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Comments on Carl Sagan and Thomas Edison

posted Feb 27, 2014, 6:17 AM by Quoc-Anh Vuong

Huan had a major break through in RPM today.  His session on Friday
was also excellent - but today he really took it to a new level of
open communication at the sentence level.  Here are the notes for both

On Friday, we did a make up session due to the snow on Tuesday.
Because Huan had a track meet, we met at the TJ rec center.  Despite
the noise and some distractions, Huan did a really nice job during the
session and went beyond some of his scripted and structured responses.
 Here are the notes from our Friday session:

"Huan, where are we meeting today?"  TJ.  "What are you doing here
today?"  SPEECH.  "What are you going to do after speech?"  TRACK.
"Why?"  I RUN ON THE TRACK.  "why?" (I was trying to get at the fact
that we were meeting at TJ because he was there for a track meet)
BECAUSE THEY HAVE FUN.  "What is the special event going on at TJ
today?"  TRACK MEET

I gave Huan a choice of talking about an inventor, astronomy or a
poem.  He chose to talk about an inventor.  Here is the lesson we did
on Thomas Edison.

Thomas Alva Edison

"We are going to talk about a famous inventor named Thomas Edison.
Who are we going to talk about?"  THOMAS EDSON  Nice response and very
good attempt at spelling Edison...I pointed out the correct spelling

Thomas Alva Edison is one of the greatest inventors in history and was
responsible for more inventions than any other inventor. He created
the first research laboratory, which he called The Invention Factory,
probably one of his greatest achievements. Altogether he took out
patents on 1093 inventions. A patent is a license that allows an
inventor to make, sell or use his/her invention for a specific period
of time.  It also prevents other people from stealing an inventor's
ideas.  Some of his inventions developed and improved other people's.

What is Edison's claim to fame?  INVENTON....."try again"....INVENTOR

What did he call his laboratory?  INVENTION FACTORY

What does a patent do?  PROTECTS THE INVENTON (again, pointed out the
correct spelling after the fact)

Edison was born in Ohio in the USA in 1847. Edison only had three
months of traditional schooling. At school his teacher thought his
ideas were crazy and that he might have a learning difficulty. After
that, his mother taught him at home. He was full of curiosity and she
encouraged him to learn things for himself. He made working models of
a steam engine and steam-powered sawmill, and experimented with

What did Edison's teachers think of his ideas?  CRAZY

What did they think Edison had?  LEARNING PROBLEM

Where was he educated instead?  HOME

What did his mother encourage him to do?  EXPLORE LEARNING

What does curiosity mean to you?  WHAT DO THINGS MEAN

Around the age of twelve, Edison lost almost all his hearing. He did
not let his disability discourage him, however, and often treated it
as an asset, since it made it easier for him to concentrate on his
experiments and research. Undoubtedly, though, his deafness made him
more solitary and shy in dealings with others.

What did Edison lose when he was 12?  HEARING

How did Edison see his hearing loss as an asset? "I want you to tell
me in a full sentence."  HE COULD CONCENTRATE

Edison was a good businessman all his life. As a child, he grew
vegetables and sold them in town. At 12 he got a job selling
newspapers on a train, and, at 15, started his own weekly newspaper,
which he printed on an old printing press on the train. He worked as a
telegraph operator and in 1869, at 22, he moved to New York where he
worked for a gold company. When the machine that printed gold prices
broke down, Edison fixed it, then invented a machine that did the job
better. This invention made him a lot of money, and with it he set up
his own workshop where he manufactured these machines, as well as
telegraph machinery.

Name one of Edison's jobs.  HE SOLD NEWSPAPERS

In the 1800's and early 1900's children were expected to work at a
young age.  What kind of job would you have liked to do?  "Tell me in
a full sentence" I WOULD HAVE LIKED TO WORK ON A TRAIN (Yep, I can
absolutely this as a great job for Huan!)

*Really nice work from Huan!  All this in the lobby of the community
center!  If you liked this, wait....there's more!

Here is our lesson on Carl Sagan that we did today.

Carl Sagan

"Today we are going to talk about a famous astronomer named Carl
Sagan.  How are we going to talk about?"

CAROL...."try it again"...CARL....SPRIN....(I think he was starting to
go with in Carlon Springs - the road....This is an
example of something familiar blocking Huan's ability to pull up
something novel.  So, I tried to redirect him to think about the
lesson and try again, then he spelled SAGAN.

Carl Sagan, also known as the "the astronomer of the people", was an
American astronomer, astrophysicist, author and researcher. He made
crucial contributions in popularizing astronomy to the public. He
authored over 600 scientific papers and several books about astronomy
and natural sciences. He also gained worldwide fame for narrating and
writing the popular 1980 television series "Cosmos: A Personal

What did Sagan do?  ASTRANAMER

Sagan was known as the astrornomer.....OF THE PEOPLE

What was Sagan's famous tv series called?  COSMO (close)

Carl Sagan was born in New York in 1934 to a garment worker. When he
was four, his parents took him to the 1939 New York World's Fair. This
became a turning point in his life and little Sagan developed an early
interest in skyscrapers, science, space and the stars. His parents
encouraged his growing interest in science by gifting him chemistry
sets and books. After graduating from Rahway High School in 1951, he
went on to acquire three different science degrees.

What started Sagan's interest in science?  WORLD FAIR

What did Sagan's parents give him to encourage his interest in

What are your interests?  MYSELF....."hmmm....what interests you?  NOBODY

Sagan authored more than 20 books about space and the universe. He won
a Pulitzer Prize for his work. His TV series Cosmos still remains one
of the most-watched shows in television history. Sagan helped NASA
with U.S. space missions to Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. Particularly,
his discovery of the high surface temperatures of the planet Venus is
highly regarded. He also worked on understanding the atmospheres of
Venus and Jupiter and seasonal changes on Mars.

What prize was Sagan awarded?  PULITZER PRIZE

What group did Sagan work with?  NASA

What about the planets interested Sagan?  WEATHER

The 1997 film Contact has been inspired by Sagan's book of the same
name. Contrary to the popular belief that aliens would be destructive
to mankind, Sagan advocated that aliens would be friendly and
good-natured. Carl Sagan died of pneumonia in 1996 at the age of 62.

What movie was based on a book by Carl Sagan?  CONTACT

What did Sagan think that aliens would be like?  FRIENDLY

Describe what you imagine aliens to be like!  "use a full sentence for
cannot even tell you how much I love this answer!!!)

Here are some interesting quotes from Carl Sagan.  Tell me what you
think of them!

"Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But
without it we go nowhere."  WORLD IS MORE INTERESTING IN MY

"The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good.
Understanding is joyous."  WE NEED TO USE OUR BRAIN SO WE CAN KNOW NEW

"For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through
(what a fabulous answer!)

Wow!  Huan really broke through into serious open communication!  He
was on a huge roll once he got to the description of aliens!  This is
just the beginning!  I look forward to seeing more open communication,
without getting stuck in Huan's rigid sentence structures and
routines!  Really fantastic session today! Have a great week - I look
forward to more great learning next week!  Elizabeth