Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Student Reference Book

This is just a quick reminder that the Student Reference Books need to be taken home every single night (except for most Fridays). The reason behind this is that almost every single night the kids will have homework in math. It will either be math boxes, or journal pages. Either way, we want them to have this great resource right at their finger tips if it is needed. 98% of what is in the math journal is covered in the Student Reference Book. The reason I mention this today is because right now there are four student reference books setting on student’s desks that didn’t take them home. There was even a notebook left here at school. I can’t even begin to imagine how this student will do their homework without their notebook. Also, remember that if your child ever forgets something feel free to bring them back up to school. There are janitors here until 9:00. You may have to knock on a door to get their attention and they might grumble a little bit but the bottom line is they will let you into the classroom.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More Pictures

Here are a few more pictures. The first group is of the kids riding a rolling chair to simulate what it was like to be in zero gravity. It works as a very basic simulation because the kids were able to see how hard it was to control yourself in two directions. It also worked on showing the kids what it was like to try to catch the mass of someone else when they were flying-rolling toward you. The last picture is my attemp to recreate our tennis ball experiment with snowballs. When I woke up Saturday morning to an inch of snow on the ground.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Microgravity Pictures

Just a quick post today with the pictures from Colorado. They were finally published online today. You can check out the entire album at . I am in the Colorado Springs flight. Click on the galary in the middle of the page. The video should get here in the next 2-3 weeks.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

KMH: Patriot News

Yesterday I briefly mentioned that KMH: Patriot News, the broadcast club that I sponsor won first place in a video competition that we entered. I just want to say how proud I am of the students in KMH from last year. They did a phenomenal job all year long but especially on their entry into the Reel Spirit Awards. My goal last year when we entered that contest was to touch nothing. The winning broadcast, which you can see by going to: , was completely done by the kids. They wrote the scripts, filmed the segments, edited the video, and did all of the green screen effects. I didn’t do anything on that broadcast. Sometimes, especially at the beginning of the year I will center a camera shot for the kids, or do a green screen effect but for that broadcast, it was all the kids. They did an outstanding job. I am super excited for those kids. I can gauruntee that we will be entering again this year. I am typing this on the airplane coming back from Colorado Springs and I can’t wait to get back to school on Monday and see the trophy.

More thoughts about zero G. Our coach told us that for the next couple of days we would feel a little odd after having been weightless. He isn’t kidding. It hits at odd times and doesn’t last long but every once in a while I have a feeling that makes me think about floating around. It isn’t so strong that I feel like I’m floating but it feels like that first second of weightlessness when you just feel like you are getting lighter. Flying today hasn’t been a big deal, I haven’t had the urge to yell, “Feet down – coming out” and I haven’t grabbed onto anything to hold on. But I’m also not on the ground yet. I know that the kids are wondering about something and yes, I will be wearing the flight suit to school tomorrow!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Way Too Short

Flight Path we took over North Dakota

My team!

I just got back a little while ago from the microgravity flight. What an amazing experience! It was unbelievable but WAY too short. It felt like we had barely gotten into the air when it was over. When we got to the hotel this morning, we had a light breakfast (2 small muffins and a banana) then we got into our flight suits. They are really cool with a Weightless Flight of Discovery Patch, and the Zero G logo as well as a name tag. The tag was upside down. From what I was told this is a Navy tradition that Navy pilots do not get to turn their wings upside down until after they have landed successfully on an aircraft carrier. After the flight, the commander met us at the bottom of the steps and turned our name tag and we got a picture taken. After getting cameras stowed away, experiments put away, and got briefed we watched a short movie about all the stuff we would be doing. It was really heavy on safety. I probably heard a hundred times that safety was the number one concern. I was a member of the gold team. We got gold bracelets (like the live strong ones) and gold socks. We put those into a pocket for later. We then made a final pit stop (no bathrooms on the plane) and headed out to the bus. Before we got on, we got wanded with metal detectors and the bus took us straight up to the airplane. Once we got off, we took a bunch of pictures, both of the whole group and just the gold team. It was really cool because almost all of the gold team knew each other from summer classes through the Space Foundation.

