New 7th grade Life Sci. teacher needs help!

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by LifeSciGuy, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. LifeSciGuy

    LifeSciGuy New Member

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    Jul 29, 2009

    Hey A to Z folk! I'm so happy to have found this forum!

    I hope that some of you out there have some advice for a rookie Life Science teacher. I just got a job teaching 7th grade life science and would love to know what other teachers (especially life science teachers) do for the first week of classes. On the first day, I plan on the usual, fun introduction activities and even a short homework assignment, but what about the second day? Is it time to get down to business 100% or should I ease into teaching content?:help:

    I would love to hear how other teacher handle their first week of classes. Thanks in advance for the advise!
     
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  3. teachsph2008

    teachsph2008 Companion

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    Jul 31, 2009

    Congrats on your new job! I would definitely get right to the curriculum on day 2. Good luck :)
     
  4. SciTeacherNY

    SciTeacherNY Companion

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    Aug 6, 2009

    I get right into the curriculum as well. I find is useful to get the students into a routine as soon as possible.
     
  5. ohteachr

    ohteachr Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2009

    I'll be watching this thread with interest- 7th grade life science here, as well!
     
  6. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    Aug 8, 2009

    I teach 6-12 grade science. Its my third year.

    The following websites are great and I use them all the time:
    www.middleschoolscience.com
    www.sciencespot.net

    Make sure to join the middle school science teacher's weblist that both sites talk about. Lots of good support.
     
  7. LifeSciGuy

    LifeSciGuy New Member

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    Aug 8, 2009

    Thank you all for your input! I think that I'll get started with curriculum on the second day, but I'll start on the first day if there is time.

    Thank you for the links WaterfallLady!
     
  8. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    Aug 8, 2009

    I teach special ed so generally I don't get into really complex topics but if you need any help, I've taught the 7th grade life science course before. Don't hesitate to ask questions.

    Lots of science teachers start the first day with the "Draw a Scientist" challenge http://www.personal.psu.edu/rsw136/scied_das.htm
     
  9. muinteoir

    muinteoir Companion

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    Aug 14, 2009

    Procedures are the key to everything in a science class. I wish I had
    discovered this much earlier in my career.

    I had a procedure for EVERYTHING. They are linked here: http://science-class.net/General Information/science_handbook.pdf

    It is important for kids to know and understand the procedures quickly and thoroughly.

    However, in my experience, procedures and only procedures on the first day of school made the kids tune out. I combined procedures with an easy quick lab.

    My first week of school looked something like this:

    Day 1 (Usually a Wednesday):

    1. I had a ppt up as the kids walked in. It said

    AGENDA for date

    A. find a seat
    B. introduce yourself to anyone you do not know
    C. have your schedule out on your desk

    2. I greeted students at the dor, welcomed them to science, asked them to go inside and follow the directions on the ptt.

    3. When the bell rang, I walked inside, thanked the students for following directions so well. I then told them that our 'entering the classroom procedure' was just what they had done. They were to come in, check the agenda, and follow the directions on the ppt EVERYDAY. I asked them to tell the person sitting next to them the procedure for entering the classroom.

    4. I checked roll and schedules. When I was sure everyone was inthe correct room and I had marked attendance and no show records, I was ready to begin class for real.

    5. I assigned seats alphabetically. It was just easier for me to learn
    names that way. I quizzed them on the entering class procedure, passed out the parent letter, supply list and science handbook. I made a BIG DEAL out of the hand book. It was to be their go to reference all year. We briefly went over the contents: rules, policies and procedure and student reference materials. Their homework was to learn the three rules of science class.

    6. I spent a couple of minutes explaing why procedures were so important - they made the class run smoothly and safely and helped everyone be successful in science class.

    7. I told them that we would be learning and practicing our everyday procedures until they were second nature to us. Quick oral quiz about the start of class procedures.

    8. Since this was science class, and we were going to do many labs, it was essential that we learn the procedures for lab work.

