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Introduction Hello from Beijing, China. I am coaching swimmers in the Paralympic Games, and will not return to the US until September 18. This is something.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction Hello from Beijing, China. I am coaching swimmers in the Paralympic Games, and will not return to the US until September 18. This is something."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction Hello from Beijing, China. I am coaching swimmers in the Paralympic Games, and will not return to the US until September 18. This is something that I will be telling you more about in a little while, but the first thing that I want to do is get to know who my students are. Please go to your laptops and log onto my online Astronomy course. The address is This is the core of my Astronomy class, and is the Syllabus where my lessons and quizzes are found. Do not be afraid of all of the material in the syllabus, since it is really there to help me keep things organized, and to give me a quick look at all of the things that I can choose from in a nine week course. Your first assignment is look to the right column and click on “Getting to Know You.” This is just a little page where you are kindly asked to tell me a little about yourself so I can get to know you a little bit. While there is no way that I can respond to over 100 students, I will be making a note of everyone who responds and giving each student an opening of 50 points. Please note … if you do not enter your name in the box, enter a valid address, and then hit the “submit” button at the bottom of the page, your work will not arrive in my inbox.

2 A Brief History of Time My name is Tom Franke. However, since pretty much everyone in the Science Department is called by their last names, you can call me “Franke.” I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Even though I have been living in Minnesota since 1978, I have always been, and will always be a diehard fan of The Milwaukee Brewers, and Bucks, and the Green Bay Packers. Yes … the entire Brett Favre fisaco has been hard to understand, but I still expect the Packers to make life miserable for the ViQueens this fall. As I write this, it is August 10, and I am watching the gold medal swim by the US Men’s 400 Free Relay, and then the medal ceremony. It was very cool. Okay … back to the introduction

3 This is my family … at the fateful final game for Brett Favre as a Packer. My wife’s name is Cathy, and we have been married 14 years as of August 20. We have two daughters. Mary is 12 and Maggie is 10. While the temperature was -4F, we were totally warm, excited, and happy to be at my wife and girls’ first Packer game at Lambeau. Then Brett threw that stupid sideline interception, and we went out into the dead silence of a shocked stadium full of people. Well, the new season opens against the ViQueens September 9!

4 My wife and I have been married for 14 years, and we live in Plymouth. Our oldest daughter is Mary. She is 12, and in the 7 th grade at Wayzata East. The story takes a while to tell, and I will share it when I get back. But just to give you a quick look, this picture shows Mary one day after she was born. She Was pretty tiny … the hand in the picture is my wife’s.

5 This is Mary, with the biggest walleye that she has ever caught. The fish is 27 ½ inches long, and was caught on Bear Paw Lake in NW Ontario just this past June. We were fishing out of The KaBeeLo Lodge.

6 This is my 10 year-old daughter Maggie, with a 23 inch walleye. Do not let her smile deceive you. She was not too happy that her sister caught a bigger fish this summer, and cven more unhappy that the big Northern that was eating a walleye on her line let go as she got it near the net. Maggie is in the 5 th grade at Plymouth Creek Middle School.

7 This is my family, outside of Ben’s Chili Bowl in Washington, DC. This was one of the real highlights of our spring break trip to the nation’s capital, since the food we ate here was some of the best I have ever tasted.

8 This is my life in a nutshell: I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin October 11, 1955 … yes, I am getting old. I graduated from Whitefish Bay High School in 1973 I graduated from Wheaton College with a BS in Biology in 1977 I spent the following year doing autopsies at a local hospital for $3.53/hr while I waited to get rejection letters from all 10 medical schools that I applied to. I entered grad school at the University of Minnesota in the fall of 1978 and completed my Masters in 1981 and my PhD in My thesis was written about a land snail that survives Minnesota winters by making an antifreeze which keeps them from freezing, no matter how cold the ground gets. While I was on a field trip to the Lake Independence bogs, I met a guy who was a swim coach. He hired me to help in the winter in I then continued to coach senior level swimmers over the next 26 years until I retired from club coaching in It was a trip to Hawaii in 1991 that changed my life …

