Saturday, May 31, 2014

Surviving the Chaos: Capitalize on Creativity

We've got a big state exam coming up at the end of our course in two weeks.  The kids are getting antsy. (Heck, the TEACHER is getting antsy!) and it's not always easy to stay focused and accomplish everything we need to do during these last precious hours we have together.  After months of hard work, taking notes, studying, doing lab experiments and activities, everyone is looking forward to a couple of months rest.  But not before we make it through the Regents exam.

Capturing student attention (and keeping it for 40 minutes) can be a real challenge.  One of the best ways I've found is to do creative review projects that include drawing, coloring, cutting, and sharing each one's work with another.  

I have several favorite go-to creative projects, and we're pretty good "on the fly" with not much more than a blank sheet of paper and a couple of colored pencils.  I may just have the each student draw an important diagram, then switch with a partner.  The diagrams can be labeled either together or separately.  

Sometimes I provide a diagram that's scrambled, and have the students cut it apart, color it, and put it back together like a puzzle.

Or I take a sentence, chop it up, and have teams of students race to unscramble the sentence into an important biology fact.

There are so many creative activities that will re-capture your students' drive and motivation to review and share what they've learned.  And there's no better time than now.

Engage your students with this interesting and informative article based on 
scientific information about turtles as carriers of Salmonella bacteria.
Pair this article together with the following activity 
for a great lesson about reptiles!  Comparing Reptiles and Mammals

And if you REALLY like FREEBIES.. check out my recent post called SCIENCE SHOWCASE.  Its a new blog feature I'll be running from time to time, loaded up with awesome science freebies!


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