Countdown to Launch – Part 1 (Eclipse Activities)

Hello all, sorry I’ve been on hiatus from blogging the past several weeks, but there was a lot of important work happening in that time.  Here are a few:

  • I’ve been working long hours finishing up my new LearnZillion lessons, which are getting close to being done!  I will share them when they are officially published on the site.
  • I’ve been trying to get through the books I wanted to read this summer:  Teaching Math with Google Apps, The Innovator’s Mindset, and LAUNCH!  I’m still not quite there, but making progress
  • I’ve been working on getting my room ready for school, which starts in 8 days!?!  (Post coming tomorrow with pics!)
  • I’ve been meeting with fellow teachers to plan activities for the Eclipse, since we will be in school and experience over 99% totality.  This is what I’d like to share today, in case anyone else is thinking of doing any activities, and you want to steal some of ours :).


Image result for eclipse 2017 illinois map

We will be experiencing the eclipse with our students, which I am really excited about for three reasons:

  1. I’ve never seen an eclipse before, so I am getting very nerdy excited over here!
  2. Our math department is going space themed, so this should make it a great start to the year in getting our students immersed into space ideas.
  3. We haven’t done a district-wide type activity since I’ve been teaching, and it’s going to be awesome!


Here is our basic eclipse day plan:

  • 7-12th grade students will travel to the elementary schools to teach the younger kids about the eclipse.
  • We will come back to school, serve snacks, and watch a short eye safety video from a local optometrist.
  • We will put together a time capsule that will be opened on the next eclipse day in our area, which will be April 8, 2024 where we will get 100% totality!
  • We will eat lunch on the football field to get ready for the eclipse.
  • We will watch the darkest part of the eclipse on the football field as a 7-12 building with our safety glasses!
  • We will come back into the building and watch the locally-produced documentary, Countdown to the Eclipse.

I am really excited about the chance to work together as a district to make all of this happen, and I’m excited my students will have the chance to research and teach the younger students!  The Thursday-Friday before the eclipse they will be researching in their math and science classes, and they will focus on a specific topic.  We are giving them a basic Google Doc that has hyperlinks and guiding questions to get them started.  Those are linked below if you decide you want to use any of this at your school!

I will share lots of pictures when eclipse day is over, I just wanted to go ahead and post our ideas now in case anyone is looking into activities they can adapt for older kiddos!


Author: achilders

Hello, my name is Alison Childers, and the first thing you should know about me is I am a nerd. Like a really big nerd. If you keep that in mind, the rest of this description is just icing on the cake. I am a fifth year 9-12 math teacher in the small town of Carmi, Illinois. I teach Algebra 1 and Pre-Calculus, and spend most of my evenings trying to find new ways to keep students excited to be in math class. I am interested in finding activities/projects that push students' math knowledge, while also working on their collaboration, computer, and real-world problem solving skills. I also coach our math team and color guard. This year is a big year for us, as we are going 1:1 chromebooks. I am undaunted by integrating technology, but having them at our fingertips every hour of every day this year means I want to find ways to streamline workflow and use the technology to its fullest potential. The purpose of this blog will be to detail our journey into all of these exciting areas, and I can't wait to get started on all of it! Hopefully at the end of each school year, I will be the best version of myself so far!

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