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  • How my classroom turned into a giant cell

      After the biochemistry unit, it’s pretty traditional to teach about cells next.  During my first year, I struggled teaching this unit, because it feels so full of details with seemingly very little connection to each other.  There is nothing worse than standing in front of a class and listing the organelle names and their […]

  • Using Pop Beads to Teach Synthesis and Hydrolysis Reactions

    Dehydration Synthesis and Hydrolysis with Pop Beads!

    How do you teach dehydration synthesis and hydrolysis?  These two terms can be really hard for students to understand and visualize.  Some students struggle with “monomer” and “polymer” too.  That’s why when I teach this lesson, I break out the pop beads!   Why I love the pop beads: 1. They have an orientation.  One […]

  • How to Teach Mitosis and Meiosis in High School Biology

    How I Teach Mitosis and Meiosis in High School Biology

      Check it out!  This post was featured on the Teachers Pay Teachers blog!   Learning about mitosis and meiosis in biology class can be challenging for students but I find it’s one of their favorites.  Visual learners really thrive in this unit.  Understanding how mitosis and meiosis work is essential for understanding independent assortment, […]

  • Teaching Biochemistry in High School

    Teaching Biochemistry in High School

      One of the most difficult units in high school biology to learn (and to teach!) is the biochemistry chapter.  The complex vocabulary and the abstract concepts make this unit seem like a foreign language to most students.  I know because for the first few years of teaching, all of my students had the same […]

  • Dollar Store Idea for Teaching Genetics

    Dollar Store Ideas: Easter Egg Genetics!

    It’s that time of year!   Time to stock up on plastic easter eggs.  It’s actually pretty difficult to get these little guys at other times of the year, but before Easter, you can find them everywhere!   You can buy a whole bunch of eggs, , some pipe cleaners, and some googly eyes with about […]

  • Differentiation in the Science Classroom #1: In the Lab

    Differentiation in the Science Classroom #1: In the Lab

    Helping all students, including students with special needs and English language learners, in high school science classroom is a challenge.  In this blog series, I will focus on a few different techniques that teachers can use to help each and every student in their class succeed.  Some of these techniques can also help other students […]

  • Using LEGO® Bricks to Model DNA Replication

      One day, I was playing in my living room with my almost 3 year old son and we were building with his Lego® Bricks.  My living room floor pretty much always looks like this: I have had a teaching challenge simmering in my head for a while now.  How do I help students really […]

  • Teaching Vocabulary

    Teaching Vocabulary

    For a lot of students, I think the hardest thing about science is the vocabulary or the language scientists use in scientific papers, textbooks, or other teaching materials.  Hypothesis?  Endoplasmic Reticulum? Nucleolus vs Nucleus vs Nucleoid?  Chromosome vs Chromatin vs Chromatid?  It can be very hard for students to get these words straight.   Why […]