Friday, February 22, 2013

What teacher do when they are bored....

So I realize that I am a bit strange in that I actually enjoy lesson planning. I love creating new activites and planning out new and improved ways to do the lessons in my curriculum. This afternoon my husband was taking a nap, and I was downstairs watching TV. I couldn't find anything really interesting to watch so ended up flipping through some things I brought home over vacation for my next biology unit - cell division. The notes handout that I had was lost when my computer hard drive crashed last spring and I really wanted to update it. In the process I decided that since I had nothing to do I would make a powerpoint presentation for the notes since I don't have one already for that particular unit. So when my husband finally came downstairs after his nap, here I am on the couch with the laptop smiling at slide number 14 of a pretty cool presentation! The conversations that ensued was something like this...

     Husband - "Whatcha doing?"
     Me - "Well I was bored, so I decided to make a powerpoint on cell division"
     Husband - "You were for FUN you are making a powerpoint?"
     Me - "Yup, I don't have one for this lesson and thought it would be fun."
     Husband - "Your definition of fun is very odd." and walks away shaking his head.

Either way, I am about 3/5 done my presentation, then have to retype the notes handout. It would be easier if I had the old file to open up and just modify....but that is what I get for not backing up files in the past. I have since learned my lesson on that! Vacation is almost over and I have gotten lots of random school related things gone, but not really the things on my to-do list so over the next two days I have to get some grading done.

Sample slides are below of my "I was bored so I made a new Powerpoint". I have finished this and used it in my class today along with the notes handout. Both are going to be up on TpT once I finish typing up some additional teachers notes and add in a few image citations that I missed.

When I teach mitosis we accompany the notes with a hands-on model. I use a set of pop-beads to make chromosomes with magnetic centers that act as the centromeres. We use a laminated outline of a cell so students can draw in membranes and spindle fibers. Using the beads we go through the whole process from interphase and chromosome duplication to alignment of the chromosomes during metaphase, separation of sister chromatids during anapahse, and finally the formation of two identical daughter cells. I will use the same kit when we go over meiosis later in the week. The kids stayed focused and on task while working with the manipulatives, and even though it takes quite a bit of time to go through the notes and modeling they seemed to be paying attention.

After we finished up the lesson we played a round of "Slap-It" with my mitosis stage cards. I put three sets of cards mixed together for each group of 5 students. I called out a phase and the first student to slap the right cards got to keep it, we raced to see who could get the most cards. I used the same cards as part of my pre-test. Students each had a set of cards and had to put them in the order they predicted they went in and then explain in words why they thought the process would happen that way. The descriptions I got from students were not as detailed as I had hoped but many of them were able to predict at least a partially correct order.

Overall, I thought the lesson went very well. Having my directions for the modeling on the powerpoint made it easier to stay on task and for everyone to know what they had to do next so I think that was certainly worth the time to do!

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