Saturday, 31 May 2014

Year 11 Explaining their Learning

Year 11 are working on an Achievement Standard about the properties of metals and their uses in society. So far we have done some reactions of metals with acids and metals with oxygen... 

For the last 2 days we gave the class time to summarise their observations and what they have learned about the reactions of metals. Some very creative pieces were made, with some students opting to use digital media and others choosing coloured paper and pens.

Some students also opted to collaborate on their presentations while others chose to keep their work to themselves. 

Click on the picture below if you wish to view the presentations up close.

Please also feel free to comment here on the students' work, I'm sure they would love feedback on their efforts.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

9RTd Creating...

Today 9RTd started on their 'create' week as well. Two groups chose to make a MRS C GREN video... 

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Students Getting Creative

Year 9 classes 9PLa and 9RTd have reached the 'create' phase of the Web of Life unit! 

There are a lot of different creation activities students can choose from, covering a wide range of content with different styles of creation for students to express their understanding.

Clicking on the picture below will take you to the class Web of Life Creation page, where you can explore the different activities available to the students, check out the criteria students have to meet for each activity, and view the links students have shared of the work they have finished :) 

Two groups of students chose to make a video about MRS C GREN yesterday; two boys chose to make a video in the last 5 minutes of class after they made a poster about trophic levels!  Here is their final product:

Friday, 23 May 2014

Year 11 Reactions of Metals with Oxygen

Today (last period Friday) the Year 11 Science class did a practical; they combusted different metals in oxygen! Some of them enjoyed showing my laptop what they were doing - I think we have some future TV presenters in class.

Here's the video of what they did:

No Year 11's (or teachers) were harmed in the making of this production! 

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Science Roadshow comes to Tamaki College

The Science Roadshow (sponsored by the Ministry of Education) came to Tamaki College today. Year 9 classes each spent two periods playing with the exhibits, learning off the Year 10 guides, asking questions and watching two live demonstrations.

Just watch the video...

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

9PLa Making Food Webs

9PLa used these sets of cards to create a huge, complicated food web.

They worked in two teams and used the information on the back of each card to work out the relationships in the food web. There were arrows showing the flow of energy from prey to predator all over the place by the time they had finished!! 

If I was going to repeat this activity I would hand out a card to each student and make sure they know what their 'character' eats before letting them create the web. That way everyone will have information to contribute and involvement would be more equal. 

In the last 5 minutes of class I challenged 9PLa to see who could write down the most food chains based on the food web they had created. Then they posted their responses to me in the class postbox.  

One student was so keen to get the most chains that I agreed to photograph the food webs and email them to him - but I wrote this blog instead! I hope you can see all the different names in the pictures Tyrone - if not then you can open the cards here and make your own food web instead :) 


Friday, 16 May 2014

Awe-Inspiring Work by Year 9PLa

Year 9 has been learning about what makes living things alive, animal diets and adaptations that help living things survive. 

I have simultaneously been using the time to see how students learn during the Manaiakalani 'Learn,' which is a little passive but sometimes necessary to get content across. Students have listened, done research, watched videos, talked to each other, completed quizzes, played games, and commented on their learning. They have been keeping track of this in their Google Doc as a kind of learning log. 

However, students were getting a little bored with this. One brave student offered some quiet feedback to me and said there was "too much to learn" and we had been doing "too much writing," so we thought it would be a good idea to have a break from new content and 'Create' something that showed off how much they understood. Each student picked their favourite Mammal and set about creating a profile for them. 

We had some spectacular work produced. We let students choose what media they wanted to use to create... here is a freehand poster about Cats.

Most other students chose to use Google Presentations and two students chose to use Wix to create their own websites! 

Click the Garfield poster to be taken to all four great examples of student work, or click here to see a student-made site about lions, or here to learn about pandas from my class! 

Maybe I should try animation with this class of superstars one day soon... 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

9PTt "Polluted Water" Puzzle

9PTt has been learning about separating mixtures and solutions using decanting, filtering and evaporating. There's only so much you can learn from listening to a teacher, so I decided to challenge them practically. 

I set up large beakers containing rocks, sand, salty water with blue food colouring and topped off the "polluted sample" with a layer of baby oil. Students had to work out how to separate the different parts of the sample to find out how much salt was in the water. 

Students decanted the salty liquid out of the beaker, leaving behind a heavy layer of rocks and sand. There was still some sand floating in the liquid, so students had to filter the liquid through a funnel and filter paper. 

Next students poured the salty liquid into a funnel while holding it closed with their thumb. They (mostly) waited patiently until all the oil rose to the top then let the water out from underneath, leaving the oil behind. 

I didn't quite trust that all the oil had been removed from the sample and didn't really feel like setting anything on fire today, so I collected back their samples and distributed a new one with only salt and water in it!

G opening the bunsen burner hole to get a blue flame

Students then evaporated off the water using an evaporating dish heated over a bunsen burner to find out how much salt was in the solution. There was a lot of engagement during this practical, and I feel that students benefitted a lot from being able to do the separation themselves.  

  Tomorrow the students are going to learn how to separate mixtures using chromatography and make some cool chromatography flowers while they're at it!