Whoo-hoo!!! My first two observations of the year are done and off my plate! My next two aren't until January so I have some time to actually catch my breath.
The lab we did today went well, the kids were great, and even later in the day (when I wasn't being observed) my two classes that make me insane (sixth and seventh) managed to behave. In other words, I didn't have to kick anyone out and give them an alternate assignment (the dreaded workbook packet) for acting like an idiot during a lab. Maybe they'll get the picture.
The lab was a "mining for minerals" lab that we picked up at the NSTA conference last year. It involved birdseed, tiny seed beads (gold, silver, blue for copper and white for reclamation). The kids have to sift through (in other words mine) the birdseed to collect their minerals (the black sunflower seeds are iron along with the glass beads). Then some math to determine how much money they made (or lost due to reclamation costs). Had a blast and the kids were QUIET. They were so busy digging through the seeds, especially in my fifth period, that you could have heard a pin drop. They didn't want to stop!
Love it when a plan comes together.