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Hook - What Makes You Special? 

This short activity sets the stage that the classroom is a place where the students' whole well-being is valued in addition to their biology studies.  I make an effort each day to build a positive, supportive classroom environment for my students.

 This is an opportunity for students to think about something that sets them apart from their peers.  I suggest identifying a special talent (physical or academic), a special trip they went on in the summer, or what they are looking forward to in my class or the high school experience in general. 

 Once the students have had a minute to brainstorm their "gem" to share to the class, I will ask for volunteers.  I only want 3-5 students to share out at this point because the students will pair-share in a partner interview that will come later in the lesson. 

 This is also a great time to identify your social leaders among your students and begin to consider how to use their "outgoing" personalities to enrich your classroom and not deter from your curriculum. These 3-5 volunteers tend to become my classroom helpers throughout the year in an effort to give them that extra role they desire in the classroom community. (Note: share some of your own pictures so students start to know you, too)

Direct Instruction – 10th grade Biology - Welcome to High School: Trust and Respect

 This class discussion will review the logistics of the day such as the bell schedule, where the closest bathroom is, where the best place to stand in line to get lunch, etc. 

 Since today is the first day of high school for most of the students, I want to make sure that each student has the potential to connect to some aspect of the campus.  I will take this time to review First Day Announcements in an effort to pique the interest of even the most timid students.

 Cover How to divide the 3-ring binder into 4 sections: Class notes and workbook questions, Lab reports, Current Events and Handouts.

This is also the time that I announce to the students that my room is open from 7:20 TO 7:45am so that they know they have a positive, supportive place to go if they are in need of that social support.  It is hard to remember all that way back to our first day of high school, but I know I wish I had a teacher that helped calm my fears in this way.  This is a time to offer extra academic support or just an ear for them to ask questions about their new campus.

 Intro to Biology video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L7x0BAqWis

Guided Practice - Meeting Your Lab Partner 

Now that the stress level has been lowered through the volunteers sharing their "unique" talents and I have provided the necessary logistical announcements for they day, the students will work with their "elbow partners" to get to know each other a little better.  Their elbow partners are the students who sit closest to them.  The students will remain lab partners with their elbow partners throughout the first quarter.

 The students will have 3 minutes each to interview their partner by asking them questions from the Partner Interview sheet. I will always let groups know when they have 1 minute remaining to ensure that all students get ample time to share.  When there is a larger project I will either verbalize or record on the front board a countdown so students can manage their time wisely.  I also suggest that each student take notes from their interview, but I do not tell the students the big surprise - that they will introduce their partners to the class! 

 I let the partner interview happen organically, but once the timer goes off, I announce that they (the students) will introduce their partners. Once the students learn that they are presenting their partners, they will request another minute to confirm any unfinished details from their interview. This partner activity demonstrates the importance of "really" listening to our partners and not just giving them the social courtesy.  The lesson here is that our lab partners are important to each student's success in this course and they need to be treated as such!

Whole Class Discussion - Introduce "Your" Partner to the Class

 To begin the student introductions, I ask the two partners to stand at their seats.  Each student will introduce his/her partner's name and provide two interesting details from the interview to the class.  The presenting partner can pick any fact from their interview notes, if they wrote them down.  Some students select the most interesting facts and others rely on the only details that they can remember.  This provides for a wide range of details that are shared to the class which further builds our classroom culture!  Both partners will be given the opportunity to present and the whole class will clap at the conclusion of the pair's presentation.  Again, working to build social confidence and build capacity in our classroom.

 We will rotate around the room until all pairs have had the opportunity to share.  Again, encouraging the clapping for each pair's presentation.  The louder, the better!

Doing Science: The Mystery Cube

 Students will work with their new lab partners and groups of 4 to do the first lab. The “numbers cube is handed out with mystery side down. Students are to guess what it is using observed clues. Discuss what scientific principles apply, ex: observation, hypothesis, prior knowledge. Then the second ecosystem mystery cube is laid down and students once again guess the mystery side.

(Mystery cube http://science.education.nih.gov/Supplements/NIH6/inquiry/guide/lesson1.htm).

