Science 9 – Trying hard not to get mired in smaller details of reproduction, students did some practice with small concept maps of sexual reproduction and slide show overview of asexual vs sexual reproduction. The class ended with my asking for an Exit Slip. As many teachers know, this is a great formative assessment tool.
Science 9 – Today was a pretty dry day. Students were prompted to focus on two learning objectives, and had their choice of activities that they wanted to work on. I think that a realistic view needs to be taken with students in grade 9. I don’t believe that small details of meiosis are very important for the students to memorize. It’s the big ideas that they need to know: sexual reproduction results in genetic diversity, meiosis produces gametes with n chromosomes and diploids with 2n chromosomes, etc. It’s also good to read about the details that makes these big ideas happen, but ultimately we don’t need to assess the small details. How do I know that I’m sure? I can ask any grade 10 student, even the top students, and they don’t remember the details. They have no lasting impact.
Science 9 – I’ve had significant problems with one of my grade 9 classes this year. There is constant chatter above what is acceptable, lots of off-task behaviour and people talking out of turn. However, I recently have discovered a way to deal with them. I have reduced the amount I speak to them to the absolute minimum. I’ve never spent a lot of time talking in front of the class but I’ve realized is that even the minimum is too much. What I do now is put some basic instructions on the screen at the beginning of class and let the students start their work or investigations.
Today’s class I started with instructions to produce a concept map based on readings from the textbook. There is a lot of text in this section with lots of vocabulary and concepts. Before too long I was prompted to speak in front of the class because of a need they had, not me. They weren’t sure how to do a concept map, so I briefly worked through the main points. The students worked very hard for the rest of the class. There were several good concept maps produced: