The Sort-of-Scientific Method

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 30 2013

Ending With My Best

Day 163: Tuesday, I committed to a better Wednesday. By better, I mean not only helping my kids be more focused in class, but also writing plans that were worthy of class – not end-of-May crap.

Mission largely accomplished. Fourth period was grossed out by the decomposing rabbit slideshow I began class with, and then was shockingly engaged when I asked what they thought had accomplished that. A student remembered a side comment from months ago about what an invertebrate was. And then, rather than go right to a worksheet, I had my kids do a lab to predict whether bread would decompose faster with yeast or no yeast.

Of course, the lab got a little out of hand. But that’s partly my fault; it was half-baked and crafted late the night before, and it had some holes in it that led to student confusion … and thus off-task behavior. AM managed to find a marker and dip it in some water needed for the lab, and was busy creating watercolors, an act that earned her some recess time with me. However, nothing egregious happened.

Both 6th and 8th did the energy pyramid simulation, and generally did very well. Both classes kept it together even when the energy collector told the mouse he / she owed three energy bucks for all of the mouse babies he / she had been making.

The moral of this story: Yes, it’s late May. Yes, I’m tired. And yes, I’m going to finish the year in a way that lets kids and myself have some fun while learning science, and that makes me proud of my work.

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Experimental Procedures of a Second-Year Teacher

Greater Boston
Middle School

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