Middle School Portal

the network for middle school math and science teachers

Tom Jenkins
  • Male
  • Enon, OH
  • United States
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Tom Jenkins's Friends

  • Dan Sherman
  • Mary LeFever
  • Eric Biederbeck
  • Paul Strauss
  • Davilla Riddle
  • Rebecca Lawson
  • David James
  • Caroline Hall
  • Kevin Graham
  • Judy Spicer
  • Karolee Smiley
  • Lisa Pierce
  • Lisa
  • Terese (Terry) Herrera
  • Nina

Tom Jenkins's Groups

Tom Jenkins's Discussions

NMSA Session: Ioannis Miaoulis (STEM, Engineering, Changing Education)
4 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Mary LeFever Nov 19, 2010.

Summer Opportunities for Students
5 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Kim Lightle Mar 22, 2010.

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Tom Jenkins's Page

Latest Activity

Tom Jenkins commented on Tom Jenkins's blog post Middle School STEM Class Launches Balloon Into Space
"Link for more Pictures   Link for Stratostar Video"
Mar 12, 2012
Tom Jenkins commented on Tom Jenkins's blog post Middle School STEM Class Launches Balloon Into Space
"Launch was incredible!!!!  Our balloon traveled over 80 miles, reached an altitude of 63,000 feet, and went as fast as 120 mph.  It was amazing how the entire school bought into this project.  It was great for the gifted, the hard to…"
Mar 6, 2012
Tom Jenkins commented on Tom Jenkins's blog post Middle School STEM Class Launches Balloon Into Space
"Well....Today was supposed to be launch day....Unfortunately, it turns out that we picked what will probably be the worst day of the year for our project. The threat of tornadoes and lightning…… Really!?! Anyway, “Adapt and…"
Mar 2, 2012
Tom Jenkins's blog post was featured

Middle School STEM Class Launches Balloon Into Space

Hello All-  A couple of months ago I was reminded of the importance of social networking in the "21st Century Classroom."   Out of the blue, I received an email from Jason Krueger of Stratostar Systems in Indiana.  It turns out that we were each trying to do the same thing- get kids excited about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.  You can imagine my reaction when he mentioned that he would like to help my students send experiments into space.  This Friday, my students are doing…See More
Mar 1, 2012
Tom Jenkins posted a blog post

Middle School STEM Class Launches Balloon Into Space

Hello All-  A couple of months ago I was reminded of the importance of social networking in the "21st Century Classroom."   Out of the blue, I received an email from Jason Krueger of Stratostar Systems in Indiana.  It turns out that we were each trying to do the same thing- get kids excited about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.  You can imagine my reaction when he mentioned that he would like to help my students send experiments into space.  This Friday, my students are doing…See More
Feb 27, 2012
Tom Jenkins replied to Davilla Riddle's discussion Tips for New Teachers
"Hello Cheska-My first 8th grade lab was always over "lab safety."  I would take the students over to lab and lay out expectations as well what to do if there was an issue (acid spill, hair on fire, chemicals in eyes, etc).  I…"
Nov 15, 2011
Tom Jenkins commented on Middle School Portal's group Math
"Here's a link to the www.nonamesite.com that was sent to me by a STEM colleague.  Very appropriate for upper middle school math.  My favorite is "Brando the Egghunter."  Funded by a DARPA grant and even offers the…"
Nov 11, 2011
Tom Jenkins commented on Middle School Portal's group Science
"Was working with some folks from the Concord Consortium last week and they turned me on to these great interactive science simulations (they are also open source!). http://www.concord.org/activities I'm always on the lookout for similar…"
Nov 8, 2011
Tom Jenkins commented on Sarita Pillai's blog post Social Media Tools in School
"Good ideas in the article. Even though we are a Moodle middle school, I also use Edmodo.   The students really like the Facebook "feel" of the site.  I like the fact that polls and grading are very clean and user…"
Oct 27, 2011
Sarita Pillai commented on Tom Jenkins's blog post Video Games: Helping to fight AIDS
"Great article, Tom.  There is so much talk these days about the "gamefication" of education and the pros and cons, this is definitely one of the pros."
Sep 28, 2011
Tom Jenkins commented on Tom Jenkins's blog post Video Games: Helping to fight AIDS
"I think that this helps serve notice that educators need be proactive when it comes to adapting to how today's students learn.  Granted many video games have their pitfalls (literally and figuratively), but they offer several positives as…"
Sep 27, 2011
Tom Jenkins posted a blog post

