ジャねこ] (theinfamousj) wrote,

Carnival of Education: NCW / Mole Day

Greetings everyone. I'd first like to thank the Educationwonks for allowing me to host the current Carnival of Education. I'm really excited about it because, while I haven't written much for it, I am an avid reader. If you are a regular reader, you owe it to yourself and the CoE community to host at least one carnival. Folks interested in hosting a future edition of the CoE should contact this email address: Image.

To give you all some background, I am a high school chemistry science teacher. While I don't often blog, except to expose paper shortages that plague my life or old-school practical classroom tips, I do host and manage the CommunmityGreat Curriculum Exchange where science teachers can share curricula with one another. Feel free to snoop around my blog as it has been kept on LiveJournal since I was a junior in high school.

That said, welcome to the National Chemistry Week / Mole Day edition of the Carnival of Education.

Has it been too long since you last took chemistry and you can no longer remember what a mole is? Well, this poem should refresh your memory:

A mole is a particular amount
Of a substance-just its formulary weight
Expressed in grams, with Avogadro's count
Of units making up the aggregate.
A mole is a specific quantity:
Its volume measures twenty-two point four
In liters (for a gas at STP).
A mole's a counting unit, nothing more.
A mole is but a single molecule
By Avogadro's number multiplied;

A trillion trillion times intensified.
A mole is an expedient amount,
For molecules are just too small to count.
-A poem by Doris Kolb (from J. Chem. Educ., 1978)-

ImageThe poem was brought to you by Literacy. We'd like to take this moment to thank our sponsors. Students not knowing how to use their native language with precision is a sad thing to see. Perhaps numeracy will one day be as popular.

A mole is a word that represents a number, much like "dozen" represents 12. It makes for a fun lesson to bring in to any level of classroom. Want to scrap your previous plans and give it a shot? Complete lesson plans, here. Thank you to the great state of New York for those lesson plans. No thank you to Klein.

A mole is 6.02x1023; a lot. In other words, the number of students being crammed into my tiny classroom. It isn't? You mean I over-counted? Ah well, I still have too many students for my classroom, but that will never change.

Why are moles bad at counting? ............... Because they only know one number.
The number referenced above is also known as Avogadro's number. Avogadro is just one of the multitude of Old Dead White Guys that appear in expensive school textbooks, without their non-heteronormative counterparts. Under representation, much?

What type of tests do student moles like the best? ............... Mole-tiple choice
Of course, it helps that they already know these great test taking strategies and have a great study spot. Whether or not mole-tiple choice tests are the best method of assessment for humans, on the other hand, is a question that at least 39 schools in Arizona should be asking. Perhaps these Arizona schools can find some sage advice, here. (If you happen to drop by the last link, see if you have the prior knowledge to identify what is wrong with the image on the page.)

ImageWhat's the mole's favorite college football team? ............... The Florida State Semimoles
But the Semimoles are more than just a football team, they are also a proper noun. The difference between nouns and pronouns has been plaguing more than one classroom this week. Learn what you can do to help your students better understand the difference. Or perhaps you are trying to teach connecting words in Spanish? We've got tips for that, too.

Why don't moles like teenage actresses? ............... Because Lindsay Molehan gives them a bad reputation.
Speaking of bad reputations, Lindsay Molehan isn't the only one on the receiving end (as deserved or not as it may be). The negative presidential political campaigns are also contributing to bad reputations for each of the candidates involved, as well as their parties. Don't believe me? Just look at what the hate-filled campaigns are teaching our children.

What's the mole's favorite Disney Channel movie? ............... Mole-aweentown
My question is this, how do we really know that Mole-aweentown is the favorite for Disney Channel movie of moles? I assume that someone, somewhere, had to do a survey. That tends to be the way that we get data and feedback about such things. Scott McLeod did a survey of the Education Blogosphere (aka the edublogosphere) of which Dan Meyer (I'm a devoted reader of his, so I had to plug him) is part. And now, the survey results are available. Those of you with numeracy skills, enjoy chewing on all of this lovely data!

Who is the the mole's favorite actor? ............... Mole Gibson
Now wait a minute, these jokes are starting to sound like they came right off of the pages of a yearbook. Specifically, the superlative page. Hey, Bellringers, perhaps you'd like to steal this so that Rod-the-yearbook-rep won't be mad at you for not having submitted anything. Of course, she actually has a good excuse for her unrequested extension: she doesn't want to be fired.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usWho is the mole's favorite rapper? ............... Mole-ja Boy
One day, I asked my students why they idolized rap stars. "What is it about rappers that makes you want to copy their every look and action?" I asked my students. You see, I had just seen an episode of Oprah where a gansta rapper had appeared and told the viewing audience that the look, mannerisms, etc. were all designed to sell records and were not supposed to be copied. Almost as one, my students responded that they were attracted to the riches that these rappers portrayed. This made me think that perhaps we are not teaching the correct financial lessons to our students if they truly believe that riches are so easy to obtain or maintain. Or should schools be the ones teaching the lessons?

