A typical day in my class begins with bell work to get students ready to learn. It wakes them up and introduces a new topic. Then we have a discussion about previous topics and how they relate to new learning material. They have an activity to learn the new topic. Students need hands on activities whenever possible. We finish the day reflecting on what they learned.
My school has around 1800 students, and class sizes are 20-36 students each.
Over 75% are Hispanic and over 80% qualify for free/reduced-price lunch. Opportunities for academic advancement are small because of their background. The students are willing, but funding is very low. The students are ready to learn, but funding prevents us from giving students the best opportunities.
In Biology, students need to see that there is a world invisible to us. We have microscopes, but we don't have a good algae set (which this project will buy for us). 60% of the oxygen we breath is made by microscopic algae. The students need to see the diverse world they make up in our water sources.
Also, in today's world, students want to use their cameras to look in the microscope viewer.
This is very hard without an adapter. Lots of time is wasted trying to get the camera perfectly in place to take a picture. Once this is done, they can talk about what they see and point to what they see. Inside the microscope, only one eye can see at a time. it is hard to tell what one student is looking at. Using the camera gives them the ability to really discuss what they see.
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