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.
This week we finished up macromolecules with enzymes. I took to a beach ball to assess what the students knew about each of the macromolecules. Anytime you can get a part of the beach into your classroom you need to take advantage of it. To do this activity you will need a beach ball and a dry erase marker. Write the names of the macromolecules on each section of the beach ball. I also included vitamins and minerals and a wild. I toss the ball to the students and when they catch it they look to see where their right thumb lands and tell me one thing they know about the molecule their thumb landed on. I then have the students throw the ball back to me to prevent them from being tempted to bounce it off their classmates heads. Participation was 100% and it was able to assess their knowledge of the macromolecules. If a student did not know something I would give them hints or come back to them. If a students thumb lands on wild they get to pick the macromolecule. The kids did not want to stop this warm up.