Video Games: Helping to fight AIDS

In just three weeks, gamers deciphered the structure of a key protein in the development of AIDS that has stumped scientists for years. According to a study published Sunday in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, the findings could present a significant breakthrough for AIDS and HIV research.Gamers Unlock Protein Mystery That Baffled AIDS Researchers For Years (Complete Article)See More
Sep 27, 2011
Tom Jenkins commented on Middle School Portal's group Math
"Great site that I use with my STEM class to help with computation as well as generating answers in many forms. http://www.wolframalpha.com/  ;   What are some good sites that you use?"
Sep 23, 2011
Tom Jenkins posted a blog post

NASA Grail MoonKam

A great resource from NASA involving one of their newest missions.  The link below provides access to a wide array of information and resources about our country's efforts to learn more about the moon.  Looks like there is very cool stuff that is going to be available to educators.  I don't even teach "Space," yet I'm brainstorming ways to try to use this in my class.  Please feel free to share any of your ideas......... Grail MoonKamSee More
Sep 7, 2011
Tom Jenkins replied to Mary Henton's discussion Teacher and Student Opportunities
"Since we are quickly approaching a new school year, I thought that I would bump this towards the top.  Again, there are some great links for opportunities for both teachers and students as well as funding for new or existing projects.  As…"
Aug 14, 2011
Tom Jenkins commented on Kim Lightle's blog post Technology Reviewers Wanted
"It sounds like a great way to get new equipment for my class.  Do you know if they are still accepting new teachers?"
Jul 21, 2011

Profile Information

Which best describes your position?
Classroom Teacher (preK-12)
What discipline(s) do you teach?
Technology, Other
I need help with
Instructional strategies, Integrating technology
I can help with
Assessment/Testing, Classroom management, Content knowledge, Gifted and talented, Instructional strategies, Integrating technology, Managing labs (including safety), Being a new teacher, Involving parents/caregivers, Science fairs/competitions, Special needs students, Standards, Student misconceptions

Tom Jenkins's Blog

Middle School STEM Class Launches Balloon Into Space

Hello All- 

 

A couple of months ago I was reminded of the importance of social networking in the "21st Century Classroom."   Out of the blue, I received an email from Jason Krueger of Stratostar Systems in Indiana.  It turns out that we were each trying to do the same thing- get kids excited about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.  You can imagine my reaction when he mentioned that he would like to help my students send experiments into space.  This Friday, my…

Continue

Posted on February 27, 2012 at 9:53pm — 3 Comments

Video Games: Helping to fight AIDS

In just three weeks, gamers deciphered the structure of a key protein in the development of AIDS that has stumped scientists for years. According to a study published Sunday in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, the findings could present a significant breakthrough for AIDS and HIV research.

Gamers Unlock Protein Mystery That…

Continue

Posted on September 27, 2011 at 2:45pm — 2 Comments

NASA Grail MoonKam

A great resource from NASA involving one of their newest missions.  The link below provides access to a wide array of information and resources about our country's efforts to learn more about the moon. 

 

Looks like there is very cool stuff that is going to be available to educators.  I don't even teach "Space," yet I'm brainstorming ways to try to use this in my class.  Please feel free to share any of your ideas.........

 …

Continue

Posted on September 7, 2011 at 2:49pm

Learn How To Animate Your Class: Scratch Video Tutorials

This time out instead doing a webinar on Scratch, we've decided to break it off into roughly 5 minute chunks to allow you greater flexibilty.  The following links will take you to content that I have created using Jing and shared on www.teachertube.comScratch was a program that I…

Continue

Posted on April 13, 2011 at 8:30am — 2 Comments

Service Learning- Why not in Math, Science, and STEM?

I recently attended a conference aptly named Forging New Links in Columbus, Ohio. While going through several sessions, I started to notice a trend........Almost everyone that presented or shared taught History, Language Arts, or was involved with a school service group such as student council. I remember in the middle of the second session, thinking to myself- "Where are the Math and Science people!?"



At a certain point, we broke… Continue

Posted on April 13, 2010 at 10:30pm — 3 Comments

Comment Wall (22 comments)

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At 10:44pm on January 11, 2011, Kim Lightle said…
Hope you join us online this Thursday, 1/13 at 4pm EST as we explore how reader's theater can be used to improve comprehension of informational text and help students learn science concepts. We'll focus on science-themed text, but the same principles can apply to other  content areas as well. You can find the link to participate, the descriptions, and archived recordings of all the webinars at http://wiki.nsdl.org/index.php/BeyondPenguins/Seminars
At 10:56pm on March 18, 2010, Rebecca Lawson said…
OH ... what happened to the opportunity to Edit our comments? Today it doesn't seem like I have seen that prompt.
At 10:55pm on March 18, 2010, Rebecca Lawson said…
Hi Tom,

Thanks for the shout out. Things are going well .. just busy, as usual.