Once we got onto the plane, we set in regular seats for takeoff. I was really glad because it was a very turbulent takeoff. Our airspace was over North Dakota. Once we got past the turbulence we got out of our seats and took a few more pictures, then all of a sudden they said we had ten minutes, just enough for a safety meeting, getting out the cameras and planning what we were going to do during the Martian and lunar parabolas. We decided just to enjoy those and we did. We then got the call to lay down and we started pulling Gs. My head was toward the cockpit and my feet toward the tail. Laying down, it wasn’t too bad and you could not tell at all that we were going up at a 50 degree angle. That was one of the really odd things. During take off every time we hit turbulence we could tell the plane was moving and shaking. It was actually pretty disorienting. Then once we got to our area (we were at the front of the plane) I never could tell if we were going up or down. When we first got to Martian gravity, it was awesome. I was doing one handed pushups and just kind of bouncing all over the place. And then we got the call, “feet down coming out” and we scurried back to laying down. Then we pulled more Gs and got the call of Lunar 1 coming up. Again, we got into push up position and you could push yourself up so high that you could almost stand up. Really an odd feeling and very hard to describe. We also did some frog kind of leaps. We couldn’t really jump because we would have smashed our heads but we could king of frog/superman jump toward the camera, loads of fun. Then we had the second Lunar parabola and we all tried to pile on to Kim’s back and let her do pushups, that wasn’t very successful because it becomes so hard to control your body even in 1/8 gravity.

Next, we had a few minutes to prepare for our first zero gravity parabolas. We decided to just enjoy those and man did we. It is really an odd sensation to just float up off of the ground. You kind of have to help yourself get up with a little push. When I say little, I mean with a finger, not all of your fingers but a finger. I made the mistake later of pushing up very slightly with my feet. I went crashing into the ceiling.

Our next parabola we decided to play catch. We had brought some tennis balls for an experiment but the ball we used was cooler. Me. I folded up into a little ball and Bobby and Brian pushed me around the cabin. Then for the next three loops we played catch literally with each other.

Video and picture note. I did not get very many pictures, or much video. It was so hard to steady the camera that it just didn’t work. In 4-6 weeks I will be getting a video from Zero G with all the footage and the pictures should be online by tomorrow.

Next, we got out our experiments. I got out the higher mass ball and the lower mass ball. We did that for one loop and let me tell you, an object in motion really does stay in motion. When we hit the first balls together, they did something (Don’t want to give it away yet) but then Bryan got the tennis ball and completely missed the other ball and it sailed off and I still don’t know where it went.

Kim did a flying pig experiment that didn’t work very well because of technical difficulties and Bobby had a Jacobs’s ladder toy that did some crazy things. After those parabolas, we were down to four and did a few group things like linking arms and flying like superman. We also tried to crawl around the cabin. I really stunk at that. I made it about half way up one wall and then just kind of floated off. Spiderman has nothing to worry about.

Probably the coolest part was the second to last parabola. I didn’t do anything than just kind of push myself around but at one point I ended up spinning upside down and got totally disoriented. I had absolutely no idea which way was up. I thought I was grabbing onto the ceiling and it was the floor, then I thought I had the wall and it was the ceiling. I absolutely know why they say that there is no up or down in space.

Overall it was a phenomenal experience that I would do again in a minute but it was too short. It was one of those things that was amazing but if I had it to do over again, I would do some things differently. I can’t wait to see the video and still pictures. Sorry that mine aren’t very good but when you are floating around and have absolutely no control over which way your body is going, it is tough to focus on taking a picture.

These were the only two pictures I took while actually floating! That is not a sweat stain on Kim, someone had water that got loose.

Group photo, I will post a better picture later when I get them. I'm the tall guy in the middle, right under the o in zero.

Micro-gravity Update

This is Mrs. Kelsey. Mr. Kelsey just called me and told me that their airspace is over North Dakota. He doesn't have flight number but he said that you can go and look for the COS airport code. Then you will have to look for a flight that is departing and landing from Colorado Springs. It is the only flight that does that this morning. Have a great weekend and Mr. Kelsey can't wait to share all his excitement and pictures with you on Monday.

