Thursday, January 8, 2015

Make a Bad Lesson Good

Good Morning Everyone!
Today is a ......... Wait for it......

I know many of my blogger friends who have wind chills lower than ours here is Ohio are still in school but I think EVERY school is Ohio is closed.

Sooooo I thought a perfect day to write a post on my blog. 
Also I had a blooper of a lesson yesterday with my fifth grade classes & what a perfect was to reflect on how to make it better.  Both classes you are saying to yourself...yep both! One was worst then the other though.

We are currently finishing up food chains, food webs & energy pyramids.  I had the kids do a lab on yeast which is a decomposer.  You know the one where they blow a balloon up....

First I told the classes that it will take 5 - 10 minutes for anything to happen.  Well the "instant gratification" generation could not stand to wait. They were shaking and squeezing the bottles and getting all upset that "nothing" was happening.  Vinegar & baking soda has ruined the wait time.  Ugh!  It was wonderful to hear the "yeah" where it did start to work & the excitement when the balloon kept getting bigger.

I also assigned jobs & went over what they were before we started.....that was a waste of time.  Nope they did not stick to their jobs especially for the supply getter (gets, cleans up & puts away all supplies) & lab assistant (preformes the experiment) jobs.  Everyone in the group was assigned a job. That's was one of my biggest problems with the lesson. 

The supply getter was suppose to take the balloon off in the bathroom (I do not have a sink in my room.) and pour the watery yeast mixture down the drain & then rinse the sink.  Half the class was in the bathroom "helping" not just the "supply getters!"  GRRRRRRR! You can imagine how that unsupervised making their own experiments (turning the bottle upside down & squeezing the balloon & bottle until it does exploded) & making a big mess.  GRRRRR!

So I do not want to totally throw out the lesson because I think it is a great experiment.

1.  I need to do the experiment as a demo and have the class research the answers to the questions I posed while waiting for the yeast to activate.  How is yeast similar & different to a green plant?  How does Baker's yeast work?  How is yeast a decomposer?  What does it decompose?

2.  Or have the class research the questions above.  Then assign each group member a job and really stress if the jobs are not followed the non-followers will lose a privilege.  Stand at the door so only the "supply getter" leaves.  Walk around and "grade" how they are doing their jobs.

Tomorrow is damage control with this lab.

 First I am going to have the kids reflect on how they could have made this experiment better.  Go over how important jobs are in a lab.  This is a learning experience for everyone.

Then discuss the questions I posed which will be written in their notebooks. 

I reflect daily on my lessons...what went well, what I can do to improve & what I am going to do tomorrow.

What do you do to control labs?  I would love to hear your input on how I could improve the lab.

If you are home...enjoy!  If not stay warm & safe!


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Take a Leap of Faith? Ummmm? Ok!

Well I did it!
I am a little nervous.... but I just had to take a leap of faith!

I started a Facebook page for my blog and TpT store.  I keep checking it like an obsessed lover. Ugh!

I have a few likes but no followers:(  Boo!  I know it has not even been 24 hours but.... If you would like to follow my Facebook page I would LOVE it!  I would love to hear from you too!

Here is the link to my Facebook page 4th & 5th Grade Happiness

Hey did you notice I blogged twice in one week!  I love winter break!  Monday is going to come too soon.

Happy New Year!