When the idea of going deskless popped into my head last spring, it was in response to classroom management and safety issues that had been arising with increased class sizes, the addition of inclusion physical science 9 to my schedule and the adoption of a 1:1 Chromebook program.
"The Learning Pit" metaphor constructed by James Nottingham can serve as an important part of establishing a culture for learning in the high school science classroom.
In this post, I share my thoughts about positive relationships as well as some of the activities that I do on the first day of school to make connections with my students.
Once you get into your teaching routine, there is not a lot of struggle. There are changes and challenges, but rarely do you encounter a situation that completely breaks your confidence or forces you entirely out of your comfort zone. I don’t think I fully appreciated the frustration, pain and inadequacy my students sometimes feel until today.
I attended a presentation that provided a couple of great ideas for improving on traditional worksheets and bell ringers by using Google Slides.
As a secondary science teacher, I have contact with my students everyday. Making relationships and learning about all of my students is key to letting them know that I am invested in their success.
As teachers, we all know that our job extends far beyond the content we are required to deliver. We are educators, mentors, coaches, parents and more. It is important for us to find ways to wear all of these hats without burning out. I have learned many great strategies that certainly helped re-energize me as a teacher but there was one strategy in particular that I could not get out of my head.
Like many schools, this year my school went 1:1. Each of our students was issued an 11 inch Chromebook with a webcam. Our upperclassmen have the the older Samsung models with a front-facing webcam and our underclassmen have the new Lenovo N22/23 models with a flippable webcam. I am a “jump in head first” type of person so I decided to go completely paperless this year. Now that I am halfway through the year (and still paperless!), I wanted to share what has been working well for me and where the snags have been.
Whether you are looking to add a bit more scientific inquiry to your labs or simply looking for a great stoichiometry lab that can be added to your collection, I encourage you to try something like this with your students!
It all started with a couple of summers spent on fellowships at the Institute for Chemical Education at the University of Wisconsin: Madison. In 1990 after two years of teaching high school chemistry I transferred to help open a school to specialize in Health and Medical education. I was 23 years old and ready to take on the world. The school’s student body was high poverty, 96% of the students qualified for the federal lunch program, and almost the entire student body was classified as minority. It was a good first year.
This post was submitted for the 2017 ChemEd X Call for Contributions: Creating a Classroom Culture.