May 5, 2009

Learning TJED and implimenting it

I have spent the morning reading some great free articles on the TJED Online website. Especially helpful for me, in my understanding of TJED were the articles "The Seven Keys of Great Teaching" and "The Five Environments of Mentoring". I read these this morning, while DB told me endless details he has learned about the PC game SPORE, from Youtube.

We ended up informally doing a comparison between SPORE and the study of explorers of early North America that we are winding up for history. DB explained to me how in the game, you start out as a single cell thing, and gradually build up to a full fledged civilization, based on your actions, and decisions. I talked with him about how this is very similar to people like Ponce de Leon and his trials in settling Florida for Spain, and John Smith (among others) who settle and found Jamestown for England.

They began with just a few people, resources and supplies. Whether or not they make it is determined by their actions and decisions. As we saw in our study of Roanoke Island, they failed miserably.

We then decided to watch the newer movie, Journey to the Center of the Earth, with Brendan Fraser. In the movie, Brendan's character, in an attempt to find out what happened to his missing brother years earlier, sets out on an adventure with his nephew and a scientist's daughter as his guide, using Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth with his brother's notes in the margins as their "map".

I decided, just to see what I could get from it, to keep a running list as we watched it, of things we learned along the way, as well as what DB said about things. I was amazed! Here is my list:

-We discussed Iceland, and DB told me how it got it's name by the Vikings. I also told him that his Uncle served a year there when he first joined the Air Force.

-DB picked up when Brendan's character says "It's a person or thing"...he paused the movie and said "That's a noun".

-DB did the subtraction in his head to figure out that of 803 miners lost in the mine disaster mentioned in the movie, and one made it out, that is subtraction and 802 perished (knowing his operations and which to use when has been a weak area).

-Throughout the movie we learn about different types of rocks, minerals and gasses.

-As the characters are falling into the "endless" tunnel, they hypothesize about what will be at the bottom. From all their discussion they decide it will be water. As they get closer to the "bottom", you see "floating" water droplets. DB said "It's an illusion that the water droplets are floating. It is actually that they are dropping faster than the water because they have more mass".

-We discussed what a terrarium is, and might make our own.

-Movie shows great examples of problem solving, using only the information they have on hand (the book, some journals, basic survival tools), to try and find their way.

-Talked about how the compass was actually "backwards" in the center of the earth due to the polarity being opposite. North is South and vice versa.

-Talked about thermal winds higher up needing to be used because they would carry their sail-raft further than the winds lower, that were cooler. Similar to how a hot air ballon needs hot air, rather than cold, to rise.

-DB told me that the sea creature in the movie, that looks like Loch Ness, is what they think was a type of Plaseosaurus. People believe that this is what the Loch Ness is....a dino with flippers, teeth, etc.

-While watching the scene with the magnetic field, and the floating magnetic rocks, DB wondered "If the reason that the pathway gets narrower, and less rocks to walk/jump on, is because some fell or did more rise in one place than another?"

-We learned that magnesium is flammable and can cause explosions.

Not bad for one movie huh? I was actually impressed with all those conversation starters. And DB is one, that he will come to me days or weeks later to float an idea or question off me, about this movie. I can't wait to see what he comes up with in that beautifully curious mind of his.


  1. After reading your post, I had to go look up TJED to see what it was. Interesting! I had not heard of that although I'm familiar with the book. Sounds like you and your kids are having a great time learning!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

  2. This is a great list. Thanks for all the info and time you put into it!

    I included your post in the COH. It is up and posted at my blog: