I have really been looking forward to dissecting and so I came to class excited! I took quite a bit of time setting up the classroom with some lavender air fresheners, plastic table cloths, paper towels, gloves, hand sanitizer all easily available. — (I even purchased some fun things for the students and called it a “dissection party” LOL)
Each of the students had purchased their own dissection kits. We sent a bulk purchase to hometrainingtools.com and I am a bit disappointed with the way the dissection kit was packaged. Three of the specimens are packaged together so that you have to open the large bag (with the perch inside), remove your specimen and then find some sort of clip to close the bag back up. It really isn’t a huge deal but it would have been so much nicer for the kids just to grab the earthworm specimen and bring it to class.
I also ordered some extra pins from amazon — during my pre-class dissection, I used lots of pins so I could see everything. When the kids had put in a couple of pins, I told them to put the pins in slanted outward so that they could see everything. Some of the specimens were hard to pin back down when the pins were taken out and repositioned because the pins were not carefully removed and the outer skin had torn apart.
The specimens themselves were fine. Since the students ordered their own specimens, I cannot be sure which were new and which were not. Some of the specimens were juicier than others — the juicier ones were much better. Next time I think I will follow the lead of one of my favorite bloggers and purchase the specimens in bulk – pass them out instead of having the students purchase their own.
The students were at 3 different tables (3 per table) with a book at each table. I read the directions to them and walked around making sure they were all doing it correctly. For the most part, they all did a great job.
Things I would improve upon:
1. It would have been helpful to have a parent at each table and I will ask parents to help out for all future dissections.
2. Instead of flashlights, I had purchased some small desk lights from the dollar store — they worked ok but the lighting in the classroom is so much brighter than the lighting in my workspace (my dining-room) so they didn’t really use the lights at all.
3. I referred to the paper models quite a bit when explaining the dissection. I would have a large paper model on a display board so I could show the class what I was talking about.
4. I invited parents to the classroom to take pictures for our yearbook. So far I have only received 3 pictures (all of the same child). I am not sure why I didn’t think to give the parents instructions on what type of pictures I wanted but I will be sure to do that for the next dissection 🙂