After presenting on meiosis and mitosis I had my students create foldables of five assessed vocabulary terms. I gave them 900 seconds to complete the assignment. I use seconds to get the students involved with math and it allows me to easily adjust the time without the students noticing. I made the lesson a competition and offered a homework pass to the most creative and correct foldables. Students had to include a picture with five colors, the definition, example and pronunciation. Their work was high quality and done quickly since they were judged after 15 minutes.
This week with testing interruptions, I gave the students notes on photosynthesis and respiration. It took two full class periods to get through the notes and they we far from being in-depth and wordy with only 20 slides (many with pictures). My typical strategy for notes is to give the students a PPT handout and allow them to copy them into their notes. I would simply print out a handout or even guided notes for each student and have them glue them into their notebook but the “Copy Police” would be on to me in no time. I need to find a way of giving notes that is effective and efficient. I would just cruise through the notes like a college professor and leave it up to the students to get the notes from my student website but intrinsic motivation seems to be lacking for most of my students (4 inclusion classes) . Also, for some reason students, parents and administration seem to believe that if they did not take notes on a topic it wasn’t taught. I have tried many different methods to get around spending so much time on the notes but have not really been successful. I am considering trying a flipped classroom approach (notes at home and practice in class) but I fear many students especially those who are already do not do homework will become further lost. I need suggestions and ideas. Comments Please.
This week we returned from break to a 3 day week. I started the week by reviewing cells using a webquest. I then moved on to photosynthesis and respiration. I began class showing the student a gift I received for my 27th birthday. The gift was an Eco-sphere. The concept of the Ecosphere was developed in NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory. It is a completely closed off system that sustains 3 shrimp, algae and bacteria. It really got my students asking questions.
After getting them interested, I used the saddleworth animation for teaching the photosynthesis. It is a great simulation with a bunch of already made worksheets out there. I also used this lab as an opportunity to review experimental design.