How do we teach in the in-betweens?

Better late than never! My first response to #BBworld2014 How do we teach in the in-betweens? @jmedved

What does it mean to reimagine education?

This is the question I had to ask myself this summer as I attended Blackboard World 2014 in Las Vegas – a conference for educators, administrators and technology leaders using the LMS in their schools.

To be honest, I have had a love-hate relationship with Blackboard since I started using it in September 2013. I had come from a school where MOODLE ruled…

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BIOLOGY SCRABBLE!

For grade 12 spirit week the students all dressed up as scrabble tiles! We spent the last 20 minutes of class spelling out biology related words. Ok - so we could only write “evolutian” - close enough!

How are nerve impulses transmitted?
Students used whiteboards and beads to model the movement of ions across the membrane of an axon. This activity was done after students had already explored the nerve impulse through an interactive MOODLE lesson that included quizzes, screencasts and animations. It was used to formatively assess the students’ understanding and their ability to communicate that understanding.

How are nerve impulses transmitted?

Students used whiteboards and beads to model the movement of ions across the membrane of an axon. This activity was done after students had already explored the nerve impulse through an interactive MOODLE lesson that included quizzes, screencasts and animations. It was used to formatively assess the students’ understanding and their ability to communicate that understanding.

How do we breathe?
Students created a working ventilation system out of a plastic bottle, balloons, straws and tape. This activity helped debunk a misconception that air is “sucked in” through the nose and helped explain the mechanics of breathing via volume and pressure changes in the thorax.

How do we breathe?

Students created a working ventilation system out of a plastic bottle, balloons, straws and tape. This activity helped debunk a misconception that air is “sucked in” through the nose and helped explain the mechanics of breathing via volume and pressure changes in the thorax.

Group 4 Project @ CDNIS: Disaster 2013!!

For our group four project this year students found themselves in the middle of a natural disaster! A tsunami had hit Hong Kong and residents were relegated to five neighbourhoods with limited supplies. Within each neighbourhood students had to work together to complete as many science based challenges as possible. The challenges included in the images above are to design a stethoscope and thermometer to monitor resident health, to create ink for communication, to build binoculars and a catapult to keep the neighbourhood safe, to test the pH of the drinking water and to make glue! There were many other challenges students had to complete in order to survive. At the end they presented their best ideas, explaining the science behind each one. At the end of two days students wrote a reflection on what they had learned about the process of science and themselves as learners. 

How can urine be used to diagnose diabetes?
In this investigation students were provided with the urine from two patients - one without diabetes and one with diabetes. Students used test strips and Benedict’s reagent to qualitatively assess the presence of glucose. However, before conducting the experiments students were required to predict which substance they expected to be in the urine of the diabetes patient. They had previously studied the homeostatic mechanism of blood glucose regulation and knew that diabetes was a failure of the body to produce or respond to insulin. This lab was then used as P.O.E (predict - observe - explain). 

How can urine be used to diagnose diabetes?

In this investigation students were provided with the urine from two patients - one without diabetes and one with diabetes. Students used test strips and Benedict’s reagent to qualitatively assess the presence of glucose. However, before conducting the experiments students were required to predict which substance they expected to be in the urine of the diabetes patient. They had previously studied the homeostatic mechanism of blood glucose regulation and knew that diabetes was a failure of the body to produce or respond to insulin. This lab was then used as P.O.E (predict - observe - explain). 

What is the relationship between heart rate and blood pressure?
Grade 11 DP biology students learned how to use a stethoscope and sphygmomanometer to measure their heart rates and systolic+diastolic blood pressure. They investigated whether or not resting heart rate was a good indicator of blood pressure. They shared their data using a Google spreadsheet posted on the MOODLE site. They created scatterplots with trend lines and calculated correlation coefficients and coefficients of determination. They then analysed the relationship and interpreted the statistics. Their findings were presented in a DCP lab report format and assessed formatively. 

What is the relationship between heart rate and blood pressure?

Grade 11 DP biology students learned how to use a stethoscope and sphygmomanometer to measure their heart rates and systolic+diastolic blood pressure. They investigated whether or not resting heart rate was a good indicator of blood pressure. They shared their data using a Google spreadsheet posted on the MOODLE site. They created scatterplots with trend lines and calculated correlation coefficients and coefficients of determination. They then analysed the relationship and interpreted the statistics. Their findings were presented in a DCP lab report format and assessed formatively. 

How do motors work?
Students investigated the scientific principles behind motors using electromagnets and permanent magnets. Special thanks to our parent volunteer who supplied the materials and made the lesson come alive! 

How do motors work?

Students investigated the scientific principles behind motors using electromagnets and permanent magnets. Special thanks to our parent volunteer who supplied the materials and made the lesson come alive! 

What factors affect the strength of an electromagnet? 
Students were presented with this question and asked to design their own investigations into electromagnets. They had previously been exposed to the idea after a hands-on session with a parent volunteer on motors. Students researched how to build electromagnets and then decided on which independent variable they would manipulate. Some examples included the type of material for the core, the number of coils of the wire, the voltage of the power source, the type or wire etc… Students then designed their lab, carried them out independently, collected, recorded and manipulated their data, presented their findings and reached conclusions. They also evaluated their methods and the reliability and validity of their results. This lab was assessed for criteria D, E and F of the MYP rubrics. 

What factors affect the strength of an electromagnet? 


Students were presented with this question and asked to design their own investigations into electromagnets. They had previously been exposed to the idea after a hands-on session with a parent volunteer on motors. Students researched how to build electromagnets and then decided on which independent variable they would manipulate. Some examples included the type of material for the core, the number of coils of the wire, the voltage of the power source, the type or wire etc… Students then designed their lab, carried them out independently, collected, recorded and manipulated their data, presented their findings and reached conclusions. They also evaluated their methods and the reliability and validity of their results. This lab was assessed for criteria D, E and F of the MYP rubrics. 

How does an electric circuit work?
Students role-played the parts of an electric circuit in order to learn about current, voltage and resistance.

How does an electric circuit work?

Students role-played the parts of an electric circuit in order to learn about current, voltage and resistance.