Tag Archives: cells

Cell Sidewalk Chalk Activity

Last week the weather broke and we had near record high temperatures for February. I decided to do an impromptu outdoor Cell Sidewalk Chalk Activity.  The students really enjoyed having the opportunity to get outside and so did I. They created some beautiful cell drawings (I am slightly bias) and labeled the functions using a color coded key. You can get a copy of the handout I created here. Enjoy!







How to Differentiate Instruction for Gifted Students

How to  Differentiate Instruction for Gifted Students in Biology

One challenge that many teachers face is differentiated instruction for gifted and talented students. To have a classroom that is truly differentiated teachers need to address the learning need of all students. To do this, the gifted and talented students also need to remain engaged and challenged in the curriculum. One way to address this is with the use of a Compacting Plan. For a compacting plan the teacher examine their current curriculum and identifies content or skills that can be accelerated or eliminated after conducting a pre-assessment. When I complete a compacting plan I am sure to open the opportunity up to all of my students if they are able to achieve a certain score on the pre-assessment. It prevents accusations of being unfair and they may be some students who surprise you.  After determining what students are eligible you present them with the compacting plan. I have attached an example of a compacting plan that I have developed for the unit on cells a topic that many students are exposed to in middle school.  Check out my sample compacting plan on cells here.

Please comment below on strategies that you use to differentiate instruction for gifted and talented students.
How to Differentiate for Gifted Students
How to Differentiate for Gifted Students


Photosynthesis and Respiration

This week we returned from break to a 3 day week. I started the week by reviewing cells using a webquest. I then moved on to photosynthesis and respiration. I began class showing the student a gift I received for my birthday. The gift was an Eco-sphere. The concept of the Ecosphere was  developed in NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory. It is a completely closed off system that sustains  3  shrimp, algae and bacteria. It really got my students asking questions.