Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Retakes and More

Just this semseter, as a team, the chemistry teachers have decided to allow the students to retake certain portions of exams when their scores fall below 70%. The students need to come in for extra help before they can retake the portion of the exam that the teachers have decided is important in the study of chemistry. This is not always the entire exam but just a section that is an essential learning for the topic. I am having a difficult time with some students since they are fine with not retaking any exam. I guess that this is okay but when given the chance why would some students perfer not to retake an exam? I wonder also, why students are taking a class if they are not interested in the subject? More importantly is why are they not interested in the topic? (I guess that if I had an answer to that I could become very rich.)

The thing that I am most excited about right now is the use of a wireless tablet in the classroom and the use of Camtasia software to capture/publish what we are doing. I see a lot of possibilities and I never thought that I would think about beginning podcasts or videocasts of the class sessions. I guess when you start to ask what next? Or now what? Or how does this go to the next level? You start to look for doing things in a new way. The biggest issue is feeling like a first year teacher each day.

The astronomy class took a field trip to CU Boulder and Fiske Planetarium. We listened to a presentation on the sky tonight and what is currently going on in the study of Mars and even talked a little about black holes. It was good to see the students engaged and after I talk to them tomorrow, I will post a little of the conversation.

Well, once again, I am trying to figure out ways to change science instruction and my excitement is a little overwhelming to me.

Monday, October 15, 2007


So as I think about the major changes that are happening in my instructional methods, I cannot wait to begin playing with some new software. I received a copy of Camtasia Studia and SnagIt from TechSmith. After playing with the software a little last Friday, with the help of Mike Porter at the ESC, I am interested in attmpting to capture a PowerPoint soon. The presentation will be on solving some problems in chemistry. I will then place the video on the internet to allow students to seek assistance outside of the classroom. I am wondering if there will be problems with allowing the students access to all of the material. Will they stop paying attention in class? I guess that I will need to find other things for the students to do during class. I think that the true power of this software comes with the students being able to work at their own pace. I am still having a difficult time finding the time to do the things that I want to try and finding the time to implement the changes that I think need to happen in the classroom.

As for now, I long for an inservice day which I can spend by myself, not in meetings.