Sunday, September 23, 2012

SDAIE strategy

In my classroom, we are constantly using SDAIE strategies. It is critical that we use as many SDAIE strategies as we can on a regular basis because in one class alone we have 18 students that are English Language Learners. Almost on a daily basis we implement textual, oral, kinesthetic, and auditory learning. Fortunately, when teaching science classes, it is easier than in other classrooms to add many different learning strategies to a lesson. One of the lessons that I think works really well in the classroom is the vocabulary lessons my cooperating teacher uses. When we work on vocabulary, we first put the word and definition on PowerPoint so the students can copy it from the board. The word is broken down into syllables so that students can visually see how to pronounce it properly. After the students write the word and definition, the next step for the students is to draw a picture of the word to have an image instilled in their minds. Finally, the last step is for the entire classroom to say the word out loud broken down into syllables. At each syllable, as a class, we clap and sound out the word together. After clapping at each syllable, the students will say the word at normal speed. Example: Photosynthesis- Pho (clap)-to (clap)-syn (clap)-the (clap)-sis (clap). The SDAIE strategy we use has made such a positive impact in all of our students’ scores that we will continue to use this method and find other ways to make it better or more efficient.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Science Literacy

Surveys give teachers some helpful information as to what level students are entering a particular subject at. The survey my CT and I used was designed strictly to find out each student's background in science and math. The information from the survey allows us to gain an understanding as to what the level of science experience most students are coming into the semester with. We can also see if students are interested in the subject as a whole, and what particular area in Science interests them the most. Students also provided us with what math level they are currently at so we can get an understanding in where we may need to spend some additional time. Also, if students are particularly fond of Science or have not taken too many science classes in the past, the material may be brand new to them and we may need to provide extra help to those students. The survey is critical for a teacher to learn just who the students are in their class. The results have given my CT and I a background into the level most students are entering our classroom in. Approximately, 90% of the students who took the survey took a science class last year, and the majority had taken Biology. The CT and I expected this since most students come into Earth Science as sophomores. Most of the students in our classes stated they were either in Algebra I or Geometry, with Geometry having a slightly higher percentage. Approximately, 60% of the students said their favorite class was Biology, which was also the highest percentage for students’ favorite type of science. The highest percentage of which Earth Science students enjoy the most was Oceanography, with Astronomy coming in a close second. Approximately, 65% of the students said they were going to take a science class next year and around 25% were still undecided. Most students wrote that they enjoyed doing labs the most in science classes. Some of the students also said they like to learn about animals and our planet. This would make sense because thus far, most of these students have only taken life science courses. Most students wrote that they’re least favorite part about science classes are learning all of the vocabulary words. I have noticed in our class that most students seem to get a little restless during vocabulary and that is why we get the class out of their seats while we go over new vocabulary words. We also have the students make drawings of the new vocabulary words and it seems that most students enjoy the drawings. The majority of students said they would finish the class with a B so my CT and I went over the syllabus again with the students and showed them that it only takes a little effort on their part to get a good grade. Just by doing all of the participation and homework, students will get at least a C. After we discussed it as a class, I told the class that I know each and every one of them can get an A as long as they put the effort in.


Picture of an injustice at my school:

The students at my school have a locker for their skateboards, but unfortunately there aren't any lockers for their school books.  In all fairness to the school, our school is currently under construction.  The school decided against placing school book lockers during the construction period to save money.