Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Trickiness of Time

This will probably be tomorrow's bellwork question: which is closer, yesterday or the day after tomorrow?

Time is a tricky subject, sometimes it seems to go by so fast, sometimes it drags on and on.  Memory is equally problematic.  Things I want to remember, I forget.  Things I want to forget, I remember.  And it's all related to time.

Maybe timelines aren't as tricky as time itself - but they can be tough to get a handle on as well.  I stole this question from Mr. R. Deegan, a fantastic Middle School teacher from Goshen, Indiana.

"Mr. Zook recently got back from visiting Egypt.  He saw the pyramids and the Nile River Valley - home of the ancient Egyptians.  While he was there, someone sold him a really old coin.  It was dated 78 BC.  He showed it around school.  'But it's fake,' he said.  How did he know?"

(I drew the coin too.  Don't judge me.  I'm not an artist...)

I was surprised that so many of my students struggled with that question.

Another question I asked was this: "1987 was part of the 20th century.  1776 was part of the 18th century.  Wouldn't it be easier to say 1987 is part of the 19th century?  Why don't we?"

Students, if you want extra credit, read and discuss the blog with an adult.  Then, on a piece of scrap paper tell me if they knew the answer to Mr. Deegan's riddle.  Have the adult sign it, and turn it in tomorrow.  You might consider reminding your friends on Facebook or Twitter.  It's 5 easy points, and it could earn you an extra one as well.

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