Module 6

This module is really important so we spent an extra week studying it.

Students continue to complete the Module Summary and OYO questions as they read the book.

We also completed the Edible Cell Assignment.  On the class day before the edible cell was due, I created 2 edible cells.  The first was made as a Taco Salad and the second was made from a pumpkin and various items in my fridge.  All of the students were handed the grading rubric and asked to grade these cells.  The Taco Salad received a 100 (it really should have gotten an 90) and the Pumpkin received a 35 (it really should have gotten a 70).  We need to review the use of a grading rubic again.

The test was a combination of the textbook test, questions from another person who teaches this class, a question from the Module Summary and the table created for the 6.10 OYO question with some blanks.  Although students were given the opportunity to bring a 5″x8″ card into the test with anything they want written on it, they did not do well.  I had them create a new card and gave them the exact same test again — they did better with the average grade increase of 10 points.


Module 5


This module has lots of information and not all of the information is on the Study Guide nor on the exam.   If I facilitate this class again, I will tell the students not to stress over the information as they read it.  This year I told them that the information on the Study Guide and the Summary Module is what they need to know.

Once again this year, we created Edible DNA in class.

We completed the first strand as a class and I referred to all of the parts by their DNA name as I gave instructions and they built their DNA (i.e, toothpicks are hydrogen bonds).

For exam review we played the Snowball game with candy prizes and vocabulary line quizzing.  The students seem to have a great grasp of all concepts in the module that are on the exam.

Quarterly Test

Since we did not have a test for Module 2, 3 or 4 – I gave the class the quarterly test that came with the book.  I gave them the test as an open book test on Class Marker.

I was quite surprised that they did not all make a 100 — in fact, not one of the students made a 100.

Module 2, 3 & 4


Hurricane Irma — we only missed 2 days of class but it seemed so much longer!  We still completed the Presentation but all assignments were accepted without being counted late until exam day.  NOT FUN for any of us!

The student workbook is making the labs so much easier to complete.  I use the grading scale as outlined in the book and the students utilize the lab areas for their sketches.

I have asked them to put a sticky note or paperclip or some sort of marker in the book in the sections they need graded so that I do not spend time flipping through the book.  In addition, homework is now a complete/incomplete/missing grade – makes it much easier to grade.



The students chose a topic from one of the three modules and give a 2-4 minute presentation to the class.  The presentation grade will be their test grade (1 test grade for 3 modules).

Our presentation visual aids included power-point presentations, a video presentation, and several boards.  One of our students made yogurt and brought some for everyone to taste.  Two of our students created games for the class to play and were given extra time for their presentations.  For several students, this was their first formal presentation.

We continued to complete the Module Summary and On Your Own questions but are not completing the Study Guide.

This worked very well and all of the kids have an understanding of all 3 modules.

Biology … Exp 2.2 & 3.1 … labs with pond water and microscopes


Hurricane Irma messed up the plan for these experiments.  The students had to complete Experiment 2.1 (Pond Collection) twice and were excused from Experiment 3.1 in the interest of time.



To keep the smell of the pond water out of the building, I decided to have the kids leave the pond water outside and make their slides outside.  This virtually elimates the possibility of spilling the samples inside the building.  Good idea!

I set up a table outside and moved class to an open area just inside the doors, maybe not a good idea.

This kids went outside, made a slide, came inside to look at it under the microscope and sketch an organism they found.  They then returned outside to clean the slide, make a new one and repeat the process.  With 9 students and 3 microscopes, they were able to complete 3 slides in the one hour class time.  They thought the microscopes were very cool and spent lots of time looking at everything.

For exp 3.1, I tried something different.  I had 3 students make a slide for the rice sample and had all of the students look at these.  I had 3 different students make a slide for the dirt sample and repeated the process.  We were able to look at all 4 types of samples during our hour but these was quite a bit of waiting around and class got loud.

Once again the kids thought all of the organisms were cool and the eggs smelled really bad.

I am not sure what we will do next time we need to make slides, but I do not think either of those ideas worked well so we will do something different.

On a more positive note, I am still having the kids line up and sit in a different order each day.  It helps me get to know them and it helps them get to know each other.  So far they have lined up in alphabetical order by first name, by last name, by birth month and by age.

Module 1


This year I did not require any reading before the first day of class.  When the class arrived we discussed expectations of high school students, expectations for the class, passed out the syllabus and the erasable pens.

We discussed the Scientific Notation and I passed out all of the items needed to complete the Quicker Picker Upper as homework.  We then completed the Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich activity.  This year it was not as amazing because many of the students had seen it before and several of the students are very detail oriented.  Even though it was not as crazy, it was still fun and a good demonstration.



Today was our first Biology Class.  I had the class complete the Summary Module as they were reading the text and we reviewed the answers (through the page they read) and I highlighted information that was important.

With only 1 hour for class, we can’t read the book together.

When we discussed Scientific Notation, I passed out a copy of an example experiment called the Quicker Picker Upper that the kids can do and turn in for extra credit.  To highlight the importance of precise instructions, I took a line from the example experiment about how easy it should be to make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich.  One of our students (who was instructed in advance to be as literal as possible) attempted to make a PB&J Sandwich following the directions of the other student (who is facing away from him).

The first command – “Open the Bread” – set the tone for this demonstrations when he picked up the bread, looked at it and then ripped open the plastic.  Several of the kids took turns giving directions and they were showing him how to do it while they were figuring out what to say (they could not see each other).  The biggest laughs were:

Direction:Spread the PB around on the bread
Result: PB was put on the outside crusts of the bread.

Direction: Put 1/2 of the jar of peanut butter on the bread
Result: Took 1/2 of the PB out of the jar onto a napkin & put the jar on the bread.

Direction: Scoop Jelly out of Jar
Result: used his fingers to scoop out the Jelly

Direction: Wait, put the knife in the jar and then scoop out the Jelly
Result: He stuck the knife in the jar and then used his fingers to get out the Jelly

Apologia Biology


This year I will again be tutoring the Apologia Biology class at Co-op.  I have 6 students, all in the 9th grade and it is the first class of the day.  We meet twice a week for 1 hour each and homework of approximately 1 hour per day is assigned.  This year I have required all students to purchase and use the Student Workbook in addition to the textbook.  I have also supplied them with a black erasable pen so that I do not have to struggle to read light pencil writing or colored pens that are difficult to see and I do not have to look at large blobs of scratched out mistakes.



This year I have the privilege of teaching Apologia Biology at our Co-Op.  I will have 9 students and it will be their last class of the day.  I am busy making plans for a fun, interactive class and I hop to post some pictures and ideas of what we did.

To help with my planning, I am searching the internet and getting ideas from other bloggers: Mindful Ramblings, Donna Young and all the resources they list on their blogs.

It is going to be AWESOME!