Skip to main content

A post a day for 10 days?

I saw this post from Tina Zita (@tina_zita) on my Twitter feed this morning, and thought... 'it's almost exam time, can I do this?'

If I start small, maybe.

So... what did I learn today?  I finally learned how to use the spirometer.  I've been at this school for longer than my grade 12's have been alive (kids born the year I started at this school are in their first year of university now), and I've never used the thing. Seriously, I could have searched Youtube for an instructional video - oh look, I found one!

But in the past, I've used other techniques to measure lung volumes, mostly involving balloons and mathematical approximations of volume.  Maybe tomorrow I can post about how well it worked for my students...




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Scratch that!

I attended a lunch & learn session today on Scratch.  I am definitely going to need to play around with it some more before I'm really comfortable with it, but wow, what a tool! You can see my first project below.



Scratch is surprisingly simple to use, once you get going.  My previous coding experience has all been text-based:  HTML, Fortran (can you say, "do loop"?) and Basic.  Yup, I'm that old. In Scratch, each command has a block, and you string them together in stacks, just like Lego.

My ultimate goal with this is how I can use it with students.  Lots of ideas for math, and even grade 9 and 10 science... but I'm teaching grade 12 IB biology right now.  Hoping for an inspiration on what they can do with it, and whether it's better to wait until September when they're not so focussed on the May exam session.


Do you listen, or just read?

When we were on strike two years ago, several of my colleagues listened as they walked - podcasts, audiobooks - but when I tried it, I couldn't focus on the storyline, so I chose to just walk and talk instead.

Fast-forward to this year, and the latest version of the "26 books with Bringing up Burns" reading challenge... one of this year's prompts was "a book you listen to". So I tried it again.  I couldn't get a paper copy for last month's book club choice, so I borrowed the audiobook from the library, and tried listening again.  I found it went well if I was listening while doing another task, like washing the dishes or folding laundry, and I was able to do lesson planning but not marking with a story running through my headphones.  It was slow going until I found I could make it go faster - 1.25 speed sounds a little more robotic, but it sure cuts on listening time.  I actually finished listening to that book as I drove to the book club meeting - …

Is this rich enough for you?

As a staff, we've been talking a lot about rich tasks, success criteria, and student-centred learning lately.  For a while now I've been really trying to get away from Socratic lessons, and being the only expert in the room, and got the idea from The Innovator's Mindset to have my students create "X in 60 s" videos.  Long story short, the example in the book came from a biology teacher who returned to school after a leave and didn't want to just reuse the same overhead transparencies again.  She had her students create "Mitosis in 60 s" videos instead, and found that students understood the concepts much better because they'd had to learn it well enough to explain so concisely.

Early in the school year, I tried this with my grade 12 IB biology class, and asked them to produce a video entitled, "Natural Selection in 60 s".  The videos weren't explicitly assessed, and I loved that they didn't all produce the same video or even us…