Friday, October 19, 2007


I've made it half way to my destination of Colorado Springs. I'm just putting a short post up now to put this picture up that I thought was cool. This is the flight path that my plane took. I don't have much time because they moved my gate and I only have a few minutes. Also, if you are in my class, or not, and want to send me an email, I would love to hear from you. Probably won't check things until after the flight tomorrow since it will be late when I get in and an early day tomorrow.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Microgravity Hodge Podge

Okay, here it goes. I am going to attempt to give out all of the information that I know about my upcoming flight. I think I have touched on a few of these things in previous posts but I have found some really cool pictures in the last couple of days to go with it. First, the picture below is the plane I will be flying in on Saturday. This is not a doctored photo, this is actually the angle that it will go up on. A normal airplane takes off at a 20 degree angle. We will be going up at a 50 degree angle.

I don’t know my flight number yet. I will try to call my wife and have her post it to the blog on Saturday morning so that you can follow along if you want. The web site is . Basically you can go into the site and enter whatever information you know (tale number, flight number, airport, etc.) and follow along with the flight. Even if you don’t follow along in real time, you can go back in later and see the path that we took. I’m really interested to see where we fly. My guess is that it won’t be over the mountains. I would guess that we will actually be over western Kansas for most of the flight but I don’t know. Some of the other flights from California and Washington D.C. have flown out over the ocean. They try to put us away from all other aircraft because in the past when other pilots have seen a plane going down at a 45 or 50 degree angle they have put in distress calls.

I meet up with everyone at a hotel in Colorado Springs at 7:00 on Saturday morning. We then have a briefing and a light breakfast. We are supposed to avoid milk and eggs but instead have more bread type foods. Fine with me, I don’t like eggs and love cinnamon rolls. Then we have the TSA screening. I thought this was kind of odd that it was at the hotel rather than the airport. After that we get on a bus and head to the airport. We actually go out on the runway to load up on the plane. I think they will be taking some group pictures out there. We are supposed to take off at 10:30 Colorado Springs time. That is 11:30 Kansas City time.

When we load up onto the plane there are 35 seats at the back that we will set in for takeoff and landing. Once we get up to cruising altitude we will get out of our seats take off our shoes and put on colored socks. The socks tell us what part of the cabin we are supposed to be in. The main part of the plane is a padded room. (insert your own joke here). In each of the three areas, there are two video cameras. We are also allowed to bring cameras and video cameras. I am bringing both.

Once we start flying our parabolas, we will go out and lay down in the cabin. We do this to help us pull the G forces. In the bottom of the parabolas we will be pulling almost 2 G’s. It shouldn’t be too bad but when you get 2 G’s right after being weightless it might be a little disorienting. That is why we lay down. The first parabola will be a little shallower and will simulate the gravity on Mars (1/3). The second two parabolas simulate lunar gravity (1/8) and the remaining 12 parabolas will be zero gravity. They come in sets of three. The first three we have no experiments planned. Each of the last sets of parabolas we have some simple experiments planned. I’m not going go into those too much since I have already done that.
While I don't know my flight information yet for the microgravity flight, I do know my flight information for Friday and Sunday. These are just normal flights but if you want to practice or see "Where in the World is Mr. Kelsey," the information is below:
Friday, October 19
Leaving KCI (MCI is the airport code) flying to Dallas (DFW) - 6:00
American Airlines 1069
Leavign Dallas flying to Colorado Springs (COS) - 8:25
American Airlines 829
Sunday, October 21
Leaving Colorado Springs flying to Dallas - 11:15
American Airlines 1882
Leaving Dallas flying to Kansas City - 3:40
American Airlines 2036

I have a couple of main goals for the flight. Obviously I want to enjoy it. I don’t think I will be able to keep from having fun. Second, there are a couple of pictures that I want. One of me and my friend Bobby with one of us right side up and the other upside down. I also have a mystery picture I want. I will tell more about that later, after the flight). I also want to get good usable video of the experiments.

One of the kids asked me today what I am looking the most forward to on the trip. I wasn’t sure how to answer. There are so many things that I think will be amazing but probably what I really want to savor is the first sensations of being weightless, the first parabola of zero gravity where I will be laying on the floor and will just float off of the ground. I think that is the part I’m looking the most forward to.

Reading Buddies

Today we spent some time with our reading buddies sharing books and reading to each other. I am hoping that before I leave for Colorado Springs I will have time to update the blog with some information about the flight specifics. My plan is to do that either tonight, or tomorrow at the airport as I wait for my flight. If anyone has specific questions, I would love to try to answer them. The kids have been asking really great questions that I have tried my best to answer but some of them have been tough questions.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Microgravity Discussion

We had a great discussion today about the microgravity flight. I slightly changed one of the experiments to fit better with the state Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) so we talked about that today and decided on our hypotheses for both of the experiments. The kids had some great questions about weight and mass and about the mechanics of how the whole flight is going to work. Here are some basics.

We fly in parabolas. The top of the parabola is where we are weightless.
The first parabolas will simulate Martian Gravity (1/3).
The next two parabolas will simulate Lunar Gravity (1/8).
The last 12 parabolas will be zero gravity.
We are conducting three basic experiments (mixing oil and water, Newton’s Laws – hitting balls of different sizes to see what happens, and a weight vs. mass experiment)
You can follow along with the flight in real time at

The kids had some great hypotheses about what is going to happen in each excperiment. I have listed them below.

Microgravity Oil and Water Hypotheses
· I think the oil and water will separate with a little empty spot in the middle (Brandin, Rafael, Charlie, Hope)
· The oil and water will mix but will be in the middle of the bottle. (Allie)
· I think the oil and water will float to the top of the bottle and stay mixed because there is no gravity to cause them to separate (Madison)
· I think that the oil and water will both go to the top – I think they will stay separated but I don’t think it will matter which one is on top – random. (Logan, David, Nick)
· I think the oil and water will stay mixed because there is no gravity to tell which one is heavier or lighter. (Amanda, Kaide)
· I think that the oil and water will mix then piece by piece will separate similar to on earth. (Jake)
· I think the oil and water will separate and float in the middle of the bottle. (Hadei)
· I think the oil and water will go to the top of the bottle and remain separated. (Monse)
· I think the oil and water will not mix because the water will be on the top and the oil on the bottom - opposite of earth. (Michael)
· I think the oil and water will float to the top of the bottle and stay mixed. (Creyana, Brittany)
· I think the oil and water will mix and float together in the middle of the bottle. (Marressa)
· I think the oil and water will separate into separate globs and not mix. (Justin, Keevan)
· I think the oil and water will separate because of no gravity (Chasity)

Microgravity Balls of Different Mass Experiment Hypotheses

Ball with a smaller mass hitting a floating ball with a bigger mass.
· When the small mass ball hits the bigger mass ball, I don’t think the bigger massed ball will go very far. (Brandin, Madison, Logan, Jake, Kaide, Hadei, Marressa, Chasity, Charlie, Nick, )
· I think the small ball will hit the bigger ball small ball will not move very far (Allie, Monse, )
· I think that results will be the same as on earth but the balls will travel farther. The balls will travel the same (small hitting large, or large hitting small) (Rafael)
· I think when the small ball hits the larger ball, the small ball will rebound away. Bigger ball will move slightly (David)
· I think the ball with the more mass will go about 10 ft. when hit by the ball with less mass. (Brittany)
Ball with a larger mass hitting a floating ball with a smaller mass.
· I think the ball with the smaller mass will travel about 10 ft. when hit by the ball with more mass. The results will be the same no matter which ball hits the other. (Brittany, Chasity, Hadei)
· I think both balls will travel together. (Nick, David)
· I think smaller ball will only travel a little and the larger massed ball will follow it forward. (Charlie, Monse,)
· I think smaller ball will travel slightly farther than the larger ball did in the other experiment. (Marressa, Allie)
· I think the results will be the same no matter which ball hits the other. (Rafael)
· I think the smaller ball will go really far because the larger ball has more mass. (Kaide, Logan, Madison)
· When the larger mass ball hits the smaller mass ball, I don’t think the smaller massed ball will go very far. (Jake, Brandin)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hall of Fame in Search of Members

The book blog hall of fame selection committee (Mr. Kelsey) is in search of book blog posts and coments to add to the hall of fame. Remember that just because you get a good score does not necessarily make you a hall of famer. The example we used in class today was John Candelaria. He used to pitch for the Pittsburg Pirates. He was good, not great but good. He even threw a no hitter. He is signing autographs at a show in two weeks. He is charging $14 to autograph a baseball. Bob Gibson, who was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball history, is charging $99 for an autograph and an additional $20 to put HOF on it. He dominated the game for a span of several years. I think this is a good example to show the difference between good and amazing. I had a couple of posts and comments today that were close to Hall of Fame status but not quite. I also talked to the kids about the important things on the blog to remember. First, a ton of kids have been messing up the citation information. There is a link on the blog that explains exactly how to put that information. Second, the genre. We have talked about genre, they studied it in fourth grade, and Mrs. Green is always going over it. They need to be specific. Instead of saying fiction, tell me what kind of fiction. Finally, a lot of kids are not giving evidence to back up their opinions. They are telling me what they like or don’t like but they don’t explain why. This is a huge part of the grade and a big MAP skill. Read some of the posts and when you get the grades back, go back in and see how they did. I try to put the date that they were submitted on the evaluation form. You can always help your child grade their own work before they turn it in.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Kachina Dolls and Classifying

Sample Kachina "Powerful Moose"

Today we worked on two big projects. The first was classifying. One of the big skills that the kids need to know for the map test is how to classify vertebrates. We worked with Mrs. Green today on learning all kinds of facts about a specific class. Tomorrow students will be sharing their information with teammates so that we have a complete classification chart. We will be having a classification test on Friday.

We also spent time today creating Kachina Dolls. These were dolls created by Native Americans to represent different spirits. We did one as a class for a made up spirit (the powerful moose). I am anxious to see how the kids do on these when they turn them in tomorrow.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Slam Dunk Lesson

To work on how many degrees there are in a circle we practiced our slam dunking abilities. The kids had all heard of a 360 slam dunk but I don’t think that many of them had made the connection to the number of degrees in a circle. Below are some pictures of our high flying activities today!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Hunting Whales with Sticks

Yes, the Northwest Coast Indians hunted whales using spears from canoes. Today we discussed them and watched a short video about them and tomorrow the kids will be learning even more about them. I cannot imagine the bravery that it took to go whale hunting with basically a stick. Even if you did manage to kill a whale, you still have to get it back to shore. It is almost beyond comprehension.

Today we also went over our math tests. They were not pretty. For the class there were only 4 Cs and those were the top grades. After going through the tests, the kids kept a tally of how many small, careless mistakes they made. It was amazing that the class shifted from everyone getting a C, D, or F to everyone getting an A, B, or C. I think going over the test really opened some eyes to doing quality work.

Monday, October 8, 2007

T-12 Days and Counting

In 12 days, I will be floating around somewhere over Colorado. Today in class we did the first of two partial experiments. We have already done the experiments I will be doing in zero gravity here on earth and today we started the process for conducting the experiments in zero g. Today we worked on oil and water. We asked questions that we wanted answered and began to form hypotheses. I was pretty impressed with some of the thoughts the kids had. Tomorrow I am collecting them and will run a more detailed list but so far the kids have come up with:

· The oil will float to the top of the bottle with the water at the bottom leaving air between the two.
· The two will mix in the middle of the bottle because there is no gravity so the oil wouldn’t go to the top.
·One will float to the top and the other below it forming layers, this is random and if shaken again, the other might go to the top.

