Share your favorite teaching activity here. How did your students react? What are your reflections on the activity?
In my Small Animal course, I do many fun projects. Instead of having the students take a Dog Unit exam, I have the students create a "Dogs for Dummies" booklet. The students turn out some really neat projects, its so fun to see what they can create. What's nice about this project, is the fact its easy to adapt to other class or subject areas. Good luck!
One thing I have discovered during my teaching career is you'll simply never know where your inspiration may come from. I was walking passed a bookstore self-help section when I came up with the idea for this project, and one time I was watching a TV commercial when I got an idea for another project. Good luck!
This sounds great - I'm teaching a small animal science course this fall and plan to use this. Thanks!
At the end of the school year, I have my students write two letters to themselves, one to be mailed in 1 year and one to be mailed in 5 years. I give them 2 envelopes, and have them address them to their home mailing address then tell them to label the envelopes with the year for when I will be mailing them (ie 2010). I ask the students to write two letters to themselves....I encourage them to set goals, make plans for their future, and remember to give themselves some encouragement for the future date that the letter will arrive. I remember my first and second year of college, I really needed some support and reminding from myself of why I was there and what I hoped to accomplish. My high school english teacher had us do the same assignment and I was excited when I recieved my letter and got that little boost from myself. I also play some music to help them get in the mood...like Brad Paisely's "Letter to Me." Most of the kids forget all about the letters until that day they arrive in the mail! You could also maybe have them write letters at the beginning of the school year to give to them on the last day of class? Just an Idea...
I like to do an intro to FFA unit with my junior high students. We talk about what FFA is and then we talk about the FFA emblem. Once we have discussed the parts of the emblem and what they each represent, we have an emblem design contest. I have split the kids into groups, but you could also do it as an individual project. Their job is to make a model of the FFA emblem, including all parts. They can use whatever materials they want. I've had kids bake cakes and cookies and decorate, cut the emblem out of plywood and wood burn the designs into it, tool it out of leather and sketch it on to paper. I give them some time in class to plan what they are going to do, and then a few days later we have a work day or two. The kids seemed to enjoy it, and of course on the final day, those who decided to bake an emblem shared it with the rest of the class.
By accident my middle schoolers did a lab on greenhouse insects. Our tomato plants were covered in white flies, aphids, and a couple of tomato caterpillars. On a class day that would be eaten up mostly by an assembly I thought we'd fill the time by manually removing these pests. Each student got a piece of scotch tape big enough to wrap around all four fingers sticky side out and they tried to stick as many aphids to their tape as possible. We did the same for white flies but they proved harder to catch. We also picked off the tomato caterpillars.
One of my students asked if all insects ate the same way. I felt a bit embarrassed we hadn't covered that part but I came up with a quick solution. We trooped right back inside and got the dissecting microscopes out and went to looking. They were able to see all the life stages of the aphid. Eggs, juveniles, adults, and exoskeletons. They were also able to see the mouth parts all three and the honeydew the aphids create. Some students went back to the greenhouse and got a tomato leaf to watch the caterpillar eat the leaf under the microscope. We ended up being late for the assembly and when the principal came and got us and ended up just standing and watching for 10 minutes because she was so excited to see the students engaged. It became one of my standard middle school lesson with whatever insects I had on had that time of year. That was by far the best bug lab but the others went well too.
When I do my terminology unit, to enforce directional terminology, I have the students make a 3D animal out of playdoh and label the directional terms. It really helps the students to see the directions on a 3D object and they always have a great time making the animals.
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