In my Science for Living class, I would say it will be very authentic as it is purely environmental. I have a wide variety of students, many of which are very low in basic skills. I have faith thought that I can reach most of them and give them an opportunity to show that they can learn and be successful in a class. Many are pretty excited about what we have been talking about. It is the completion that they are not so good about!
My Biology class is outstanding! They are working towards the White-tailed deer management town hall meeting. This is tough for them. About 90% of them are hunters, do not believe there is a management problem (and really here there isn't any), and have had to research and adopt a value system that is foreign to them. They are working diligently and I have lined up speakers to help them understand viewpoints. Anyone have experience with white-tailed deer (especially nuisance in housing developments)? We would love to skype people in!
Academic Biology is working on classification having classified candy then created a dichotomous key of the campus leaves. Now we will be looking at monocot vs. dicot through seeds they have planted (will compare seeds, stems, leaves, and roots), slides they will use with the moticam, and research. The work is open enough for variety and attempts to identify species in our food and fiber system. This is one example of using a portfolio type exercise to explain learning. This week we will be blogging as they enter their scientific article research online. Will let everyone know when it is live.
I am really grateful for a colleague I am working closely with. She is a great critical thinker and has some great ideas and both of us are working diligently to be paperless and really change the culture in our class with the tasks we ask students to do. As a 21st century teacher, she is still learning but she has been fearless in staying with it and working with her has been a real pleasure!
Here is an idea we have:
Dissection is coming up - intead of spacing them through the year, we are going to do them all now as well as studying preserved specimens of animals. We are kicking around the idea of a wiki textbook that covers the kingdoms, the classification, dissection of the 4 animals (crayfish, starfish, clam, pig), as well as extension to our lives (bacteria and health, etc.) We have two mini projects that we will do.
- Research of an animals as a biodiversity dictionary (every student would get something different)
- Create an organism using Scratch. Students would have to draw an animal and then classify it based upon what they know about animal classification.
Tags: moticam, biology, science education