Bond with James: 2016

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

5 Days of Holiday Cheer - Facebook LIVE Reminder

Don't miss out on the remaining "5 Days of Holiday Cheer" dates! The best way to learn about what's going on is to subscribe to my newsletter,
If you've been participating, there's an opportunity to win a $50 TpT gift card (see comments in the FB LIVE video below).

Sunday, December 11, 2016

5 Days of Holiday Cheer!

The holiday season is among us! First, I want to say thank you to everyone that has supported my work as Bond with James throughout the 2016 school year.  As a way to celebrate, I am participating with a group of fantastic secondary sellers in a week long holiday cheer of freebies, giveaways, discounted items, and much more!

What is the "Holiday Cheer" event? 
Well, from December 12th through December 16th, I will be offering a special holiday gift every day - ranging from freebies to discounted prices of particular items.

How does it work?
Individuals signed up to my email subscriber list will receive an email describing the holiday gift for the day. 

If you are not subscribed to my email list, then click here to sign up immediately so that you do not miss out on the holiday fun!  

Don't worry - this will be one of the rare times where you will receive an email from me on a daily basis (from December 12th - December 16th). 

I hope you enjoy the gifts I have in store for you! Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Let's Unwind with Candy DNA!

I just covered DNA structure and replication.  I wanted to do something that would be hands-on, but at the same time be quick and easy for them to grasp (considering the fact that we are nearing the end of the semester).  I remember I came across a fun activity on the Internet years ago called, "Have Your DNA and Eat It Too", from the University of Utah.   The activity comes with resources and an activity that requires more than what I wanted; however, I modified the activity to fit it within a 90-minute block period.

The materials can be bought at your local grocery store: Twizzlers (or licorice), colored marshmallows, toothpicks, and tape (I used Post-It notes in conjunction with the tape).
The activity required that each student obtain 9 of each colored marshmallow and 12 toothpicks to create 1 DNA molecule (although, they didn't use all the marshmallows as directed).  Therefore, I had students pair up in order to help me save resources since I had to purchase the materials myself.
The activity is pretty straightforward as it provides students with instructions on how to construct their DNA molecule. Even though the activity mentions base pairing in the introduction, students do have to have an understanding of how it works in order to generate the complementary strand from the information given to them.
After the DNA molecule was constructed, students were able to twist the DNA model into the characteristic double helix shape; which they thought was "dope" as seen in the video below.
Students then labeled the phosphate, sugar, and 1 of each of the bases.  The activity calls for masking tape, however, I used Scotch tape and Post-It notes as a substitute.
Once all pairs were finished, I briefly spoke about DNA replication; at which point I had students model part of the process by using scissors to act as DNA helicase to unzip the DNA strands. 
In the future, I may actually have students construct the complementary strands from the leading and lagging parent strands.  However, the students were all able to do well on an exit slip and a quiz that I provided, so the activity worked out in the end. 

What are your thoughts concerning this particular activity? Have you tried it before? If so, leave a comment below and let me know how it worked. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Ecology Unit Activities 2

You can check out the other ecology unit activities that I shared by clicking here.

Collaborative Posters: Carbon and Nitrogen Cycles
Students worked in groups of 3-4 to complete a collaborative poster over the carbon or nitrogen cycle.  I allowed them to choose one after they had completed a small group reading together over each cycle.  
Students had to work together to create a visual representation based off of what they read; as I had not specifically taught the concept yet and wanted to see what they could learn/pull from the reading.  If you're not familiar with collaborative posters, you can check out a post I wrote back in 2013, here.

Ecological Succession Story and Illustration
Students participated in a small group collaborative reading and then had to use information from what they read to illustrate the stages of succession. 

Ecology Task Cards
I ended the unit with the use of ecology task cards as a cumulative activity to help students connect concepts and to review what they had learned about during the past few days. 

Left-side Interactive Notebook Activities: 
Ecology Acrostic and 1 page narrative
Students utilized their interactive notebooks throughout the unit.  Two ways that I had students demonstrate their understanding were through the use of an acrostic and a 1-page narrative from the perspective an another organism (e.g. animal, plant, bacteria, etc.)

The example above does contain mistakes (spelling/grammar); however, the student appropriately completed the acrostic based on the rubric that was provided. 

