Timeline with summary of my posts

Pick a category if you are only interested in one.

Timeline of my posts

2017
Oct 21

Beach cleanup daily — without leaving your home

photo of trash in garden

Learn how collecting trash around your house helps keep your neighborhood clean, and helps keep trash out of our waterways...Read More

Aug 31

Back to School Night – Menlo-Atherton HS, 2017

OK, maybe I'm in the minority, but I really like Back to School Nights. I appreciate the parents taking time out of their busy lives to come in and get a sense of who is teaching their students. ..Read More

Mar 17

How I generate science tutorial videos

image of an old film camera

A tutorial on creating videos for science education (or any other instructional theme)...Read More

Feb 26

Videos of building molecules, and showing chemical reactions, with candy and toothpicks

Image of Ethyl acetate glowing for cover

This post includes a couple of videos to provide students with examples of how to solve a couple of tasks in chemistry. One is "building chloromethane" and the other is "Ester synthesis from acetic acid and ethanol."..Read More

Jan 26

Modeling Instruction and NGSS: Energy as a Crosscutting Concept

NGSS 3D learning logo

At the January 2017 Lasallian Symposium at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA, I presented a short talk describing how Modeling Instruction uses energy as a Crosscutting Concept for implementing the Next Generation Science Standards. You can download a copy of the slides from my talk here. Video (without narration)..Read More

Jan 19

Extra time on quizzes: Why you need individual work

photo of students being loud

Today was a great day. My students had a short quiz, and I wanted to make sure they all had plenty of time to complete it. I thought it would take them about 20 minutes to finish it (most finished in 15-20 minutes), but wanted to allow plenty of time for students who require ‘extra …

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2016
Dec 02

The periodic spiral of the elements

traditional periodic table

Video of a periodic table rotating to show that the periodic table is not flat; that the Alkali metals are next to the Noble gasses...Read More

Nov 22

Excel spreadsheet for calculating molar masses and percent composition

screenshot of spreadsheet

Over a decade ago I made a Quatro-Pro  spreadsheet to make quick calculations from masses on the periodic table. Well, now Excel rules the roost, so I created a similar version  using Excel. The fundamental element of the spreadsheet is that the cell with each mass is given a name that is the symbol for …

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Aug 27

Before we were scared…

The Scream by Edvard Munch

I wrote this poem in 1998. I think it still applies 18 years later. Before we were scared the streets were our own we'd wonder the town and call it our home; anyone we would see we could ask for the time and sometimes we'd even give us a dime. Before we were scared our …

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Jun 11

Physics/Chemistry of Espresso Machines: Part 1

Diagram showing how steam and water escape the water tank at two different locations.

Here’s an activity based on observing espresso machines in action. Watch the following video showing the milk steaming container (with a short sidetrack to the espresso pot). What do you notice about the milk as it steams? Can you explain what is happening? Here are some details of how this espresso machine works: The water …

..Read More