I have an idea ... which I don't think I sent you tonight.

Davilla has been asking new members questions using the info they have posted. Ex. She asked some of the new NASA members for suggestions about tech integration.

...was thinking it might be an idea to create forum topics around these questions ... thinking that perhaps we could ask people to make a comment on the forum .. and get more interaction going on the site. What do you think?
At 11:16pm on October 15, 2009, Rebecca Lawson said…
Tom, Evelyn Abaygar- Erum just joined MSP2. She mentions that she needs some help with science fairs. I thought you might like to welcome her and give her some pointers.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!
Rebecca
At 9:26pm on September 29, 2009, Bernita Zhang said…
Hi Tom,
Thanks for the welcome. Right now I am involved in a graduate program and do not have a whole lot of free time but I will take some time soon to look around at the groups. I am excited by what I see!
Bernita
At 7:05pm on September 24, 2009, Caroline Hall said…
Hi Tom,
May be a moot point. I don't think anybody has signed up. Do these usually get late registration traffic?

Anyway, I will be practicing the presentation within the MS Portal Elluminate staging area. Kim is showing me the ropes Monday. I would LOVE for you to join me sometime over the next week in the "practice" venue and be my guinea pig. I can work around your schedule.Thanks so much!
Caroline
At 2:20pm on September 21, 2009, Caroline Hall said…
Hi Tom,
I'd like to ask if you would be a panelist on the webinar. Kim and I both feel that your expertise in the classroom would add a great dimension to this event. The date has changed: it's set for Thursday, October 8, from 4:00-5:00 ET.

The plan is that I will spend about 10 minutes introducing ComPADRE and The Physics Front. ("Why would a middle school teacher use a web site called "Physics" Front? I don't teach physics." "What kind of stuff do you have on the web site?" "Is it free?" "Can I comment or contribute?", etc.) Then, I will show them the two model units for middle school: "The Nature of Light" and "Light, Vision, and Color". I'll briefly cover the new AAAS Benchmarks on light, some common student misconceptions on the topic,and the need to address light as a wave in the middle grades.

I would be honored if you would join in as a panelist. Thank you for everything!

Caroline
At 6:17am on September 14, 2009, Caroline Hall said…
Tom,
Thanks so much for the kind words! Could I ask you a few questions?
Do you teach a unit on light, and if so, at which grade level? What have you found to be typical misconceptions held by your students about the nature of light?

Did you feel adequately prepared in your degree program to teach this topic (I ask because I was not prepared......my two physics courses focused on force, motion, and electricity). I really had to beef up my own content knowledge.

If high school teachers include a unit on light/optics, they often cover only geometric optics, which doesn't account for phenomena like diffraction & polarization. The physics education research is indicating that even gifted kids are coming to college without a mental model of light as a wave. Consequently, it's really hard for them to transition into modern physics. Tom, do you think we should be introducing kids to these concepts as early as middle school to lay foundations? Thanks so much for the help!
Caroline
At 12:59pm on September 10, 2009, Caroline Hall said…
Hi Tom,
Here is a link to the unit elements for middle school science on the broad topic "Nature and Behavior of Light":
http://www.thephysicsfront.org/static/unit.cfm?sb=13&course=1

Here is a direct link to the model unit we compiled for grades 7-8 titled "Nature of Light":
http://www.thephysicsfront.org/filingcabinet/share.cfm?UID=3404&FID=16729&code=3B9D7499DA

I have not quite finished the standards alignment for the model unit, but all the resources are there. It is a multimedia approach that explores the essential nature of light, how it travels, and some of its special properties. It is intended to give middle-grade students a foundation for understanding the wave nature of light and the electromagnetic spectrum: essential to a later understanding of modern physics. Thank you so much,
Caroline
At 8:44am on September 9, 2009, Caroline Hall said…
Hi Tom,
Kim Lightle invited me to present a webinar October 6 to introduce middle school teachers to The Physics Front digital resource collection. I've followed your posts, and would really like to get your feedback as I plan this web seminar. Primarily, I'll be showcasing the features & tools of The Physics Front, and highlighting a model unit on the nature of light, specifically developed for grades 7-8. Would it be possible to talk about this sometime? I'm located in Centerville, Ohio, and the best number to reach me is (937) 567-0085. Many thanks,
Caroline
 
 
 

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