Setting a Goal for the Year

 In addition to getting all of the required paperwork signed this evening, I also have my students set a short and long term goal for this course.  As their year-long teacher, I want to know what each student wants to get from the class.  This information helps me to differentiate my approach and teaching style to best meet the needs of the wide range of student-learners in my classroom. 

 As I mentioned before, I have had the most success with student learning when my students understand that I truly value all of their attributes and not just the ones that are specific to my Biology class.  This quick homework assignment emphasizes my effort to teach the "whole" student.

 I mentioned all of the required paperwork my students will receive on the first day, this is the Course Syllabus, and my school AUP (acceptable use policy). I Hand out books (Glencoe: Biology, The Dynamics of Life, 2004 and 2012 and classroom set of Biozone, Biology for NGSS, Student Edition, 2016), have students sign stickers on inside front cover (Avery template 18163 for 2 x 4 shipping labels)

Handouts for Students  

I print out the documents in this section and will post on our class website and edline for future use. See "resources listed in the right column of each page.

 I have also included the Biology Syllabus which is a dynamic document that changes from year to year as I reassess the students' needs.  I have found that providing a detailed syllabus at the beginning of the year allows the students to clearly understand course expectations and will enable a more enjoyable experience for all stakeholders. There will be a quiz on the Syllabus.

 The Daily Bell Question Sheet is a document that we will use every day in Biology class.  Students come to expect our "Bell Question" at the start of every class period.  The Bell Question will review the content from the day before or connect to prior knowledge as the foundation is being laid for a new content topic.  The Bell Question is a time for students to forget other distractions and focus on their Biology studies.  I have also found that while students complete their Bell Question, I can work with other students who have individual needs or questions.  Students will then review the Bell Question with their neighbor or as a whole group as the content topic dictates.

 The last document that I distribute during the first week of school is a Current Event Report  I am passionate about connecting students with current progress made in the scientific community.  It is crucial that educators make the effort to expose students to the latest and greatest discoveries.  The Current Event Report is an opportunity for students to identify and area of Biology that is of interest and then bring it back to the classroom and share with the entire class.  Students enjoy the freedom to select their own topic to explore and relish in the ability to educate their peers. 

Direct Instruction - Lab Safety Expectations and Classroom Equipment 30 min
Rules and Consequences: Lab Safety is #1

Student lab safety is the foundation that paves the way for a successful Biology course. 

As a general introduction, I will provide a Lab Safety presentation, when I read the required Diocese Lab Safety Rules to the students (http://ocs.arch-no.org/science_lab_safety ).  I encourage students to only take brief notes during this activity because they will review these concepts tonight for homework. They should draw a floor plan of important features.

I will take the time to visually point out the location of all of the lab safety equipment: eye wash station, goggle cabinet, sharps disposal, fire blanket, fire extinguisher, the four classroom sinks, first Aid kit, broken glass box, phone to the front office in case of an emergency, and the all important and most often used safety item in the classroom - the box of band-aids.  I notify students that they will need to be able to diagram the locations of these safety features and emphasize that they need to pay careful attention to our "Room's Safety Tour".

Demo: Put acid on a raw egg in a petri dish in the smoke hood to demo what happens to your eye with an acid splash.

As a comical wrap-up to the power point presentation I will show this video clip of Lab Safety Rap (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJG0ir9nDtc) so the students have a visual as to what they should not do during the lab.  We will have a brief whole group discussion at the conclusion of the video.

Students will also study for the Lab Safety Quiz. (http://www.flinnsci.com/media/396492/safety_exam_hs.pdf )

Students will read, review with their guardian, and sign the Lab Safety Contract as a homework assignment.  The contracts are checked for signatures the next class, but will remain in the students' binders all year as a reference. Students should study for the lab safety test next class,
Students should write a goal for the year.
Students should read and sign syllabus.
Students should set up 3 ring binders.

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Click here for your link to Glencoe 2004 online and all of your book related resources.Click here to download the 2012 study guide.



1.1.1 Announcements

1.1.2 Partner Interview

1.1.3 Biology syllabus

1.1.6 Bell Ringer sheet

1.1.7 Current Events sheet

Parent meeting powerpoint


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 Copyright John Carambat 2016 - Contact: johnc@stpauls.com