    A. How to get lab supplies. We went over it, then the students went to get the supplies for this lab: http://www.science-
    class.net/Lessons/NOS/observations_in_science.pdf

    B. Group work procedures. - Students conduct lab. I didn't pick up any papers or anything, it was jsut to practice procedures.

    C. Cleaning up procedures. - Students put materials away.

    9. We reviewed start of class, getting materiaals, group work and cleaning up procedures.

    10. By now class is almost over, so I explained the leaving class
    procedure. I dismiss the students, not the bell. And I do not dismiss until the room is in order.

    11. I remind students of what they need to do, thank them for such a wonderful start to the new year and dismiss them when the bell rings.

    Day 2

    The ppt reads:

    A. Find your assigned seat.
    B. Take out signed papers.
    C. Take out supplies.
    D. Take out student handbook.

    1. I am standing at the door when the students come in. I remind them of the start of class procedure, ask them to check the agenda and find their assigned seat.

    2. I take roll, check for new students,

    3. Explain collecting papers procedure; collect signed parent letters, pick up supplies.

    4. We review procedures from the day before.

    5. Go over rules.

    6. Go over policies.

    7. Discuss lab safety. Review the safety contract: http://www.science-
    class.net/Lessons/NOS/Safety/Science%20Safety%20Contract.pdf.

    Do the safety activity: http://www.science-
    class.net/Lessons/NOS/Safety/safety_activity.pdf

    8. Assign reading policies and getting contract signed as homework.

    9. Review end of class procedure.

    10. Dismiss class.

    Day 3

    The ppt reads:

    A. Find your assigned seat.
    B. Take out signed papers.
    C. Take out supplies.
    D. Take out student handbook.

    1. I am standing at the door when the students come in. I remind them of the start of class procedure, ask them to check the agenda and find their assigned seat.

    2. I take roll, check for new students,

    3. Review collecting papers procedure; collect signed parent letters, pick up supplies.

    4. We review procedures, polices, rules.

    5. Do Marble Ramp activity: http://www.science-
    class.net/Lessons/NOS/marble_ramp.pdf to practice procedures.

    6. Process activity as a class.

    7. Remind students to bring journal on Monday.

    8. Review procedures.

    9. Dismiss class.

    Day 4

    Ppt reads:

    AGENDA
    A. Take out signed papers
    B. Take out your journal
    C. Use a marker to put your name on the outside of your journal

    1. I am standing at the door when the students come in. I remind them of the start of class procedure, ask them to check the agenda and find their assigned seat.

    2. I take roll, do whatever administrivia is still to be done.

    3. I explain the journaling process and procedure.

    4. The next ppt slide has the first journal question, students write and we discuss the possible answer

    5. Explain the procedure for storing journals in the classroom; put journals away.

    6. Begin content instruction; reviewing, practicing, explaining procedures over and over and over.



    The rest of the year

    Ppt reads:

    AGENDA - whatever it is for the day
    Journal Question - whatever it is fir the day

    1. I am standing at the door, greeting students, reminding them to pick up their journals and get busy on the question.

    2. When the tardy bell rings, I come inside and take attendance while students are working on the journal question and copying the aagenda into their planners (school policy)

    3. When attendance is submitted, I show a possible answer to the journal questions, students can change their response any way they want to and we sppend a very brief time dicussing it.

    4. Start content portion of class.

    We review procedures constantly for several weeks. As new situations arise; like the first time I bring laptop computers into the room, we go over the procedure for that situation.

    It's a LOT of up front work, but it pays off big time in the end!
     
  10. backtoclass

    backtoclass Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2009

    I used to teach Life Science/Biology at the High School level. I would always jump right in the first day with content, after I went over all the procedure/admin stuff.
     
  11. bonteach

    bonteach Companion

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    Aug 25, 2009

    Thanks for the draw a scientist challenge it looks great!
     

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