Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A #flipclass Photo Gallery

Here is a "technical" description of the classroom in which I teach on a daily basis:
  • The subjects that I teach are Biology, Chemistry, and College Biology.  
  • I deliver content via video outside of the classroom, aka "Flipped Learning."
  • I use inquiry approaches and Explore/Flip/Apply to direct the sequence of the content.  
  • The classroom is blended with the use of a class website on Schoology.  
  • Students use Google Docs for collaboration and submission of assignments.   
  • And so on...
I could continue to list the methods and tools I use in the classroom, but these descriptions will never truly represent how my students are learning.  The following photos, however, give a bit more accurate depiction of the daily ins and outs of their classes.

Biology students assessing biodiversity near our local river ecosystem.

Using their smart phones, students took pictures of plants and animals they found in the ecosystem, uploaded them to our Schoology class, and then used them in further discussions about food chains.

Designing food webs.

After food webs were completed, students discussed implications of disruptions in the food web.

Biology students used Socrative to participate in peer instruction.
Students answered questions on their own first, then worked with a partner to evaluate their answers, and finally resubmitted answers.

College Biology students working on a simulation of carrying capacities and their relationship to r and K strategies in populations.  Starbursts were used to represent resources which multiplied through many generations of population growth.

Biology students analyzing the results of the photosynthesis and cellular respiration inquiry investigation.

This lab sets the stage for photosynthesis and cellular respiration discussions.

Chemistry students used Aurasma auras to learn about chemistry equipment and safety in the lab.

The videos made by this year's students will be used in auras for next year's students.
College Biology students tested river water for dissolved oxygen and nitrate levels.
This was the first time we actually hauled all of the Vernier probes down to the river to do the testing on site. 

There are days when I doubt what I'm doing in the classroom, when I wonder how the students will ever learn everything our state standards require of them.  But when I look over these photos, I see the conversations students are having with each other, the questions they are asking, the teaching they are doing, and the problem-solving in which they are engaged.  These are the skills that will serve students for success in life.  The cliche, "A picture is worth a thousand words" is begging to be referenced here.  In education, we tend to throw around labels with reckless abandon, but when it gets right down to what our students are doing on a day to day basis, these pictures pretty much say it all.

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