Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Reviewing the Ocean Floor

I hope you have discovered that there is more to Earth than what we walk on everyday.  Under the surface of the ocean, there is a vast landscape of mountains, prairies, volcanoes, trenches, plateaus, and canyons among many other features that we continue to explore everyday.  While technology has helped us discover many different features of the ocean floor, much of the mystery of what lies beneath remains unsolved.  

We began this unit by examining the history of ocean exploration. Through this we learned how early depth soundings were recorded by using rope and a weight to take plumb line readings.  This method of recording ocean depth continued until the 1930s!  Around that time, SONAR (Sound Navigation Ranging) was created and put into use.  After spending some time taking depth measurements across the Pacific, we looked at the seafloor features that occur throughout the ocean.  Once we completed this journey, we discussed who owns the ocean and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ). 

Sounds simple, right?  It should be, if you have kept up with your assignments and go over the class notes every now and then.  Please use all the resources I provide for all of you to be successful.  Lets make sure we blow the doors off this test!

The Review 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Thoughts Thus Far

On the eve of your sea floor feature quiz, I have a little time to reflect upon the path we've taken after a month of school. As we get to know how each of us work together and what to expect from each other, we should also evaluate whether this relationship works or not.  

The main point we need to determine is whether or not the class promotes learning. We have the fortune of not being bound to perform for any district or state mandated tests, but we still must learn.  Remember, you chose my class for a reason. 

I like the way the class works.  So far I think we have done a decent job of adjusting to the myriad of online assignments.  I know not everything has worked perfectly, but it does work.  Stay patient when things don't go exactly right and I will be patient with you.  

We still have more to come.  More to accomplish and achieve.  I want to get the tanks put together as much as you, but we have to be patient.  In the meantime, make sure we stay caught up on all of our assignments.  I look forward to when we finally get to "percent time".  Having the opportunity to pursue your own interests and ideas is not one to be taken lightly.  I really want to see what each of you will produce.  I believe you all can do amazing work!

Good luck in your preparation for your quiz tomorrow.  I want everybody to perform at their highest level.  Thank you for a good start and for your effort so far. 

Please comment below if there is anything you like or dislike about how the class or I work. I look forward to hearing from you!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Now That I've Got It, What Do I Do With It?

I witnessed many different reactions yesterday as I doled out your aquarium group's fate for the future of this class.  Some were excited to discover they received the tank they desired, others showed complacence, bewilderment, and even frustration.  I even received an email stating that my methods of aquarium assignment are unfair and I have ruined their plans of aquatic grandeur.  


The size of the tank does not determine your ability to create a magical underwater fantasyland.  You have received a blank canvas, what you do to fill it relies on your creativity.  I have heard and read many that would make for outstanding aquariums.  Now you have to follow through.  

Don't be like the dog that finally catches the car and has no clue what to do now.  Go through with your plans and make it extraordinary! Recreate the tank from Finding Nemo! Make a new Bikini Bottom! I would love to see somebody actually bring in a shark (tank size appropriate, of course) instead of just talk about it!  

Your life will be full of making plans and either doing them or not.  Be somebody that completes their plans.

Now that you've got it, what will do with it?

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Brief History of Ocean Exploration

Imagine the very first person to go into the water.  Much like a child jumping into a pool for the first time, this ancient explorer stands at the edge where land meets the ocean and nervously wanders what is under the surface? Will I come back up?  What will I see?  Maybe they threw a rock in first, or took a stick and poked around to feel the bottom.  Curiosity brought them to this point, and a sense of adventure will help them plunge into the deep, dark liquid mystery that will open up a whole new world to them. 

You and your partner will create a timeline of ocean exploration using Dipity and the information from SeaSky.  You will need to find the five most important events from each era of exploration and create interactive entries on your timeline.  Please include the event title, date, brief description, picture, and either a link (not Wikipedia) or a video to enhance each entry.  This is due Wednesday September 17.  

We have come a long way in our 7000 years of ocean exploration. Beginning with that first dive, to holding a bucket over our head, to reaching the deepest point on Earth, our improvement in technology has helped us continue our curious ways and explore the ocean to find what lies beneath.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

Where We Have Gone....

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your adventures across the globe.  I can tell that you not only recognize the continents and the oceans of the world, but you have very creative minds that are capable of great things!  If you learn nothing else this year, my hope for each of you is that you learn to use your mind to create something original and to be adventurous!

That being said, we do have a test this week over our first unit.  The focus of this unit has been the oceans, continents, and mapping.  I have shared with each of you the notes we have been using in class.  Use this resource, don't abuse it.  I share them so you have full access to the information presented in class, but I want you to still take notes from our talks so you know what I believe is the most important information.  There is also a review available for you to use to help focus your studies for the test.  

Now that the boring stuff is done, how did you enjoy the Google Earth assignment?  I love Google Earth because it provides me the opportunity to "visit" places that I desire to travel to at some point in my life. Many of the places to find in the assignment have significance to me as places I have been or want to visit.  The Eiffel Tower and Paris may have been the most amazing vacation I have ever taken.  To spend time in a world class city with such a vivid history and amazing sights is an opportunity I hope you all have in your lifetime.  I included Mount Everest because I love the mountains and will live in the mountains someday, and Mount Everest is the biggest, most majestic mountain in the world to me. And Bora Bora....do I need to explain that at all?

I hope you have dreams and aspirations to get out and experience the world.  Our planet has so much beauty and wonder to experience, it would be a shame, nay, a crime to stay tucked away in the bubble of your hometown.  

So where do you want to go?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Its a Great Big World!

What an amazing world we live on! Earth is the only planet in our solar system that supports life.  As far as we know, Earth is the only planet in the universe that supports life! (That's bait for those of you that believe there are other planets out there with life on it) 

At 4.5 BILLION years old, the planet has moved and changed over time to the current geographic arrangement we know and love. All this movement helped create the seven continents and 5 oceans that we will study over the next few days.  

The earth has over 7 BILLION people living on only 1/3 of the planet.  And we still haven't filled up the planet! We have done some amazing things on our planet and we need to make sure we are doing right by the planet in order to conserve the resources the earth provides.  Here are some amazing facts about Earth. 

And hopefully this song will be stuck in your head at least until the unit test.

Remember to check your email for the class notes and make sure to send me your score on today's activity.