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Volume 1 Number 8

Success and failure. Seems pretty clear-cut, doesn't it? This month's cover story/excerpt by author Richard Bromfield explores the reality of Success and Failure.
Effective Teaching by Harry Wong
Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
The Trouble With... by Alfie Kohn
4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
Bobbi Fisher
Afterschool Intervention
Teachers Not Camp Counselors
Silence Ain't Golden
Enhancing the Curriculum
Thailand 2000
Heroes Unaware
Links Worth The Click
Myth of the Quick Fix
Integrative Curriculum in a Standards-Based World
Student Scientists Win Spot on Mars Team
Teaching Children to be Active Voters
Letters to the Editor
Poll: Favorite Quotes
Archives: Bobbi Fisher
New in the Lesson Bank
Upcoming Ed Conferences
Humor from the Classroom
Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
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Lesson #1969. Rubberband Calibration

Posted by Bob Bromm, Nuclear Engineer, Cincinnati, OH (US)
Science, level: Elementary; Materials Required: 1 rubber band & 1 ruler per student, 20 foot tape measure for teacher
Activity Time: 1 hour; Concepts Taught: Measuring, Graphing, Calibration

Distribute rubberbands (big fat ones are the best) and rulers to students. Caution them not to stretch their rubberbands unnecessarily (since this will change their elasticity and thus change the calibration). Place a tape measure on the floor (or ground outside), extended to about 20 feet should be sufficient.

Have each student shoot his/her rubberband four times, using their ruler like a gun, and measure the distances. Each time the rubberband should be pulled back a little further, e.g., 6", 8", 10" and 12". The stuidents need to hold their rulers waist high and level each time. This is important for accurate calibration. The results of their shootings are recorded then curve produced, plotting distance of flight on the Y axis versus distance pulled back on the ruler (stretch) on the X axis.

Once each student has his/her calibration curve completed take the class outside to the playground. Using parallel lines painted on the blacktop for four square, basketball, etc., measure the distance from one line to another (making sure that it is within the calibration range of the student's rubberbands). Line the students up on one line, give them the measured distance, instruct them to use their calibration curves to determine the amount of stretch they will need to make their rubberbands go exactly the measured distance, then shoot.

My experience is that most students will hit within 6 to 12 inches of a target 15 feet away. As a bonus, prizes can be awarded for hitting the target, being within 6 inches, etc.


1969. Rubberband Calibration (Elementary,Science)
1968. The Friends by Rosa Guy (Middle,Reading/Writing)
1967. guided reading grade one - Cat's Colors (Elementary,4 Blocks)
1966. chickachickaboomboom -1st grade guided reading (Elementary,4 Blocks)
1965. Treasures and Fingerprints (Elementary,Social Studies)

1964. Individual learning centers (other,Games)
1963. Trouble Verb Review (all,Language)
1962. Reading Comprehension : The Great King. (Elementary,Reading/Writing)
1961. The Great King of Ayutthaya: King Naresuan (Middle,Reading/Writing)
1960. Mary Wore Her Red Dress (Elementary,Building Blocks)

1959. Intelligent Questions (Middle,Mathematics)
1958. Speaking French in Immersion (Elementary,other)
1957. Book Report (Elementary,Literature)
1956. If You Give A Mouse A Cookie (Elementary,Literature)
1955. Enrichment Activities: Sherman Alexie's "Reservation Blues" (Senior,Literature)

1954. Lyric Poetry Lesson (Senior,Literature)
1953. Lyric Poetry Lesson (Senior,Literature)
1952. Tying Shoes: Collection of songs and poems (Pre-School,other)
1951. Inquiry into Charles's Law (Senior,Science)
1950. Perimeter/Area Shape Game (Middle,Mathematics)

1949. Activities to Accompany The Three Billy Goats Gruff (Elementary,Literature)
1948. Activities to Accompany The Three Billy Goats Gruff (Pre-School,Literature)
1947. How to teach Nouns. (all,Language)
1946. How to teach Nouns. (all,Language)
1945. Memory Game with a Smile (Elementary,Language)

1944. At the Market (all,other)
1943. Gremlins (all,)
1942. The Visitor (Me & Mr. Platt) (Middle,)
1941. The Excursion (Middle,Games)
1940. The Excursion (Middle,Games)

1939. Flash (Elementary,Mathematics)
1938. Classroom organization tips (all,)
1937. Introduction to American Romanticism (Senior,Literature)
1936. Emersonian Jelly Beans (Senior,Literature)
1935. Enhancing Sherman Alexie's Reservation Blues (Senior,Literature)

1934. vocabulary review (Middle,Language)
1933. Identifying Nouns and Verbs (Elementary,Language)
1932. Experiencing the Underground Railroad (all,History)
1931. Opening Day History (Senior,History)
1930. Playdough Touch Math (Elementary,Mathematics)

1929. The Periodic Table (Middle,Science)
1928. Sentence Stretching (Middle,Language)
1927. Ideas for Computer Teachers (all,Computer)
1926. Bang (Elementary,Reading/Writing)
1925. Olympic Bulletin Board Ideas compiled (all,other)

1924. SSR teacher/student run conferences (Elementary,4 Blocks)
1923. How Well Do You Know Me? (first day icebreaker) (all,other)
1922. Music as Poetry (Senior,Literature)
1921. Name Activities (Elementary,Building Blocks)
1920. Shapes Band (Pre-School,Mathematics)

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