally, we learned that the tides on Earth happen because of the Moon’s gravity. I was telling the class about the tides and how, as a boy, when I was growing up in Nova Scotia, there was a little village nearby called Hall’s Harbour. At Hall’s Harbour, you could see the amazing tides as they came in and out. At the beginning of the day, the boats would be lying on the mud. Not too long later, the boats would be floating high up at the top of the dock. You have to see it to believe it! In fact, I have a video of that exact thing! Watch and be amazed!

The April Sky

Here is the next video in the Series, “Tonight’s Sky”. These videos do a great job detailing the various events, constellations, and planets you can see in theĀ  night sky this month. Take some time on a nice clear night and go outside to see some of God’s wonder! I also added some videos about the space shuttle as we had some questions today about how it worked.


This video shows the last launch of the Space Shuttle!

Cool video about possibly living on the moon!

Oh, What A Wonderful Day!!!

MoonThe sun finally came out today!!! What a gorgeous day! It was a much smaller class today with four children missing. That is very rare for our class. We had many things to do still and got them all done on time. Students have a home letter for you to sign and bring back on Monday. You should also be receiving a newsletter if you haven’t already seen it from the website.

We also had something very cool today. I got a website this morning where you could sign up to have your name inscribed on a plaque and put into the next NASA spacecraft going to the Moon. The site describes it as this:

Sign up to send your name to the moon. Names will be collected and placed onboard the LRO spacecraft for its historic mission bringing NASA back to the moon. You will also receive a certificate showcasing your support of the mission.

The deadline is June 27, 2008 for the submission of names.

LRO’s objectives are to find safe landing sites, locate potential resources, characterize the radiation environment, and demonstrate new technology.

It was very cool and I got all the children signed up. They also got their certificate to bring home. We were talking about it all day!!! Just think! Our names on the Moon!

By the way, did you know you can use Google Moon to see the Moon in detail????

On a completely different topic, I had mentioned in an earlier post that I was going to focus on a couple of topics of interest to parents. I am going to talk about Internet Safety to start as more and more students use the internet at home. Sometimes it is scary how comfortable children can be with the internet and computer and know so much without understanding the consequences.Today, I am going to start with one of the most important things with protecting your child:

  1. Supervise your child while online and consider putting the computer in a common room of the house.

This sounds fairly common sense but you would not believe how many kids (and not just from here!) tell me that they have a computer in their rooms. Whether or not the computer is connected to the Internet, it should still be in an area where the time and content is being monitored. Common areas can be kitchens, family rooms or other places where the child has the expectation that someone could come by at any moment. Having the computer in the bedroom does not allow for this and students can be very good at hiding their tracks and using the computer when they think their parents are asleep or busy. Children are naturally curious and the Internet has many elements that can be tempting to curious minds and extremely easy to get to. With the computer in a common area, this helps children deal with these temptations in a non-combative manner. The computer is just placed in a common area. You don’t have to worry about what they are up to when the bedroom door is closed or whether they are on late at night.

Science Homework!

moon1You might have been a little confused with last nights homework. I can just imagine the puzzlement as your child told you, just before bed I imagine, that they had to go outside to see if they could see the moon.

During science class, we had a great discussion on the moon. Using Stellarium, we tracked what was in the sky at that moment (about 1:00pm). We found that the moon was in the south.As we sped up time on the program, we discovered that, if the program was correct, we would not be able to see the moon at night

moon2as it would be under the horizon. We decided to see if the program was accurate. That is why you’re child needed to go outside just before bed. It wasn’t to try and stay up longer, I promise!!!

Anyway, I don’t know what you found out but when I tried at about 9:00, I could not see the moon in the sky. I am very interested to see what the students found out today.