To allow students to explore the part of the cell a gave the students a blank plant and animal cell along with a copy of the PPT on Cell organelles. Students were instructed to use the notes and other resources to identify the cell parts. Students were expected to color code their notes with the animal cell and the plant cell organelles. Any items in the notes that were not visible to label on the diagram were to be copied in pencil all other notes were to be written using the same color they used identify the organelle.This activity goes along well with my Cell Boxing Activity that you can have access to along with other free goodies here on my free lesson page.
As I introduce the scientific method one of my favorite activities is the three hole bottle activity. It is a great way for students to practice writing a hypothesis and making observations. To start you, need a 2 liter bottle with three holes drilled into it in a vertical line in the middle of the bottle. In the picture they are behind the tape. They are slightly small than the diameter of a pencil eraser. I have the students set up a chart on the right side of their interactive notebook as seen below. To begin, I take the bottle filled with water and the tape over the holes (as pictured) around the room to each student so they can record as many observations as possible . They record these observations in the first column titled “cue column” . Next, for dramatic effect and to discuss bias I take one student volunteer to the front of the room and hold the bottle over their head (after I give them paper towel) and ask the class to make a prediction as to what will happen when the tape is pulled past the first hole. They record that in the first column. I then remove the tape from the first hole while holding the bottle above the volunteer student’s head (only a few drops usually comes out of the bottle). Students the record their observation and then make a hypothesis about what will happen when the tape is pulled past the 1 and 2 hole and then all three holes. To finish I turn the bottle on it’s side and have the students share their hypothesis with the class. Students then make a conclusion about their observations and a class discussion about what happened. On the left side, students were given the option to draw a graphic that explains everything that happened or they can fill the page with a written description (since a picture is worth a thousand words). I offered a homework pass for the most creative left and right side notebook pages with accurate descriptions and properly writing hypotheses.
As an extension to inheritance of traits, students analysed and created a pedigree chart based on a passage that was given. The pedigree was placed into their Interactive Notebook as pictured below.
After presenting on meiosis and mitosis I had my students create foldables of five assessed vocabulary terms. I gave them 900 seconds to complete the assignment. I use seconds to get the students involved with math and it allows me to easily adjust the time without the students noticing. I made the lesson a competition and offered a homework pass to the most creative and correct foldables. Students had to include a picture with five colors, the definition, example and pronunciation. Their work was high quality and done quickly since they were judged after 15 minutes.
The interactive notebook has been a great teaching tool for me for the last few years. The Interactive Science Notebook (INB) is a learning tool that involves an “input” (right side) of teacher’s notes and handouts. It also include an “output” section (left side) that allows students to creatively relate that information to their own experiences or organize the information in a variety of proven techniques or best practices. The versatility of the interactive notebook is only limited by the student or the teacher, therefore it has no limits. Throughout the year, I will post a variety of engaging examples that I use in my classroom. You will be amazed how the interactive notebook reaches all of the learning styles in your classroom and allows students to personalize their learning. I am currently in the process of gathering, organizing and explaining how I implement the activities I do throughout the year into a book. The left side of the notebook is for graphic organizers, charts, stories, raps, poems, pictures and more. The right side is used for notes and teacher handouts (“input”)
Note: Successfully implementing the Interactive Notebook involves extensive set-up and procedures but the pay-off is worth it.
Set up of the interactive notebook: