Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Respiration Rap

Today our respiration rap from 2015's Year 12 Biology class clocked over 2,000 views on youtube! 

It was also retweeted by Dr Rich Allen, a teacher-trainer whose 2-day course was the most inspiring PD I have ever been to. 

His use of music and movement in teaching and learning is something that really resonated with me, as well as 'riding the wave' of engagement by 'changing state' near the peak of engagement. 

I'm so stoked that he thought what the Bio kids did was a good example of learning through movement and music :) 

Unfortunately this year I haven't had time to record and film another full music video in time for the Manaiakalani Film Festival, despite having 3 songs already written and ready to go about photosynthesis, genetic variation and hotspot volcanoes! 

Time seems short this year :( Hopefully we'll get on to filming one of the songs in Term 4 - the challenge is out to the 2016 Year 12 Biology class!! 

Instead, I'll just repost the Respiration Rap to enjoy :) 

Monday, 12 September 2016

Filming Year 13 Biology

This year I've been involved in the Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir project with my year 13 biology class - it's taken up most of my free 'blogging' time which is why this blog has been so quiet this year! 

I've just published lesson 12, which is the final lesson in a series of four consecutive lessons. 

I thought it would be interesting to film, publish and reflect on a full week's teaching and learning. 

The aim of this was both for me to reflect on my assumptions as a teacher and my view on the pedagogy of building understanding during one specific context (timing in plants and animals), as well as provide an honest view on how I incorporate technology into my average, daily teaching to anyone who chooses to view my Class OnAir project! 

My latest reflection was on how, overall, I'm quite happy with the progression of learning I laid out about the content of timing, the multimodal and rewindable learning opportunities offered and how many times we returned to information over the week, hopefully building both knowledge and confidence from new vocabulary up to more complex ideas such as the mechanism of photoperiodism.

However, on reflecting on the last lesson I have noticed that I did not follow a similar scaffolding procedure to introduce answering exam questions, and instead expected students (by the end of the week, by the end of Term 3) to be able to straight away apply their new understandings to an exam question. This proved to be quite a jump in skills.

Next Term when we return to revise for the Plant and Animal Responses exam I will work to support students in answering exam questions, and I reflect on how to do this at the end of my Lesson 12 post, which can be found under the green butterfly at this link here

Something else I tried for the first time OnAir was to include a full video of my explanation of the concept. I did this so students could return to it and help them study by watching it again at their own pace. You can watch it below: