After so many biology classes, I had begun to realize that it seemed as though I spent a lot of time and energy teaching my kids all about cells, only to have them forget at least half of what they learned by the time we approached cell division, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, etc.
It was one year during the last class of the day, my beloved “G” period. There were 10 students in that class (long, crazy story there– maybe I’ll write about it and get a link in there so you can read it!), and it was a glorious class. It ended up being my favorite class because it was so easy to differentiate. It was so easy for kids to help others out. It was so easy to teach. (Is that an oxymoron?) Relatively speaking, that is, it was easier to teach than classes of 30. And it was more rewarding, because the kids really understood and tended to do better on their tests than the other classes. And there we were, talking about cellular respiration when one student, a bright student, chimed in and asked
“Ms. J., what is a mitochondrion?”
No big deal, I thought. And I answered him. It’s a singular form of mitochondria. He nodded, his pencil at his lips, looking down at his graphic organizer we were doing at the time.
Me: “A-and it’s where cellular respiration occurs.”
Student: “OK, so it’s in the cell.”
Me: “Yes? Yes.”
Other student: “What’s a mitochondria?”
Everyone laughs. But this year, I wasn’t laughing. This was something that I could see happening in many of my classes, even if students didn’t speak up. These big words were coming back to them and they had already been learned- and lost. So, I popped my lap top into the in-focus and brought up my Cell PowerPoint. Remember this? They did… vaguely.
That’s when I had an idea… if only I could have a cell in the classroom always. And not just a poster, but an interactive cell that could grow and change.
Start with the basics:
Add as you go:
You can download the template here:Interactive Cell Model by Biology Roots OR, you can make your own. Whichever you choose to do, there is a contest that is running for the next year. Share your Cell-fie for a chance to win.
The contest is easy. You have until October 15th, 2016 (yes, that’s 2016) to post your cell-fie to your social media wall and share it with me. Post the photo along with #biologyroots #cellfie for your chance to win a $50 Target Gift Card. The first five teachers to post their cell-fie automatically receive a $10 shopping spree in my store. Everyone who shares by October 14th 11:59 EST is entered into the drawing for the gift card from Target. Good luck.
Stay Science Classy,
(who for some odd reason is showing up as her husband, Jeff.)