Category Archives: School

Food Additives, The Conclusion

The food additive project while not an outstanding success was a useful way to help students get a context for organic chemistry. Like many projects given to students this one was not time managed well. One of my biggest disappointments was not being able to have an Expo where the students presented to others from the class and other science classes. If I use this project or a modification of it next year I will endeavour to make the learning more “just in time” so that it has more relevance to the students and to encourage them to work on the project in a more steady manner to enable the presentation of work at the end of term.
If you have any questions put them in the comments and I will try to answer them as soon as possible.

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Food Additives, the story continues.

I have been working some more on my PBL on Food additives. Here are the files I have produced. Any feedback is appreciated. Here are PDF files of my two working documents. I will let you know how it works.

PBL Food Additives Additives assignment

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Food Additives Project Based Learning

In fourth term last year I had the opportunity to work with David Price to look at Project Based Learning. (Check out the Buck Institute for Education to learn more). While looking for ways to engage my Stage 1 Chemistry Students with Organic Chemistry I hit on the idea of a PBL looking at Food Additives. These students have been involved in a number of project based learning opportunities during their high school years. The idea of this project is to have students creating information presentations to help reduce misinformation about food additives amongst the student and school community. While I am still in the planning stage I am excited to see how well it works. If you have any thoughts or ideas let me know.

 

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WWI Science

This term the Year 9 students in my school are studying WWI as their Australian Curriculum History depth study. For science we are looking at Physical Sciences. This is my attempt to link the two.

Students will undertake a practical lesson for five of the six weeks of this course. In the sixth week they undertake the research task. Each week they will also undertake one of the video comprehension question sheets. There are 3 sub topics, Electricity, Light and Waves.
We are trying to move away from the “science lecture” that I have observed in other schools and I was taught with in the 1990s while still covering the Australian Curriculum outcomes. In my opinion it is especially important to link to outcomes about Science as Human Endeavour and Science Inquiry, not just the Science Understanding.

The files for the unit are here.

If you have any questions or thoughts let me know. I will also accept suggestions for further resources.

If you want to use any of the files or modifications of them please let me know.

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Creativity on iPad for Early Childhood

A presentation from my son and I about Creativity on the iPad for #CEGSA 2013

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July 16, 2013 · 11:02 pm

Thoughts on school vision/principles

At a workshop with David Price OBE on education engagement my table were challenged to come up with 6 values for our school from a selection of 12, we summarised them in two.
1. Our school will become a community focused on the students who will known as individuals in their own family and social context. We will involve and encourage teamwork between staff, students, parents and community mentors.
2. Our school will integrate curriculum subjects through rigorous project based learning incorporating objective real world assessment.
So what do you think?

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A little pain

Teeth

Teeth by the follands cc by-sa

It is interesting what thoughts go through your mind at 4am after being woken by a teething baby. One of the key thoughts I have had over the past few weeks is sometimes a little pain can lead to some amazing experiences (like bread). She may not realise it at the moment, and I need to remind myself at 4am, but teeth lead to the ability to eat so many different foods. So a little pain can lead to some amazing experiences?

But Lordfolland, you say, this is an educational blog, why are you writing about pain and teeth?

It is a metaphor dear reader, educational pain can lead to significant changes and improvement in learning outcomes for both teachers and students. Let me elaborate.

I had a student in my information processing class who is comfortable using Publisher to design documents, as he has been using it for many years. When I explained that to make website he should use dreamweaver he was fearful. “I don’t know how to use it, I won’t be able to do it” he told me. After a few days of discussion and encouragement he gave dreamweaver a go. He has since discovered that he has been able to create a good website with all of the features he wants, even if it was a little more difficult then publisher.

To be even teaching this class was a challenge not without mental anguish for myself.  I have three university qualifications; a chemistry degree, a teaching degree and a teacher librarianship degree. As part of each of my studies  I have looked at computer technology. With this background the knowledge and skills required to teach science, research junior high ICT and junior maths were never something that I was worried about having. Information Processing and Publishing was another matter.

IPP is part of the Business and Enterprise learning area in our states curriculum. Last time I was involved in a business enterprise it closed after one year with losses of 10000’s  of dollars. Information Processing and Publishing also has artistic undertones, in the design process. Art was one of the subjects at school that caused me the most fear, worse than PE. With these fears behind me it was with trepidation and a lot of research that I took on teaching of year 11 and 12 Information Processing and Publishing (in one class another first) last year.

I am pleased to say that I have greatly enjoyed teaching this subject and that my current year 11 class may be my favourite to work with. So when teaching or your own education throughs up something that looks hard and may give you some pain, give it a go, you just might have an amazing experience.

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