Thursday, June 13, 2013

Trying Something New

I just bought my son some Thank You cards at Shutterfly.  They told me if I embed this HTML code on my blog, they will send me a $10 coupon.  Here it is!
Stationery Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Biology Project Onion Root Tip Activity

I hope you enjoyed today's activities. I think mitosis is so interesting to learn about, because even though our cells may only live for a few hours, or a few days, or a few months (some even last years), they eventually die, yet we humans, and all other living organisms, live on!

First, we did an interactive online activity that helped up identify onion root tip cells in various stages of mitosis.  If you would like to review that activity, or do it again, here is the link to University of Arizona's Biology Project Onion Root Tip Activity.

HOMEWORK ALERT:  University of Arizona has an excellent page which highlights the main events of the mitotic phases; this page is available in English or in Spanish.  Your homework is to read through the mitosis material on the University of Arizona Website and do the quiz.  TO GET INTO CLASS TOMORROW, YOU MUST BRING ME A COPY OF THE LAST PAGE OF THE QUIZ.  IT LOOKS LIKE THIS:

If you do not provide me with proof that you did your homework, you will take the quiz during class time.  You are responsible for catching up on any material you miss.

Next, we worked on making properly labeled data tables and using Google Docs to create a graphic representation of our data.  If you need to complete this activity, you can go to our Google Docs site to work on your spreadsheet.  It's important that you label all your columns and rows, and that your chart or graph is easy to read.  Since you are logged in under my account, there is no need to "share" it with me this time.  Soon, you will be creating your own data tables, charts, and graphs with little assistance from me.  This is an effective way to communicate your findings after you have completed a lab experiment.

Login:  Redheadscienceteacher2013
Password (CAP sensitive):  RedheadKennedy

HOMEWORK ALERT:  In your blog response, I want you to tell me why you think we did this activity.  Why is it important to know how many cells are in a particular phase of mitosis?   What does the information tell us?

FINAL HOMEWORK ALERT:  All blog responses are due before 9:00 P.M. on Thursday, November 29, 2012 so that I have time to review them before our next class

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Scientific Method of Inquiry

Please watch this digital story and then answer some or all of these questions in the Comment section.

1.  Have you ever learned about the scientific method of inquiry before?  When?
2.  Have you ever conducted an experiment, either in school or at home?Tell us about it!
3.  What parts of the scientific method did you use for your experiment?
4.  Have you ever made a digital story before?
5.  Would you like to learn to make digital stories?
6.  Is there anything else you would like to share with the class?

In our next class, we will:
1. Review your responses to this blog post, and
2. Use the scientific method of inquiry to design an experiment that you will do!

Friday, July 20, 2012

When You Don't Have Reliable Internet Service

This week, my children have been in camp from 9:30 A.M until 12:30 P.M. in Alexandria. Since I live in Arlington, I have been going to the Beatley Central Library on Duke Street to work on my Technology Integrated Unit Plan for which, which I am sorry to say, I just can't seem to muster up any enthusiasm. My internet connection has been "lost" no fewer than 4 or 5 times PER DAY, and when I am connected, everything I research online, for example the ITSE standards or Virginia SOLs, is so slow that it is nearly impossible for me to work. Heaven forbid I might want to listen to music while I work, or check my email while I am waiting for pages to load, the wi-fi can't handle it. If I go to an desktop computer, I am only able to work one hour at a time,and I can't save anything unless I have my own flash drive. I am also forced to work in the middle of the library, rather than a spot of my choice (I like to sit by the windows, usually). I can see the difficulties that our students may face when looking at assignments that require computers!

It's only been one week, and already I can see what a total DRAG this would be and how I might be inclined to throw in the towel on some assignments if I were in high school. While I fully expect that even the most needy of students will likely find a way to obtain a cell phone (I know I would have when I was in high school), those phones will be most useful for watching videos, texting, and maybe Tweeting. But for exploring the internet, which is often how I begin my research, these kids are really going to need support (reliable, speedy wi-fi and a secure place to use it), equipment (laptop), and time to complete the assignments.

Oh, and by the way, here's a picture of the homeless man who slept in the chair next to me this morning.  While I love my neighbors and help when I can, I am also concerned for the safety of my students if they are studying in the evening because they are vulnerable.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Letting Kids Use Cell Phones

I agree with Michael Soskil's points in his blog post titled, "5 Reasons to Allow Students to Use Cell Phones in Class."  I think all of his points are valid and compelling reasons to leave the door open to using cell phones as aides to learning.  I was surprised to learn in Katrina Schwartz's post, "Schools and Students Clash Over Use of Technology," that over 65 percent of principals "said it was unlikely they would allow personal devices in the coming year," despite evidence that suggests students are increasingly using their personal technology devices to discuss and work collaboratively on assignments, and that parents support using personal technology in the classroom.

I couldn't find an image I wanted to use, but here's a story that CNN ran in April 2010 on a school that gave modified cell phones (phone and texting diabled, internet filtered) to students to be used as assistive learning devices.

Sharing a Presentation

Here is a PowerPoint Presentation that I uploaded to Slideboom.  This was part of a group project in a previous class so some of you have seen this presentation before.  As I recall, Wyatt won a rousing game of Order of Operations Bingo, although he ate some of the rewards before the game was officially over.  I don't have a "Before" and "After" to show you, but this is the final version we submitted with our written lesson plan.

Although 4 of us contributed to the written lesson plan, I was the main author of this PowerPoint presentation.  I like that Slideboom (1) was super-easy to use and that it (2) preserved the animations.  I am kind of disappointed that you can't hear the "Jeopardy" theme that was supposed to be played while the students figure out the problems.  I hope you like this presentation, and feel free to leave any glowing comments below.

Order of Operations Bingo
View more presentations or Upload your own.