I’m really hoping to be more active here this year. I’d love to do a project for modeling180.org, but I just do see it happening. I’m aiming for a weekly summary instead.
Day 1 – Unfortunately boring stuff on day 1 (course syllabus, safety contract, Habits of Work Rubric, fire drill/lockdown procedures). It is difficult to get into much with a 30 minute period after attendance is taken.
Day 2- I started with a variation of the Subversive Laboratory Grouping Activity from Frank Noschese. I have the kids write down 3 things on the back that they would like me to know about them. Then we transitioned to looking at some sample scientist notebook pages and discussed the qualities of a good science notebook. I distributed grid-ruled composition notebooks and gave the kids time to number the pages. It appears that Staples is using a softer style cover this year compared to last year. I already had my rubber band pull through the cover. It looks like we’ll be reinforcing with duct tape. After going over how to glue pages into our notebooks we started in on The Game of Science.
Day 3 – Safety tour around our “wonderful” open concept space. We finished The Game of Science activities. Four of the six groups got through two different games. Two of the groups struggled with Theta and Psi. Before our board meeting, I discussed my guidelines for conducting board meetings and I also shared a handout of Socratic question stems. We only had about 10 minutes left and we had not built our boards for the meeting so I showed the Veritasium Video – Can You Solve This? and had the students answer a few questions for homework about the video and the process of science.
Next week we will tackle the Biological Concepts Inventory (BCI), take our safety quiz and start some experimental design laboratories using goldfish, pill bugs, and pea seeds.
All in all, I think it was a good start to the year. Although I find the first day difficult with the 30-minus classes instead of 78-minutes. I’d like to start the year with a normal day instead, but the kids need to get pictures taken for IDs. It was more stressful for many of the teachers because only one of the four photocopiers in the school was working (the one in the Main Office of course), but it does not appear that we let the frustration transfer to our kids. I’m really excited to have my advisory kids as Seniors. I think it will be a great year and I’m impressed with how far they have come.