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DAILY REFLECTION: Cell Theory 10/3/2016

ACADEMIC REFLECTION
What did you do?
In teaching this lesson, I hooked the students by playing Carl Sagans
Pale Blue Dot monologue. I explained to the students that planet Earth is
unique because it harbors life, and life (and the world as we know it) could
not exist without cells. I tried to get the students excited about the new unit
by portraying my own passion for the subject. For a self-starter, I
administered my cells unit pre-assessment. I then proceeded with the lesson
by having the students individually read a step-by-step WikiHow on how to
develop a theory. We reviewed the main points as a class, then applied
theory development to a scene from a movie (the witch trial in Monty Python
and the Holy Grail). After watching the scene, I asked the students to come
up with their own theory about witches. Using the step-by-step WikiHow
guide, the students (in groups) created their own observations, hypotheses,
experiments, and conclusions about how to determine if someone is a witch.
The students shared their ideas with the class, and we discussed how
collaboration is a big part of theory development. We talked about real-world
theories the students are aware of (such as the big bang theory, evolution
theory, plate tectonics, etc.) and I introduced the major components of cell
theory through a brief PowerPoint presentation. The students copied the
main ideas into their notebooks. I then placed the students in small groups
and had them research an assigned individual who contributed to the
development of cell theory. Each group filled out a biography card and
presented their historical figure to the class. Students added their biography

cards to a classroom timeline in chronological order. To end the lesson, we


had a class discussion on how cell theory was developed (importance of
collaboration, length of time, and the invention of the microscope). The
common formative assessment used for this lesson was a reading on cell
theory, form, and function. Based on the text, they students answered a
series of statements (agree/disagree) and provided reasoning for each of
their responses.
What worked?
I believe this lesson went very well. Students were engaged throughout
the lesson, and were on-task during the self-guided research component. I
had a very good flow throughout, and didnt lose the class in transitions.
Every part of my lesson was well-connected and integrated. This lesson was
also diverse in multiple intelligences. It appealed to visual, auditory,
technological, mathematical, linguistic, and interpersonal intelligences. I
think the variety helped keep students engaged and interesting the material
content.
What did not work?
The students were extremely talkative while their peers presented
their different parts of the timeline. It was difficult to get the class to be quiet
and listen respectfully during presentations. There was also an abundance of
cell phones out while students were presenting.
What students struggled and for what reasons?
The ESL students struggled with the common formative assessment
because reading in English is difficult for them. Many of them did not
complete the assessment, or wrote I am confused on the paper. However,
the ELL students were not the only students with difficulty reading. As a

whole, the majority of the class struggles with reading comprehension.


Several students have IEPs in reading, and still more have expressed (in their
pre-assessment) that reading is difficult for them. Providing reasoning (which
requires critical thinking) is difficult for many students as well- they appear
to prefer to be provided with answers or pull answers straight from the text
rather than create their own ideas.
Where will you go next?
Considering my experiences teaching this lesson, next I will provide all
readings in Spanish form. I may also try reading out loud to the class, and
have students follow along. I will try to incorporate lighter reading
assignments (perhaps stories or comics). Although the majority of the
students do not like to read, I believe I need to incorporate more reading and
critical thinking activities in class so they improve in this area. Reading is a
life skill that all students should be proficient in by graduation, and there are
many ways to effectively incorporate this skill in a science classroom.
Additionally, I believe I need to implement a stricter phone use policy. I need
to be better about following through when I say I will confiscate students
phones. I may try asking students to put their phone on my desk, rather than
physically taking them myself (many students experience anxiety when
another person has possession of their property). Another tactic that may
work is the brown paper bag strategy- if caught with their phone out,
student places phone in a brown paper bag that is stapled shut but kept with
them.

DAILY CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT REFLECTION


INCIDEN
T#
1

WHEN?

WHO?

B4, 5
min
before
end of
class
B3, all
of class

Josue

B3, all
of class

Will

Keantae/Jasm
ine

WHAT IS THE
BEHAVIOR?
Excessive phone use
when not
appropriate time

CONSEQUENCE

3 verbal warnings to put


the phone away, then I
confiscated the phone and
returned it when the bell
rang.
Keantae keeps
Separated the two
getting out of his
students multiple times,
seat to go talk to
when items were being
Jasmine, the two are thrown I explained that it
constantly talking
is dangerous to throw
across the room,
things in a science class
throwing items back and if I saw the action
and forth, and are
again that student would
disruptive to the rest be out in the hall. Action
of the class
stopped, but chatter
continued.
Student sits at his
Had a discussion with the
desk with his
student, he is extremely
headphones in,
disrespectful and clearly
refuses to do any
has a problem with
work or participate
authority. When asked, he
took his headphones out
but still did not accomplish
any in-class work. Student
back-talks and complains
frequently. Entered this
incident into educators
handbook- apparently
other teachers have been
having the same issue.
Found out the next day
that the student has been
suspended for behavior.