I teach 120 biology students at one of the largest high schools in Connecticut with over 3300 students. While walking through the halls of this urban school, you can hear more than 40 different languages spoken by students. Many students do not have access to technology at home and more than 50% of my students are English Language Learners. They are bright students who want to succeed in school and achieve their fullest potential but are limited by their circumstances. My English Language Learners are more likely to be failing classes because their lack in language proficiency prevents them from accessing the required content. Our special education students struggle to pass their core academic classes because many of them are not reading on grade level. In academic classes with difficult language and concepts not being a strong reader puts our students behind academically and makes it less likely for them to graduate on time.
As our school has transitioned to using the new NGSS science standards, our expectations of students have changed with the expectation that students become engineers, designers, and builders within our classroom.
In my classes this, I have a goal of doing more labs per unit. With these labs, I hope to encourage students to become more engaged in sciences. Students are more engaged because they are working hands-on and applying knowledge they have learned in previous classes. This application of knowledge will increase retention of materials and engagement when students realize that the materials they are learning are completely connected to their everyday life.
Learning happens when students make the connection from the classroom materials to the real world.
I am asking for dissection trays and tools to add in dissections to our unit lessons to help students make these connections. I am looking to add in animal and plant dissections for students to make connections from worksheet to actual specimens. I am also asking for a blood typing kit refill. I was able to have students complete this blood typing kit in our genetics unit last year and they loved it! I am asking for refill so I can complete this lab again so students can really connect our genetics unit to their lives!
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