Why do moles love Tyra Banks? ............... Because she's on America's Next Top Moledel
Is the act of paying students for their grades, attendance, participation, and good behavior the next Top Model for American Schools? Detention Slip thinks that we'll have better results if we offer ringtones.

Why do moles love music from the 60's? ............... Because of Moletown.
I'll admit right off the bat, that I do not know about the 60's first hand. But when I ask my mother - who came of age in the 60's - about her adolescence, she always tells me that her strongest memories are not of hippies, or Vietnam-era domestic terrorism, but of civil rights and social justice. Nancy, of Teacher in a Strange Land, wants to know when, and how, social justice became a bad thing. Apparently, thanks to the current presidential election (you ARE going to vote, right?) social justice is now equated with domestic terrorism, which has scared at least one person into predicting a reappearance of McCarthyism. Hey social studies teachers, your lesson plans are written for you.

Why are moles always eating? ............... Because they're molenourished.
Of course, whenever I see a mole chomping down on some food it must be because they are molenourished. There cannot be any other explanation, can there? Successful Teachers know that students are not the product of whatever labels that have been attached to them, nor are they constrained by those labels. We know that there can be multiple causes for behaviors and multiple behaviours for causes. And under all circumstances, we know that we are flexible enough in our teaching methods to teach anything to anyone, provided our audience are not actively attempting to not-learn.

What is the mole's favorite Britney Spears song? ............... Gimme Mole
Mister Teacher wasn't happy with just one start to the year. He had to have two! This time, he is teaching 20 bilingual students. Read about his first day with his new class, and how he threw down some español. Sí, Sr. Teacher, hablo también.

Why are moles always on the phone? ............... Because they love moleble devices.
I'm a gadget gal. Whether it be a new power drill (with hammer ability so I can finally drill into my classroom's cinder block walls and hang my pocket chart) to my latest collection of encouragement stamps, I love playing with all of the features and possibilities. I really enjoy it when I get to make a gadget myself. Craft Stew submitted a post with a massive link list of how to make your own crafting gadgets, which is not only perfect for gadget-heads like myself, but also for art teachers with ever decreasing budgets.

ImageWhat's the mole's favorite Disney Movie? ............... The Little Molemaid
The Little Mole Mermaid is the story of a half-fish/half-woman who changes into a human in order to fulfill what she believes to be her destiny. Despite what the Disney version would tell you, she does not get the prince and ends up committing suicide (well, turning into the foam on the top of ocean waves) for her transgressions against the status quo. Disney provides happy endings, but stories such as this (what does it have to do with his ability to educate?) transgender teacher, and Clix's struggle to offer 100+ individual responses to her student's writing remind you that sometimes the story doesn't have a happy ending. Though it should.

What is the mole's favorite TV show? ............... Mole-eesha
Mole Moesha did a show on school dress codes. I know, that's a stretch, but I wanted to introduce two posts about school dress codes to the fray. One with a ridiculous parent over-reaction to the fact that her child escalated his offense from being a dress code violation to that of insubordination by repeatedly ignoring the requests of school officials to comply. The other links to a dress code crisis that has caused commentators to relate dress codes to Hitler.

What are the moles' favorite line from the Wizard of Oz? ............... "I'm mole-ting, I'm mole-ting."
Once upon a time, the Earth was in an ice age. Then we molmelted out of it. My students don't have a true concept of when, in the geologic time scale, our last ice age was. They often ask me, "What was the climate like for the dinosaurs?" Now, I have a resource so they can learn the answer and discover that not all knowledge comes from the teacher. As they are highschoolers, it is high time that they learned to be independent learners.

ImageWho is the mole's favorite basketball player? ............... Hakeem Mole-ajuwon
There were some links that I wanted to include, but could not fit in with any of my mole jokes. I've decided to list them here, because they fit here as well as anywhere else. Wakish submitted information about writing a pillar article which is a succinct, well researched, article that seems like it would be as much of a joy to grade as it is challenging for students to write.

Another post that I couldn't fit in because I don't know what joke it aligns with is a description of the top five school superintendents in Urban Education. Dave outlines the qualities that he thinks makes them great.

This year's Mole Day theme is Mole of Fortune, and I feel very fortunate for such amazing links being submitted to the CoE. Thank you again for letting me host. Perhaps I'll be invited back again for next year's Mole Day. I've got mole themed food recipes instead.

Jokes from Let's Celebrate the Mole.

Tags: carnival of education, teaching
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