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mratzel
Middle school teacher
Interests: my faith, photography, teaching, mountain biking, sci-fi movies and books
Recent Activity
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Evidence statements from NGSS (I'm going to call them ES after this) are big gnarly layer that I need to add onto my understanding. My biggest ah-ha came as I realized that most statements are given through the lens of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
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Yesterday was pure pleasure having the whole day to work with fellow 8th grade teachers. First we learned how to use new @CPOScience equipment---the energy car which has an amazing setup for investigating Newton's Laws. When we talked about the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
6 Things about Building 3D Learning Finding that initiating event and writing a probe to uncover what they already know is proving to be a huge challenge. I think I'm on revision 3 or 4. This highlights where I could... Continue reading
Reblogged Jun 9, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
Building a 3D learning experience is a blast but it's a tough mental challenge. Thoroughly read the Framework to make sure you understand the concept and the progression of the idea throughout the grade bands. Supplement your reading with a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
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Can you catch the properties of a wave using slo motion? Sure high brow universities and high schools have the equipment to do such things. What about a middle school? Building oscillators in science today and students were faced with... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
A virtual colleague made this observation recently on Twitter which got me reflecting on what I found out from my own experimentation with engineering and science practices & learning about Newton's 3rd Law. Seamlessly moving between #NGSS Sc & Eng... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
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I'm lucky to have found a great MOOC on Reading to Learn in Science. Loads of good ideas and people who actually care about the science of a classroom as much as the reading. A surefire way to get them... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
Finished with the first 3 classes in this fast-paced, lean design cycle. It was a success and there's much to learn. Today each team had time to test out 2 designs that solved the Matchstick Rocket problem. I think they... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
Today begins the great experiment. I'm so excited I could hardly sleep last night. What can 8th graders apply from the design protocols familiar to Startup weekends to an 8th grade engineering challenge on Newton's 3rd law? Thankfully I will... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
mratzel added a favorite at Reflections of a Techie
Apr 4, 2015
mratzel added a favorite at Reflections of a Techie
Apr 4, 2015
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For the fourth time in about a year, today there was a lunar eclipse. I challenged students to go out early on a SATURDAY morning and take a selfie as the total eclipse happened (and it only lasted about 5... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
Cell phone videos are my newest experiment. It's technology that many students already own and it doesn't involve using their cell minutes, so it doesn't cost them or their parents anything. Students created models and explanations for how the conservation... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
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I've been learning so much from reading #NGSSblogs and from the Edutopia article from Eric Brunsell ( @Brunsell ), so again I want to give a big shoutout to these rock stars!!!! I'm trying to teach myself how to do... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
I''m learning all about Turn It In's formative assessment capabilities. It is stretching me....but I can see so much power in breaking essays into pieces. I'm using this with my grad students in a course called the Thinking Classroom. They've... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
Having just joined the #NGSSBlogs, I'm finding tons of helpful blogs from other science teachers who really care about shifting their practices into 3D Learning (that's the term for weaving content, practices and cross-cutting concepts together). Today I'm responding to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
The task was straightforward. Use a model to describe how the total number of atoms doesn't change in a chemical reaction and thus mass is conserved. Emphasis on physical models or drawings. Not to include atomic masses or balancing symbolic... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
Student Deeply Consider what Conservation of Mass means. This was a tough "get" for us. Students had to think about what variables were involved in determining if a chemical reaction changes the mass of the products relative to the starting... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
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Students make balloon cars and rockets in elementary to demonstrate Newton's 3rd law. So I'm looking for a new challenge problem to give 8th graders. Would Pulleys and Cranes be a good way to engage 8th graders? Diagram taken from... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
Blend a marketing meeting with an evangelical church atmosphere with passionate people who want to change the world....and you'll have last night's KC Startup Weekend EDU Friday Night Pitch Session. Brave, amazing people stood up and had one minute to... Continue reading
Reblogged Feb 28, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
Implementing the more classroom conversation is tough work but very rewarding. The biggest challenge is maintaining cognitive demand during the task. I'm having to build lessons and tasks that can engage students in multiple ways. Their investigation challenge was to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
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I had the privilege of learning from Margaret Heritage who is a formative assessment guru. My biggest takeaway. Formative assessment is a process. Don't forget that. You have to design the process into the learning. I forget that. But it's... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
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Students loved the simple reaction of hydrogen peroxide and a potato. I need to find more simple experiments like this. Sent from my iPhone Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
Thinking about how to blend NGSS and Startup Weekend designing. I want to link the NGSS Engineering Challenges to a Design process that makes this engaging for 8th graders and combines the engagement of engineering/entrepreneurial thinking. Undertake a design project... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie
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Blend a marketing meeting with an evangelical church atmosphere with passionate people who want to change the world....and you'll have last night's KC Startup Weekend EDU Friday Night Pitch Session. Brave, amazing people stood up and had one minute to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2015 at Reflections of a Techie