1a. Teachers promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness.
-Students are encouraged to share current events or exciting scientific news. I try to share articles, events, research, etc. that I think would interest them. Some students like to share what they learned, saw, watched, etc. with the class.
-In both biology and chemsitry, several the labs throughout the year have been either inquiry or student led. I simply give them a prompt and then guide them through developing a procedure to test or support the prompt. For example, in chemistry, students were given baking soda and vinegar and then asked to prove/support the law of conservation of mass. They had a classroom full of supplies, and multiple attempts to try different methods in which to show the law of conservation of mass does exist!
1b. Teachers engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources.
-This year I have incorporated current events and research into each of my biology classes. Each class, we listen to a Scientific American 60-Second Science podcast. These focus on different environmental, medical, psychological, technology, etc. issues, current research, and current events in the multiple areas of science. I have tried not to completely limit it to biological issues. Sometimes, the topics tie directly into what we are studying. Othertimes, it gives a good break to discuss something else that is going on. No matter what, though, we are exploring and discussing real-world issues each class. Many students have started following Scientific American on their Twitter and think it is really cool!
2c. Teachers customize and personalize learning activities to address students' diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources.
-In chemistry, the second trimester project was a self-constructed evalutation of bottles vs. cans. The students could use any digital medium they wanted to present their findings. They were only given a series of questions about different factors and asked to design and carry out the experiments on their own, documenting the process and outcome. They could work individually or with a partner.
Example project: https://sites.google.com/site/brookieandcorey/home
-In biology, the students have had multiple opportunities to choose what they learn. For the unit on plants, the students were given a layered curriculum in which they chose their homeworks and some of their assessments. These could include reading a specific article to watching a specific video and reflecting or more traditional homework assignments. They could also choose to write an essay or produce a prezi, glogster, etc. instead over the same assessment material.
-Also in biology, the students were assigned an invertebrate phylum. Each had a list of information they had to include, but could then present the material in any digital medium they wished. They could also present the material to the class in any format they wished as long as they included the required parts. Within each phylum they could choose what animals they wanted to focus on and research. They also got to dissect an animal specific to their phylum that the other groups did not. https://sites.google.com/a/parishepiscopal.org/mrs-neuhoff-s-biology-wiki/home
Example 1: Invertebrate Project:
Implementation: The students were in groups of 2-3 and assigned an invertebrate phyla. Given the following requirements, students had to organize themselves and determine how the following would be implemented for the project. Students were allowed to use any digital media in order to post and to present the material. Each student had to take responsibility for more than one component/role in order for the project to be completed. In some instances, the individual could work on a component (for example the research article summary) but in others, they had to work together (for example, the dissection). In order to complete the project, they had to use organization, communication, presentation, and research skills.
2d. Teachers provide students with multiple and varied formative and summative assessments aligned with content and technology standards and use resulting data to inform learning and teaching.
-In both chemistry and biology, students have daily homework assignments. These are graded for completion the next class. The students are then given the homework back to ask questions, come see me for more help, practice for test and quizzes, etc. Then, when they take the test, the homeworks are turned in together as a packet and graded for accuracy. The daily handing in allows me to see what we need to review in class (formative). The turning in at the end of a unit then allows me to see their progression through the unit and if they have taken the opportunity to come see me for help and make corrections. They then receive a summative grade for their homework for each unit.
-Both courses also have formal and informal lab assessments. Many labs have questions and observations to answer at the end. However, both courses have completed formal lab reports on a select few. In biology, these labs have been inquiry driven. The students are required to perform research, citing sources, driving their interpretation of the lab and its results.
-Each trimester both courses have a project to complete. These require the use of technology, but the students were not limited to one medium to display their information (see above 2c).