Sunday, February 21, 2010

Week 23, Day 3 : Don't let your textbook plan your lessons

ODD BLOCK SCHEDULE: Begin Chemistry: Kinetic Theory notes and lab. (Except period 1, I gave them the wrong test so we are a day behind.

A textbook can be a great aid. Some have more chapters than you need. Some are organized from small to large while others are large to small.  We have 12 chapters in our textbook. No frilly extra chapters.  It is taylored for California Science Standards. Ours(Glencoe Focous on Physical Science) starts with Motion & Force then Density then Chemistry then Astonomy.  It goes from small to large.

Here is the order of chapters I teach: 1,2,11,12,3,6,4,7,5,8,9,10.  I do not plan my lesson by the chapter design order of some editor that may not have even taught middles school.  Plus we all have a different style. I prefer to begin with Motion and Force because the labs reinforce the steps of the scientific method and I can use that as a reference when kids decide to do a science fair project.

I have a class set of texts in my room so my students do not have to lug them around in their backpacks. I usually have students use them for  Vocabulary, Test review Questions, a topical reading passage, and then review for test.  I should make them read it.  Some chapters I do have them read portions as a class opener.  I do not do that enough.  I will do that more...I just need to decide what do I cut out of my lessons.  Perhaps I'll do a demo in place of the lab.

For years I taught without a textbook. We had one in the mid 90's that was so bad that they did not have a periodic table in it.  I mean c'mon.  We had to develop all materials our selves.  It became a lab based class.

The teacher is the biggest indicator of student performance in a class. Use the book to help you.  If you are new you may rely on it more. But please dont make your class a "Today in science we are reading and doing the worksheet on textbook pages blah blah blah to blah blah blah. you 'spose the kids are going to dislike science if this is how they get it?

For new teachers of science FIND A SCIENCE TEACHER THAT IS PASIONATE ABOUT THEIR SUBJECT  and use them as a mentor.

I hope this helps,

Love to Teach and Teach with Passion!

It's not Magic, It's Science!

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