For my first teacher, I was assigned to Mr. Darren Fix. He is a middle school science teacher that has created a blog called ScienceFix. He presents really great ideas for engaging students about science from a hands on prospective.
The first post was called "Melting Rates." The post investigated an experiment using two blocks at different temperatures. On top of each block is a piece of ice. One melts at a faster rate than the other. Surprisingly, the ice on the cold block melts faster than the ice on the room temperature block. This experiment leads to a discussion on heat energy. Mr. Fix also posted a video to go along with his description to show a teacher how the experiment is done. My response was that I felt the experiment was a great way to start a conversation. I also felt that using an experiment leaves a better impression on a student and gives them a more concrete way of understanding a particular topic.
The second post I commented on was called "Scientific Method Box." Once again, his post was accompanied by a video. In it, he had a cube with six sides. We are encouraged to look at five sides and make observations about them. The sixth side is covered up and we are to use our observations to form a hypothesis about what the unknown side looks like. Mr. Fix shows us a side that meets our hypothesis, but he also shows us a side that does not. This encourages students to notice that we do not always come up with the right hypothesis and that can lead to new questions and discoveries. I commented that I really liked this idea. It is a great way to have students think about and use the scientific method before you even teach about it. I also felt that engaging and giving the students a hands on lesson would be more beneficial in understanding the topic than only a lecture.