Check out this science demonstration website:

"Why do we have to learn this?"

Sharon Pelech spoke about how we teach and learn in a paradigm-shifting way. Eco-pedagogy is about shifting education toward a view of how we are interconnected and are all a part of the world.

Eco-pedagogy is not just about environmental education but how history, math, social sciences, and everything else that we teach is connected back to the world.

Instead of answering the common question "why do I have to learn this?" with "because the curriculum says so," we can begin to guide students toward inquiry into the big picture.

"We Shall Teach Them in the Classes!"

Becca Bouchard spoke about her experiences about teaching in England after graduating from the University of Lethbridge.

I took away an important understanding of the very different school structure and language differences. This understanding could help me if one day I am teaching a student who is from the U.K.

Ideas from my Fellow Student Teachers!

Inertia Experiments

Demonstrations and hands-on activity ideas from Emily W and Will K, U of L PS2

Make a food web using fantasy creatures.

Idea credit: Julie B, U of L PS2

Glaciers in Tuperware

Model rising sea ice levels by placing ice cubes and water into a tuperware container. Use clay on one end to model land.

Idea shared by: Tahsha, U of L PS2

Oil and Water

Idea shared by Amy, U of L PS2

Modelling Biomagnification

Spread 30 coins on the floor to represent producers with toxins. Have ten students be primary consumers (zooplankton) and forage them. Then have five students be small fish and take all the coins away, "eating" the zooplankton. Have two students be large fish and "eat" the small fish by taking their coins. Who at any point carried the most coins or toxins in their bodies?

Idea shared by: Jodie E, U of L PS2

Static Electricity

Idea by Christina, U of L PSII


Check out the Mitosis Rap:

Idea from Robyn V, U of L PS2

SWATCA: SouthWest Alberta Teacher's Convention Association

Sessions that I attended:

Start With a Story! Teaching Science Through Case Studies 

by Kim Orr

I really identify with using real-life examples to help students learn. By making the content relatable to students, we can help them to understand the big picture. Kim Orr used the example of teaching the lobes of the brain to Bio30s using the Brittany Maynard terminal glioblastoma case study. This is a trigger case study to start of the unit. A video of Brittany's tragedy and decision to end her life leads into the first classroom activity of researching what a glioblastoma is, and how a brain tumor in different areas of the brain affects the body and mind.

Sharpening the Saw for New Teachers 

by Kelly Jo Craddock and Ana Tsentouros 

These lovely ladies hosted a very high-energy conversation about staying current and being lifelong learners.

Understanding Sexual Behaviour Problems in Children and Teens 

by Ana Schlosser

This was an eye-opener! Wow. I was not expecting to get so shocked by some of the information that Ana shared with us. I had a lot of head-shaking moments that I'm not sure that I should describe on a public website. My big take-a-way: when you know of a sexual behaviour problem don't be too quick to judge, put your opinions aside, address the situation calmly and honestly. Handling a sexual behaviour problem by either yelling or ignoring it will make the situation worse.

Students for Change

by Pamela Dos Ramos and Brenda Johnston

In this session I learned about the Students for Change leadership program. I loved this idea because I want to start a leadership club in my future school.

How to Alleviate ADHD Naturally 

by Dana Stringam

Dana's wife Autumn was terribly sick with mental illnesses until they found a natural supplement. It makes sense to me that some illnesses could be the result of nutrient deficiencies. This especially gives me hope because I am not a fan of pumping kids with various drugs. Being informed about alternative therapies is very important to me as an educator and self-empowerment advocate.

Kurtis Hewson on Getting that First Job

Ten things you may not have known about getting your first teaching job. Note: that what might help you get hired with an administrator like Kurtis Hewson, might actually set you back with a different administrator.

If a principal, teacher, or parent Googles you, here are the Ten Reasons why your Resume got Thrown Out

Kurtis has a large focus on online content. Here are some things that You May Not Have Considered.

In an interview, ask: what are two things that you like most about your school? How do you support beginning teachers in your school? What professional development resources do you offer? I know that your school vision is ____ what is one success that you are proud of right now?

Come into an interview with one succinct handout that summarizes your portfolio. Know how many administrators are in the interview and come up with one sample lesson plan, one sample behaviour contract, one sample unit plan, one sample of your vision of teaching science and your personal philosophy, and your reference letters. Then colour-code these sheets. 

Highlight what you want to stand out, like "the best student teacher that I've ever had!"

Finally, send a thank you note to the administrators for their time--even if you don't get the job.

Kurtis Hewson on Digital Portfolios

Why am I here? Online, I mean. Kurtis Hewson gave a great lecture on why it is important to have an online presence. You can connect with so many wonderful educators online. Link your twitter and other social media to your website and start a blog!

This made me think about how I can teach responsible digital citizenship to my future students. The internet is such a valuable resource, but we leave our tracks whenever we like, comment, or post content. I want to teach my students how to use the internet wisely, and leave behind a positive and meaningful sets of digital footprints.

I also began to wonder if I could use a classroom website to showcase my students' final projects. Part of the writing process is publishing with an authentic audience. I wonder if having an online audience would make students more accountable to their work and motivate them to do a better job on their projects? Just some food for thought on digital portfolios. I think it is worth taking a risk and finding out what does and does not work for your classroom. After all, you cannot create something wonderful unless you are willing to take risks; it's okay if you turn out to be wrong, because at least then you've discovered something.

Idea from my Fellow Student Teachers!

Modelling the DNA double helix

Use twizzlers, marshmallows, and toothpicks to construct a model. If you colour-code each marshmallow, then those colours must always go together.

For example:

Adenine = yellow

Thymine = green

Cytosine = orange

Guanine = pink

Idea shared by Michelle H, U of L PS2