Thursday, June 12, 2008

The "New" Science 9

Oh I heard it through the grapevine,
It looks like I'm teachin' Science 9...for summer school!

I have a degree in Biology, and I think that I will do well with this course. I will be teaching students who didn't pass during the regular year, and so I have to cover a year's worth of Science in one month. what is the best way to cover some very abstract science concepts with struggling students?

The Superintendent for the Coquitlam School district, Tom Grant, took time out of his schedule to email me a list of free printable worksheets for a variety of high school subjects. Well, he didn't send it to me personally, but rather to all the principals, and my principal in turn passed it on to me. These great high school resources are found at Turns out that although is an Ontario based educational website, it closely aligns with the NEW science 9 curriculum. How lucky is that?

My plan for each lessons will be to create each new lesson to be of the same format as the next.

1.) Have the students copy out the learning intentions for the day. Make sure they understand what it means. Put it on a blogsite made just for this course.

2.) Pre-teach the vocabulary (as much as possible) before beginning the lesson. Don't do all the vocabulary, maybe just 5 words per lesson. The goal is that they pass. Keep these 5 posted through the lesson. Refer to them - have the students make a "Woot Woot!" sound (or something) when we say the word reading aloud from the text so that it is fun and they are actively looking for this word. Perhaps even throw candy at them for being the first to locate these words in the text, and put it into their own words. Put these 5 words a day on the blogsite.

3.) Whenever possible, show a short 1-4 minute video from YouTube explaining the content. Embed the video in the course blogsite.

4.) Read the text. Answer questions from text, or fill in blackline master. Link to blackline master on blogsite.

5.) Students turn in short blackline master assignments or multiple choice / short answer assignments during class. Homework assignments only once every couple of days. Complete in class assignments are a must in order to pass.

6.) Give the class red, yellow, and green signs. When doing lesson, reading aloud from text, students hold up signs at the end of a subtopic or concept.
Green = I get it
Yellow = I sort of get it
Red = I don't understand it.

Greens help yellows, and I help reds. People need to get up and move. This will precede "complete in class" assignments. Off task behaviour = go work by yourself as you are interfering with other people's education. Summer plans are jeopardized by these actions. So are next year's plans.

7.) Have the students repeat the learning intentions for the day before they leave the class. It is their ticket out the door.

8.) Allow students to make comments or ask questions about homework on the blogsite. Specify what kinds of questions get posted, who will answer them, and how they are answered.

I will need a computer or laptop, and a projector. I will teach much of my lesson from the projector, and the day's notes go onto a blog for the end of the day. Stay tuned to see if I am actually teaching this course.


RawBin said...

I took summer school in my tenth grade year (20 something years ago). I vaguely remember the english course i had; Dry, boring, passable. I remember with fondness the algebra course I took that same summer. The teacher was enthusiastic, fun, and entertaining. I passed with a 98 average. I had a great time, and still, as the summer school subject comes up, I recall how i enjoyed my summer school vacation because a teacher took the effort to make it fun to learn.
Your ideas look fresh and inviting. I sometimes wish that adults could sit in on these classes for enrichment.
Don't lose that spark!

James Gill said...

Thanks Rawbin,

I was just thinking today how I was a bit overwhelmed changing schools right now, and finding it hard to get excited about teaching summer school because I want a rest. But you have helped me get revitalized. Thanks for the comment.

BTW, my wife is a raw food vegan. She wishes you well on your raw food journey.