Friday, January 24, 2014

Ms. Dosch Asks Her Students to Show What They Know About Mitosis.

In Jenny Dosch's 7th grade science class, students had a different kind of assessment.  Students needed to show and explain to Ms. Dosch the stages of mitosis using string and pipe cleaners.

First, the students gathered around Ms. Dosch at the back of the room as she modeled how the students should present to her.


Next, the students got their own supplies of string and pipe cleaners and practiced on their own.

Last, Ms. Dosch went around the room and assessed the students when they were ready.

It looked something like this:

1. Interphase- This is where the chromosomes make copies.

2. Prophase Chromosomes match up and make long chains

  3. Metaphase - Chromosomes meet up in the middle

4. Anaphase - Chromatids separate and move to opposite sides of the cell.
5. Telophase- Nuclear membrane forms and the cells independently pinch off.
6. Cytokinesis- A cell plate forms between the two new cells.

 John has mastered the steps and passed his assessment.  
He proved it to me 3 times!

Students loved this activity!  It was great for them to 
"SHOW what they KNOW". 
Wonderful work, Ms. Dosch!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ms. Lindeman Keeps the Math Kids on Their Toes!

Mrs. Lindeman always has something new for her students to try. 
Her kiddos are rarely off task because there 
is never enough time for that!

3 students get a Koosh Ball and on the count of 3, they throw them at the SMARTboard!

Under each colored dot is an equation. 
The equation that is revealed depends on who hit a colored dot 
with their Koosh Ball, so having  good aim is important!

After working out the problem on a sheet of paper, 
the students then write their answer on a whiteboard  
and raise it in the air for Mrs. Lindeman to see. 

Great idea, Mrs. Lindeman!  You kept your students on their toes. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I Love to Collaborate with the Media Specialist at Valley Middle School!

Mrs. LoRia Novak, the Valley Middle School Media Specialist, and I work very well together.  I am very blessed...  Every year, we create some sort of project that ties into the media center.  This year, we decided to do an iMovie trailer.  Check it out!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mrs. Kristin Smith uses the Jigsaw method to get kids thinking and talking about Urban Sprawl.

Having your goals and objectives on the board keeps everyone in the know and I like it!

Mrs. Smith introduced the term Urban Sprawl in her classroom and asked the students to dissect the word.  Two of the students shared that they sprawl in wrestling.  Rather than have the students explain how to sprawl in wrestling, Mrs. Smith had them show the students.  It was very evident that the move meant to "spread out".  It was a great visual.  

On one of the days, Mrs. Smith drew a diagram on the board and the students placed their terms in the drawing.  This was a great activity to see how all of their terms affect each other.

All week the students have been doing various activities related to the topic and on Thursday, they were actively involved in a Jigsaw activity.  To begin, the students were placed into expert groups at different tables.  The tables had a folder of information for each group.

 The groups read their information and learned their roles.

A pair of experts learning about their roles.

The task was to choose one of 3 plans presented for the development of the city, Portland, Oregon.  Their plan had to fit with the beliefs of their role.  Each group had a list of requirements they had to fulfill.

The students then got into discussion panels.  Each group had a member from each expert group.  Each member had 1 minute to share which option they chose and why.  The group then had to come up with an agreement as to which of the 3 plans would be best.

The students were on track and engaged 
while presenting their information.

Mrs. Smith has 2 more cities to try this with and hopes the students become more informed and confident as they better learn their roles.  She also wants to try to include Williston, ND as one of the studied cities.  To be continued....

Great job, Mrs. Smith!  I loved being a part of this activity!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mrs. Lindeman uses the Singapore Math Bar Model and I am SOLD! Oh...and I found an app for that!

This old dog learned a new trick!  I taught math for 14 years and have never heard of this teaching method.  It is a different way to introduce equations and I LOVE IT!  

Old dog learning a new trick.

The bar model helps students visualize the relationships between the numbers given and the amount you are looking for in a word problem.

EXAMPLE from Mrs Lindeman's class

There are many YouTUBE videos about this method, but I like Mrs. Lindeman's approach the best.

I overheard a student say, "This makes story problems so much easier.  I am not afraid of them anymore."

While researching this method, I came across a free iPad app that will enhance her lessons.  Check it out!

Way to go, Mrs. Lindeman! 

My Owl template has disappeared...sad face. :(

Stay tuned for a new look!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mrs. Kristin Smith holds students accountable for assessing themselves.

Students used Google Docs to create assessments for their peers.  Their test needed to include the following:

      10 Vocabulary Definitions
      10 Multiple Choice
        5 Fill in the blank with a word bank 

Student Examples:  

Valley Student

Why involve students in the assessment process?
By involving students in the creation of the assessments, students feel more empowered and their learning becomes more focused and self-directed.

  • Intrinsic motivation occurs when students design their own assessment tools.
  • When students invest a decent amount of time and commitment into a project, they naturally want to participate in creating the assessment for that project.
  • The development of an assessment is a reflective process. It extends beyond just turning in a project.
  • Students involved in creating an assessment have a more concrete understanding of what is expected, and how to reach certain benchmarks.

Love the idea!  Way to go, Mrs. Smith!