9 I was visiting my aunt and uncle on the Big Island of Hawaii. I had a swimmer from my club team along for the trip, and I had so much fun teaching him about the night sky, Hawaiian volcanoes, and fish that I thought it would be a good idea if I went back to grad school and became a teacher. The day after I got back from the Trip, I watched “Kindergarten Cop” starring Arnold Schwartzenegger. I thought that teaching looked like a lot of fun, so I signed up for classes to get my teaching license the next morning. The picture shows me and my Uncle Bill Albrecht atop Mauna Kea, with the Keck Twin Telescopes in the background.

10 When it was time for me to do my student teaching assignment, there were no Teaching opportunities for a biologist, but Hopkins needed someone to teach Astronomy. I jumped at the opportunity because it was my hobby, and because my Uncle was such an influential astronomer in Hawaii. I had such a good time Teaching Astronomy at Hopkins in 1992 that I begged Dave Morin to let me stay And finish the semester. While I completed my coursework in Education, I also Substitute taught at Hopkins, and was eventually offered a job of teaching Astronomy at the High School in I had one class that met first period. I was done teaching every day before 9:00am Then I would go home to my newly married wife and wait until evening swim practice with the NHCP Swim Club. I advertised about the Astronomy class in the school announcements, and 30 Extra kids signed up for the course in the spring on Suddenly I had 2 classes that met in the morning, and I worked until 9:30 am. Those 30 kids told their friends about the class, and the fall of 2005 found 240 students enrolled in HHS Astronomy. The next year, I taught over 400 students. I had a fulltime teaching position, and the best part of the job was that I was teaching a subject that I absolutely loved. A year later, I started the job of teaching AP Biology, and today I consider myself the happiest teacher on the planet. I teach the microscopic world and the telescope Universe, and I cannot imagine anyone who loves his job more than I do.

11 Before I get into where I am right now, let’s go over the class rules and expectations … huh? I love teaching. I love Astronomy. I love learning … yes, I suppose this makes me a nerd or some kind of geek. I like having fun in my class. I want you to have fun as well, and I want you to learn things about the night sky.

12 Expectations 1)I expect you to come to the class willing to learn, and willing to try to be a good student. 2)I expect you to be respectful of me as a teacher, and my substitute teacher until I get back from China. 3)I expect you to be respectful of each other and never act rudely or with a mean spirit to a classmate.

13 Classroom Rules 1)Cell phones and IPODs are to be turned off and out of sight at all times in the classroom. There are no exceptions. 2)Bathroom passes will be given upon request, but are to be used only to “go” and then return … never to wander elsewhere. 3)Food and drink are allowed in my classroom provided you never leave a mess and that you understand that you cannot ever go to the Depot during classtime and bring food back.

14 Grades – A for Attendance 1)Grades are based on attendance. If you miss a lot of classes and are tardy to the class, your grade will drop. Since there is no textbook, it is almost impossible to make up days that you miss. Therefore, be here and be on time. If you know you are going to be gone from class, just let me know and we can figure out how to make up lost stuff.

15 Grades – A for Assessment 1)Grades are based on assessment. While I have not given out homework, there are assignments to do. Besides the outdoor observations, you will have work to do in the classroom. Some of the work is by yourself, some done in small groups, and some done as a class. You grade will be based on that work … so do a good job.

16 Grades – A for Attitude 1)Grades are based on attitude. I am a very funny guy. All of my jokes are funny. You are expected to laugh at my jokes. The pictures of things in Astronomy are cool. You are expected to “ooooh” and “aaah” at the pictures. You are expected to stay awake, look like you care, and pretend to actually be interested in what I have to teach, and what you are learning.

17 Now … where am I?

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