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  • Tips for Dealing with Student Absences

      One unique challenge of the middle school and high school teacher is dealing with the numerous absences that happen in any given week or even any given day!   How many of you have seen the following scenario happen?   You start your day and students begin streaming in for first period class.  A […]

  • Tips for Teaching Polyatomic Ions

    I try to avoid having students memorize things, when possible.  I think it is far more valuable to be able to figure something out from other information or to be able to read and write science or to be able to think through a stoichiometry problem.  But when it comes to polyatomic ions, students just […]

  • Tips for Scaffolding in the Chemistry Classroom

      Scaffolding, as many of you know, is a term educational experts (or people who want to sound fancy) use to describe how to break down a concept for students so that they can reach a goal or a level you want them to.  It’s like building a ladder (or scaffolding around a building being […]

  • Giving Back 2016: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

    I’m joining my friend Erica from Nitty Gritty Science  and I’m fundraising for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  I have a friend with a baby in the NICU there right now.  Each baby there is a miracle, a blessing, and there are nurses and doctors who work hard every day to take care of the little tiny […]

  • 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 […]

  • Scope and Sequence in Biology

    Scope and Sequence in my Biology Class

    Recently, blog readers have asked me to write about scope and sequence in my biology class.  Determining the best scope and sequence for your students is very difficult as a new teacher.  It’s so hard to know!  What do I cover?  When?  And to what depth?  I have found that my own personal preferred scope […]

  • Biology Homework for The Whole Year? Yes, please.

      This summer, I decided I wanted to work on a project that I’ve been thinking about for a long time.  While I was teaching (I’m home right now with my kids for a few years), I had a tough time finding meaningful homework assignments to give in biology.  So many textbook questions had just cookie-cutter […]

  • 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, […]