Ben Franklin myths

We talked today about the idea that Ben Franklin’s famous key and kite experiment was not actually struck by lightning. Instead, he felt a small zap of static electricity that was not enough to harm him, but was enough to prove that lightning was related to electricity.

We talked about the fact that nonfiction means not fake, but you still sometimes need to double check information, especially if the book is old. We then saw the Mythbusters video showing that Ben Franklin’s kite experiment was not quite what it seemed.


Sub Video 9-17-10

Hi there!

Here are all the videos you should need for today’s class. You can watch The Man Who Walked Between the Towers here:

And here’s a video that might help you do the H Chart lesson to compare and contrast Mirette on the High Wire with The Man Who Walked Between the Towers. It also explains some of the math you’ll be doing today.

Remember what we talked about yesterday afternoon regarding appropriate guest teacher behavior. I hope you have an excellent and productive Friday!


First day!

Oh wow! There are so many thoughts racing through my head today, the first day of school! I have some incredible kids, and I’m so glad we got so much done on our first day together!

This morning, we read Barbara and Ed Emberley’s Caldecott-award winning book Drummer Hoff. One of our goals this year is to read at least half of the Caldecott books. This summer, I finally finished reading all of them myself and discovered books I never knew existed, so I want our class to have a similar goal!

One of my students mentioned the violence of shooting off a cannon. I explained that at the time this book was written (it won the 1968 Caldecott), cannons were really usually used as giant noisemakers rather than weapons of war. I told my class I’d post a clip of the 1812 overture featuring cannons, so here it is:

I love the Boston Pops. Every year, they perform this song with cannons in Washington, D.C. I hope to see it performed in person some day!

Tomorrow, we’ll read Drummer Hoff out loud together — I’ve copied it onto chart paper. Off to visit Mrs. Chan and her new baby!