 "I have...Who has..." Review 
I actually had the students play "I have...Who has..." right before they took the exam as it reviewed the academic vocabulary and various concepts.

I hope you enjoyed reading and viewing the pictures about a few of the things I used during my ecology unit.  

Share your ideas for how you engage and motivate students when teaching ecology in the comment section below! 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Ecology Unit Activities 1

I just ended a unit over ecology and wanted to share a few of the activities and stations that I had my students complete as they were learning about the concept.  There is a link to additional activities at the end of this post. 

Levels of Organization Gallery Walk
This station had 17 cards covering the levels of organization (LOO).  While I was covering ecological LOO, I had also covered LOO in organisms and wanted to review previous terms.  Therefore, there cards contained images covering the following terms:

  • atoms, molecules, organelles, cells, tissues, organ, organ systems, organism, population, community, ecosystem, biome, and biosphere. 

Each card had a term that briefly described to students what they were observing.  Students carried a stations sheet where they identified the LOO and whether each card depicted biotic factors and/or abiotic factors. 

Symbiosis Scenarios
This particular station contained 12 different symbiotic relationship scenarios.  Students only had to complete four cards, however, they had to pick one example of each type of symbiotic relationship.

Biome Energy Flow (Food Chain & Food Web) 
This station had 6 different versions, as I had incorporated various biomes (e.g. deserts, forests, etc.) and allowed students to choose one energy flow station. 

Students had to create 3 food chains and 1 food web using a specific number of cards. Out of all the stations, this was the most popular station among the students.  This particular activity may be found by clicking here.

I hope you enjoyed reading and viewing the pictures about a few of the things I used during my ecology unit. You can check out the other ecology unit activities that I shared by clicking here.

Share your ideas for how you engage and motivate students when teaching ecology in the comment section below! 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Classroom Management: Restroom Strategy for Secondary Students

Hi everyone! After my first year of teaching, I reflected on the things that went well and all the things that needed to change in order to help me survive in the wonderful, yet challenging, life of being a teacher.  

One of the things that I felt I could change and manage was how I allowed students to leave my classroom.  In the video, I share my hall ticket strategy that helps me control the number of students that leave my classroom during a grading cycle.

I failed to mention two things in the video. The first is that I do not allow students to loan passes to their peers.  The second thing is that I provide opportunities for students to earn additional tickets. Students may earn these through peer assistance (i.e., not just telling answers but actually tutoring), consistent on-task behavior, or during in-class assessment reviews.

Remember: Be consistent.  

Free, editable templates are provided if you're interested in trying this strategy now or in the future. Feel free to comment on this post or in the video comment section on YouTube if you have a question or a comment and I'll do my best to get back to you!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Back-to-School Season

Back-to-School season is in full effect. For the past few weeks, I have been transitioning into my new classroom; as well looking around for great deals and loading up my shopping cart with school supplies for the new school year. 

Even with all the great deals out there, it can add up quickly. I am personally giving away $35 worth of secondary science resources, to two lucky winners, from my Teachers Pay Teachers store, Bond with James.  The methods to win will be shown in the Rafflecopter below. 

A few of my resources include:
1. High School Chemistry Bundle for Interactive Notebooks - which contains 7 topics and includes the gradual release model (I do, We do, You do) in the note taking process.
2. Chemistry Task Cards Series 9-in-1 Bundle - currently includes 459 task cards with answer keys and student answer sheets. 
3. Cells and Viruses for the Biology Interactive Notebook -  contains various graphic organizers, readings, and other activities covering cells and viruses. 
4. Food Chain and Food Web: Biome Card Sort Bundle - contains 6 different interactive biome card sorts. 

Please note that the winners will be contacted and must tell me which items the would like to select as I will not be providing gift cards.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

We have put together a BIG Blog Hop Giveaway: Four $100 Teachers Pay Teachers gift cards. Each blog post has a secret code word and number. The number tells you where the word falls in the secret sentence. My code word is: tomorrow's (11).  Make sure to collect the words from each blog, write them down in numbered order, and copy the secret sentence into the joint rafflecopter giveaway. This form is the same on every blog, so you only need to enter it once from any of the participating blogs. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
After you have entered my Rafflecopter and the secondary science Rafflecopter, make sure to check out each secondary blog at the bottom of this post to enter the other Rafflecopter giveaways.  

You can also check out a tour of my classroom!