The day started with the usual Friday morning meeting with the entire staff. Again, there was nothing major to report about. After the meeting, I had to book it over to the science center for period one. It was “Bones,” and it was the first time that I had the class for myself!
My cooperating teacher wasn’t there today so another teacher took her place and sat in the back. The way it works at BSC, is when a teacher is not present at school, another teacher, who has a free period, is given materials to use for the lesson. I think it is a great system, and keeps the school from having full time substitutes. Many of the subs in the U.S. whom I have come across have been somewhat inexperienced and usually lack in classroom management skills. Thankfully with this system at BSC, all the teachers are expected to take an “extra” once every 3 weeks, and know the students who they are going to be teaching; this makes classroom management much easier.
Back to “Bones.” I started the lesson with a Smart Board presentation that asked the students to come to the board to label the human skeleton. The students didn’t miss a one. I then had a couple slides that asked the students to label the bones in a couple x-rays and then asked them if there was anything wrong with them. A couple of the x-rays were perfectly normal and a couple had obviously something wrong. I showed them what a broken clavicle looked like and what a broken ankle might look like. They were really receptive to the x-rays and thought that was an interesting task.
I then moved onto introducing skeletal muscles. After a couple slides asking students to think about what skeleton muscles look like and how they work, I asked the class what they wanted to know about them. After a few students aid what they wanted to learn about, I handed out a work sheet that I created asking the students to use a table of Greek and Latin terms to determine what a few muscle names meant. It then asked them to determine why the muscles were named the way that they were. The worksheet concluded by asking the students to use various sources to answer a few though provoking questions. Many of the questions were very similar to questions that students had asked earlier in the lesson. This made me happy.
I received great feedback from the extra teacher in the class who was taking notes on my lesson. It was nice to have yet another teacher give me feedback on my teaching style.
My next class was “Animal Inside.” I gave the students some more time to finish an assignment that I assigned the prior lesson. After, I had them work on an activity that asked the students to compare the teeth and jaw structure of different mammals. Some of the students had no problem completing the activity. Some of the students in this class refuse to pick up a pen to do any work unless you’re looking over their shoulder. I don’t tolerate this and express to them that it is unacceptable to do nothing in class. It really is a shame to see young adults not value their education. Sometimes I want to call them out and tell them how lucky they are to have such a nice school with caring teachers. They are also so lucky to have a science center like the one at BSC with more than enough resources for teachers to develop brilliant lessons. It is in these students’ lives that I wish to make the most difference.
Since the year 7s were still at camp, my third period was free so I could plan for the practical during period 4 with my year 11s. I spent most of the time refining my practical worksheet that I was going to give to the students to complete.
The point of the practical was to get the students to use the microscope to view various samples. I also wanted them to use this opportunity to make scientific drawings. The students were given three specimens to look at: onion, banana, and elodea, a freshwater plant. This would also allow them to see different kinds of cells. Truly the only hazard was the stains that we used, Methylene blue was used to stain the onions and iodine was used for the bananas. Methylene blue outlines the cell walls of the onion cells and iodine is used to stain bananas because it stains the starch of banana cells a deep purple. The elodea didn’t need to be stained because the cells were of course green and didn’t need any more definition. We also had some blue-green algae out to be used as an extension to the practical. The algae were collected on my trip to Lakes Entrance with my cooperating teacher. All in all the practical went well but I will need to use the next class lesson to finish up the practical.
After a beer and some work after school, I left to go home. I hopped on the bike and went for my daily ride around the neighborhood and down to the river. I was ready for the weekend because my ride wasn’t very long, I felt a little bit lazy.
Tomorrow, I’m planning to take a trip up the coast past Lakes Entrance to Cape Conran to go fishing with my cooperating teacher. I was so happy that she invited me to come along! I’m hoping to catch some dinner! I will take some pictures and post them tomorrow when I get home.
I’m currently watching preseason Australian football. The Australian Football League (AFL) started today so I suspect the next few weeks are going to exciting around the house. I’ve been told to support (again, not root for) Carlton Football Club of Melbourne since they are the “best team” in the AFL. I can’t really argue with my host family. In all seriousness, I think its best to keep an open mind to see which team that I like but from what I’ve seen and read about Carlton, I think they are pretty solid.
I will back to write tomorrow to talk about my trip fishing; hopefully it is successful!