Biology:

  • Allison from Berwick. In Bio II, she wanted to investigate different genetic disorders. Students were given scenarios. Each group member took on a role ….affected child, parent, counselor (genetic), or sibling. Students had to plan so that they would not present the same information as other students when presented to the class. Some students showed emotional response to the presentations, e.g. tears. She had to develop separate organizers to be certain that student roles did not cross-over to others. Bonus points were offered to students for asking an enlightening question. Most students did not respond to the bonus option and Allison is looking for another solution to stimulate conversation. Chris from Benton did something similar with a physician’s role.
  • Chris … White Rat Dissection … he is thinking about creating his own video or images that illustrate the complete dissection and document the systems and to promote a better overall perspective as students are proceeding through the dissection on their own.
  • George from Southern talked about discussions in his earlier group and talked about students taking a cell and using analogies as part of a presentation. Also catching mosquitoes for the purpose of West Nile virus study were engaging class activities.
  • About cells, Mary from Shik has students do Help Wanted Ads or Job Descriptions for parts of cells. Glogster was mentioned as having great potential. Virtual Posters could possibly be used to publish offering the advantage of less classroom space, as opposed to traditional posters, and to promote engagement for students. Creating newspapers could do the same and provide an easily transported study guide also. These latter options might work better than analogies which some students seem incapable of comprehending.
  • Level of Synthesis seems to be the general level shown by these activities.
  • Alan (Line Mountain) noted the difficulties of high levels of Blooms in Biology because of the pre-requisite knowledge base required.
  • Chris said that offering AP seats is part of AYP ... success is not...
  • Some expressed concern about AP being too content focused and less authentic and practical than alternative advanced biology classes that are available to students.
  • Alan thought it might be good to have students develop, in weekly increments, a year-long slide show or picture oriented fact sheets. There was discussion about using Inspiration as a graphic organizer. (Sounds like Synthesis). Alan gives students PPT slides with generally terminology and then the students need to insert characteristics, definitions, and pictures which creates a personalized, meaningful, and color reference.
Great job Biology teachers !