>My Best Lesson Yet!

>I woke up this morning after sleeping for eight hours feeling just as tired as when I went to bed.  This was the first full week without delays, cancellations, or finals since before the new year, and it definitely felt like the longest week I’d had in a while.  I could have a called in for a sub and I think last semester I probably would have.  But I managed to talk myself out of the bad place, knowing that my students needed me and I was ready even though I didn’t feel like it.

It turned out to be one of my best lessons yet.  First I did a Move It! poll, where students moved to different sides of the room to signify their agreement or disagreement with a statement, about the way we’ve been using the new computers.  Almost all of them like using the laptops to take notes, research, and manage their assignments, though everyone is at different places on the learning curve.  Then we played a game of I am/Who is with cell organelles.  I gave each student the card for the organelle they had done for their Facebook page, on the back of which was a description of another organelle.  I started by saying “I am the cytoskeleton.  Who is…” and described another organelle.  The student with that organelle stood up, read their identity, and the next question.  With a little nudging, we did make it all the way around!

Then we went on our tour of the school as a cell.  I had taped descriptions of different cell organelles to places in the school that had analogous functions, and charged students with the task of finding the next one.  They ate it up, especially some of my kids who aren’t usually great with written work.  Two noted “frequent flyers” told me, “If we do stuff like this, I ain’t ever skippin your class, Miss Duann!”  And though I was initially nervous about taking 20-some kids traipsing throughout the school, appointing a line leader and a caboose (yes, just like kindergarten!) helped keep everyone together, and then the thrill of the chase took care of the rest.  They had a notes sheet to fill in as we went along with the descriptions and analogies.

The best part, though, came after class had ended.  During lunch duty, I stopped to talk with a student I had last semester and told him that we had done the school as a cell activity.  His eyes brightened.  “Oh!  I remember that.  Is that when the office was like, the…the…the nucleus or something?”  At which point I did a fist pump and a supremely undignified little happy dance.

Resources
Cell Organelles I AM/WHO IS cards
The School as a Cell (with teacher key, student handout, descriptions)

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