Pictures are worth a thousand words. I suspect that pictures taken of learning events boost student learning in the same way. My goal is to make images an essential tool of science exploration in school. In this lesson concept, students will learn how to complete an image mark up (taking an original image and labeling important concepts). The basic principle is that students create unique digital products that demonstrate their learning. In one class period with group access to a computer students create an image that highlights important scientific concepts. As students work to create their examples, you will unlock new learning opportunities. Once this skill is mastered, it can be used for anything, labeling insect parts on a specimen collected form the field, making constellation makes of the night sky, the possibilities are endless. Click on the image below to learn more.
Digital images are an essential part of scientific research. In field biology, researchers can capture images of animals and behaviors that provide months of data for future research. With the wealth of technology tools available to teachers today, our students can use these same technology tools. Almost any lab you do can benefit from students taking pictures of their work. Often, I will ask them about a lab event the day after and they struggle to remember. If students take pictures of their lab work, it’s easy to show them pictures of their own work to start the discussion. I also have students use these as part of their lab reports which leads to a deeper understanding of the concepts. If you are interested in this topic for your students, click the image below.
Rubristar is a free site I use frequently for creating rubrics for my class projects. This is a lifesaver for busy teachers. In addition if you have followed any of the Mass Customized Learning (MCL) movement, this is a great tool to help out. In many cases students are doing self assessment for MCL projects. This provides a fast easy way to create rubrics.
This past year I started creating spreadsheets to "gamify" our students learning experience. For example, when we do our spring kickball tournament, instead of just keeping points for the game, we allow teams to earn team building points for various activates. This creates a fun engaging environment that really engages students. The video below is an example of our kickball spreadsheet. You can view the product by clicking the thumbnail below.
Have you ever wondered how many species are on Earth? I came across this article that 86% of plants and animals on land and 91% of plants and animals in the sea have been catalogued. I find this amazing that in todays day and time that there are still undiscovered species. This article would be a great resources for a discussion on classification in the classroom. Click here for more.
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Middle School Resources to Engage Kids
Love this one, simple but effective.
What if Jupiter was a star?