I can’t wait to see the whole list tomorrow. We really worked on getting a lot of specific information into the hypothesis so that anyone that reads it knows exactly what we think will happen.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Manheim Steamroller

Last night right after school my wife and I drove to Ames, Iowa to see the Manheim Steamroller Concert. I was invited because I am a Space Foundation Teacher Liaison. I had absolutely no idea what to expect. They are more famous for their Christmas music than anything. All that I knew was that it was a “space” themed concert that is sponsored by the Space Foundation and that the former director of Kennedy Space Center, Jim Kennedy had told me about it when I was in Florida. We left at 4:00 and the concert started at 7:30. It is a three and a half hour drive. We literally pulled into the parking lot on fumes with about ten minutes to spare. We got our tickets from will call and the lady said “you guys have good seats.” She wasn’t kidding. We had seats in the 9th row almost right in the middle. When we walked in there was a huge screen with the space shuttle and a countdown clock. The only sound was of Mission Control going through the countdown. Needless to say, I was excited. The auditorium was really cool with a whole series of balconies. I don’t know how many people it held but it was full.

The house lights stayed up until it got to 20 seconds before liftoff. Then the lights went down and the countdown kept going. When it launched, the sounds were amazing. For just a second I was standing back at Banana Creek watching/feeling/experiencing the space shuttle launch. It was the first time since the launch I have felt that rumble in my chest. I thought I would at the NASCAR race and I completely didn’t. This morning my wife and I were talking about it and without me saying it, she mentioned that you could feel the launch rattle your chest. That was a cool moment because I really felt like she experienced a part of the launch with me, three months later. They showed nothing but the launch until about 2 minutes into the launch. Then all of a sudden, the screen was yanked down and the music started blaring. The great thing was, they didn’t stop the sounds of the launch, or mission control. That was all part of the music. I bought their CD and it is the same on the CD. Their music is definitely different from what I normally listen to (country) but it was really cool. After the first couple of space songs from their album called “Music of the Spheres” they played a few far out songs from their other CDs, a couple of which are now on my wish list. The third song was probably my favorite. It is hard to describe but I remember thinking that this might be what imagination sounds like. I know that sounds weird but when you hear it you will understand.

The rest of the first half of the show was good, there were a couple of songs that I didn’t absolutely love but for the most part, they were really good. Oh, I almost forgot, after their first two space songs (which also had video of a landing that was really cool too) Jim Kennedy came out on stage. He did about a 15 minute presentation on the history of space travel. 50 years ago on the 4th of October was when Sputnik was launched, the first satellite. His presentation was good, but it wasn’t really anything I hadn’t heard before. Probably the neatest part of it was hearing the people around me and their reactions. They obviously weren’t space nuts like me but it was obvious that they were impressed. There were a lot of oohs and aaahs.

The second half of the show started out in a really cool way. Up on the big video screen behind (which for the entire show had space images, and galaxies up on it) the band was a picture of Clayton Anderson who is currently on the space station. He opened up the second part of the show with a tour of the space station and telling us that he hoped we enjoyed the show. Talk about a really cool way to start a show. They then played another series of songs from their new album one of which included a remake of the Star Trek theme song. They also played some music from their other new album which is a Halloween album. That music was weird. I bought three albums (they came in a package). Their new Christmas album which isn’t released until Monday, a 3 disk Halloween set and Music of the Spheres. It was pretty cool, they were also selling NASA stuff last night.

Overall, it was absolutely worth the trip and I will probably go back to see them for the space concert again. One of my favorite things from the concert (other than setting next to my wife) was watching the piano player. He was amazing! He had a funky grand piano and a keyboard setting on top and he would play both at the same time. Than at one point, he was playing a piano with one hand, a drum with another and sometimes he would pick up a tambourine type thing and play it and the piano or drum. Like I said, he was amazing. The last thing was that it was obvious that Chip Davis, the leader of the band/drum player, and all of the other people in the band looked like they were having an absolutely great time as they played. You can tell they love their job. I wonder if that is what I look like when I’m teaching? I hope so.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Future Teachers

Not much to write about today, this is more of a photo blog. The pictures are of the students teaching each other today during our jigsaw tournament. I was impressed with how well they did. Each student prepared a lesson plan, activity guide, and game to play with their “class” of two other students. Who knows, maybe in a few years one of them will be teaching across the hall from me.