Jan 7, 2018

Living Environment Regents Review


If you are a Biology (Living Environment) teacher in New York State, you may be thinking about the upcoming January Regents Exams. Do you have students in your classes who are going to be re-taking the exam? Did a counselor or administrator just come to you to help a senior who needs that exam to graduate. Maybe you just taught a semester class, or even a Regents prep class, but are looking for a way to wrap up or are feeling rushed for time. Looking for a way to determine what to focus on for the January exam? I can help!

Tips as well as a free resource to help students with the NYS Living Environment Exam


This Regents Review Resource is focused on the topics that are most frequently tests, from analysis of past year’s exams, and looking at common diagrams, types of questions, concepts, and vocabulary. There is so much in the course, but in reality, there are key concepts that always make up a substantial number of the points. Use this to your advantage! (And, more importantly, your students’ advantage).

Cell Membrane Review For Living Environment from Science in the City

Click here to get a one page (single topic) review sent to your email.


Living Environment Review Free Sample
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This resource can be used in a variety of ways, depending upon your available time. You can review one page (topic) per day. You can have students work in partners to do a page and then go over the answer. An answer key is included, so you could absolutely just give it to them at home, with or without the answer key. Of course, since it is divided by topic, you don’t have to use all the pages. I have some really creative ideas where teachers have set up stations, or contests between different groups.

Some of my most recent feedback:



If you are looking for other ideas for to review, I would suggest you check out some of my earlier posts on Fun and Easy Ways to Gamify your Review and Tips for Successful Year End Review

I’d love to hear about how you review, and what you find most helpful to get your students ready for Regents Exams.

Tips as well as a free resource to help students with the NYS Living Environment Exam

Dec 31, 2017

Citizen Science: Real Scientists in the Classroom

Citizen Science: Real Scientists in the Classroom

Many times we try to do an activity with our students that we think is ‘fun’ or ‘engaging’ but we hear from our students things like “why do we need to know this?” or “this isn’t important.” Citizen science may be a missing piece to show our students that science is real, and they can be part of it.

A description of Citizen Science and resources to get started in your classroom

What is Citizen Science?

Citizen science projects are run by real scientists, but allow citizens, to help collect data, and be part of active scientific research. Here is a great infographic answering the question “What is Citizen Science?” from the Citizen Science Center.

Here is a more thorough description, and even a great TED talk on the importance of Citizen Science. The TED talk would even be a good introduction to share with your students.

Why do citizen science with your students?

Being involved in a citizen science project can give your students a real sense of purpose, and can also expand upon what they are learning in class. These type of projects allow student to have experience ‘real science,’ and perhaps most importantly to to connect what they are learning to a real audience, so that it is more relevant. It allows them to get out of the classroom, and to put what they have learned in a larger context, or learn an extension. Here is a whole article on 8 Great Reasons Why You Should Use Citizen Science in Your Class.

How do I implement Citizen Science?

That’s really up to you. An entire elective course could be built around Citizen Science, a unit, an extension project, and extra credit project, or even a introductory.

Where do I start?

A great resource to start with is these books. The first is endorsed by NSTA (National Science Teachers Association), the second is not specifically, but both are excellent! (affiliate link).


We also had quite a lengthy discussion in my Facebook group on this post. There are some really cool ideas being thrown around, and I’d love to have your input as well if you have done any of these. There is an almost endless array of different types of projects and topics, so find one that aligns well with your curriculum, your geography, or that interests your students and get out there and try it out!

Here are some links of places to look for projects (and I'm sure there are more).
Scientific American
The Litterati (data collection on litter)

Then report back! We’d love to hear how it goes!

A description of Citizen Science, and resources to get started doing citizen science in your classroom

Dec 17, 2017

5 Reasons to Use Memes with Your Students

Why and how could you make memes with your students?

We, as teachers, are always looking for ways to connect with our students and their lives outside of school, as well as to get their attention and help them to remember the content we are trying to teach. Making memes either for your students, or having them make memes are great tools to do just that.

The How and Why of Making Memes with your students

First the HOW. 

That’s the easy part! There are several websites that will quickly and easily allow you to put in a picture, or choose from one of the common pictures that are used in memes, and then input your caption. Then you can download your new image. They are VERY easy to use.

Here are a few that I would recommend
All three websites function very similarly, and are really straightforward to use. Not much farther explanation is needed there.

Examples

Before we go much further into the WHY, let’s take a look at some examples. Here are some great examples of both teacher memes, memes that you might use with students, and even one that students could create as an assignments. Click through. What emotions or reactions do you have as you go through?


Created with flickr slideshow.
As you clicked through, what did you feel? Were you amused? Did you feel sympathetic? Did you laugh out loud? We know that when we emotionally connect to something we are much more likely to remember it, and the same is true for our students!

The Why

When something evokes an emotional response, students remember it, they are more engaged, and more attentive. Memes express what we are feeling and thinking so well, sometimes better than words alone can do. In order to make appropriate memes, you must really understand the content (or rule or situation). Lastly, memes connect with students where they are. Memes and gifs are common all over their world, in social media and chatting apps.

Uses in Class

So how could you use memes in your class? Could be when you go over rules, or remind students of classroom procedures. I think it would be great to just have one ready to flash up on the screen sometime when students are talking while you are teaching. It would get their attention, and they would really understand what’s going on. You could have students make memes as a way to show their understanding. Memes could be part of a review activity, or possibly even an assessment that would make a great bulletin board or display. Here is a great example from Themetapicture.com if you are teaching about pH.
Or learning about solar energy, you could give them this meme, and ask them to explain what’s wrong with it.
Memes can be a great way for your students to get engaged and show their creativity, as well as make your lessons more memorable. Have you tried this or a similar activity with your classes? If so, please share your favorite meme in the comments, or in the Facebook group!
How and Why to use and make memes in the classroom
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