Sunday, August 5, 2012

I can finally breathe!

Two weeks down and I think I might actually know what I'm doing!!  Starting over, finding the right timing, getting into my's finally all beginning to fall into place.  I know all four classes first names, personalities, and I already know who turns in work and who's organized!

Last week in 7th grade, students covered "Why are there seasons?"  It is an objective for 7th grade...who knew?  When I began putting together the work, I found the "Private Universe" clip on YouTube.  This clip was from a study done on Harvard graduates.  They asked "Why do we have seasons?" and most of those surveyed missed it!  There are so many misconceptions surrounding this seemingly basic concept.  I used and followed the GEMs book on seasons, and it is FABULOUS!!  It has a self assessment that all the activities build around. By the end of the week, the students had squashed their misconceptions and completed daily labs in addition.

Bad Astronomy was a helpful website as I tried to help students learn about misconceptions.

In 8th grade, students began to look at the idea of heredity.  Students started with a game I call "Crack the Code."  It's something that my husband made back when he taught junior high science and I just updated it and loaded it on my TpT site.  Students receive the DNA of a bug and the picture of what it looks like.  They must then work together to figure out which colored bead in the code goes with which trait.  We have 70 minute periods, and they were engaged and on task for all 70!  We then moved into family trees, traits, and punnett squares.  This week students will be participating in an awesome activity where they incorporate all of these into a lab to find out what the family looks like!

If you are studying genetics, the Learn Genetics website at the University of Utah is amazing.  It has tons of free lessons, downloads, and interactive pages for all ages!


Shannon said...

Those sound like some great and engaging lessons! I might like science if I had you as a teacher way back when. :)

We start on 13th-kids start on 20th. I'll have 4 classes for the 1st time-hope I can get all their names down. Good thing is I already know a lot of them since we are a small school. :)


Caught in the Middle said...

The names were the hardest part for me since I'm at a new school. None of the faces or families were familiar. Now that we are in the 3rd week, I've got them!

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