The morning started out as it typically does anymore, riding the bike to school; it may have been a few minutes later than usual today. I was excited to get to school to start a practical with the students in “Animal Inside.” Unfortunately the equipment wasn’t set up in time when I got there so I had to go to “Plan B.” The only problem was that there wasn’t one. Thankfully I had arrived at school early enough to give me time to come up with another lesson that was appropriate for the class and where we were in the unit. Thankfully I came up with a digestive system labeling activity for the students. Looking back now, it was probably a great idea to have the students do some quiet work, especially after the swimming sports last night! Linda was pleased that I had the alternative lesson set up as quickly as I did in order to keep the students from missing a whole day of content. I’m really happy this happened to me because it got me thinking and put on the spot to come up with an engaging lesson for the students.
After period one, I headed to the senior campus library to meet with one of the humanities teachers to go over some learning strategies. It was a real pleasure to meet her! Prior to starting our meeting, we talked a lot about my travels and Turkey, a vacation destination she is considering in the very near future. I told her how much I love it there and how amazingly friendly the people are there, not to mention the great scenery and plethora of things to do. Regardless of the fact that I am completely biased about the topic of Turkey, I just made sure that I was completely clear that she should go, no matter what!
After quite a while talking, we started our meeting. A lot of the information that she provided me will be extremely helpful in my teaching career and I am grateful to have some new resources. We started the meeting talking about reliable learning strategies, which was essentially the topic of today’s meeting. We discussed Getting Knowledge Ready, Targeting Vocabulary, Reading Aloud, Paraphrasing, Saying Questions the Text Answers, Summarizing, and Reviewing, as the 7 Highly Reliable Learning Strategies (HRLS). I had heard and was familiar with a lot of this but I was still curious to learn more. The goal of the meeting for me was to find new ways that would help me facilitate the transference of information from short-term memory to long-term memory in all of my students. The idea was to structure lessons based on the physiology of the brain and thinking processes. I was really happy to have met a new colleague and to have learned so much.
The rest of my day was devoted to planning the four lessons that I have tomorrow (one of the reasons this post is so late in the evening). My “Animal Inside” students will be working on the practical that I had set up for them today, which deals with beak adaptations in birds and how to tell what a bird eats based on beak anatomy (Darwin would be proud). The year 11 students will be working on the inner workings of the cell and will be looking at and studying various organelles. My “Bones” students will be engaged in the activity that I had them working on last week and should be finishing it up at some point tomorrow. My year 7 students are going to be introduced to the microscope tomorrow! I’m pleased that I’ll be the one to introduce them to a tool that some of them could be using for the rest of their academic careers!
After school, I left to go home on the bike. I arrived home, changed, and hopped right back on the bike to go for a ride around town. It is certainly the best way to cool down after a long day at school. Tonight for dinner we had burgers and sausages that were grilled on the barbie. Truly delicious!
I found out tonight that I would be spending much of the weekend in Melbourne these next few days! I will be leaving tomorrow afternoon after class to go to see Geelong, St. Kilda, and Sydney play against each other in a pre-season Australian Football League (AFL) event where each team will play the others in one evening. The matches are shortened a bit to allow the teams to catch their breath but it will be intense! I’ve been looking forward to this for a while!
I will be staying in the city for two nights and will catch the train back to Bairnsdale on Sunday afternoon. Hopefully I won’t have too much laundry to do!
I will more than likely not have Internet while I am away so this may be the last post I have for a couple days. But don’t you worry, I will be back on as soon as I get the chance to update the world about the fabulous times I am having in this spectacular country; hopefully with pictures!