Bond with James: A Week in the Life of a Teacher (Week 9): Labs, Blended Learning, and Homecoming!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

A Week in the Life of a Teacher (Week 9): Labs, Blended Learning, and Homecoming!

Homecoming week, labs, and blended learning during my 9th week of school! In addition to the weekly vlog, I've also detailed the week down below with pictures. 
In an effort to play catch up to my district curriculum (and compared to where I normally should be) I am combining two units.  On Monday and Tuesday, my students participated in a chemical changes lab.  I decided to leave out examples of physical changes and only provided experiments that demonstrated signs that a chemical change had taken place. 
The students were engaged during the lab even though I provided materials for a micro-scale version of each of the reactions.  There still is some work to be done in regard to basic lab skills, however, the students were on task and completed the activities in a timely manner. I delayed the chemical changes lab because I was asked to hold off doing big labs with my students until my class sizes could be leveled to 28 students or less. To be honest, I also spent too much time on my Numbers in Science unit. 
On Wednesday and Thursday, I decided to teach atomic structure.  I had shot a 20 minute video over atomic structure before I left work Wednesday evening.  I split the video into six smaller videos, uploaded it a hosting site, and created questions in our Canvas program.  The idea behind this was to allow students to watch the videos, take notes, and learn at their own pace.  Unfortunately, my 1st period students had difficulty watching the videos because the videos kept buffering.  I tried to troubleshoot, but my vision for this lesson was dead; at least for first period.  I quickly flexed and taught the class as a whole, however, students had to return to the Canvas program to enter their responses.
After first period, I used time during my advisory period to download all six videos from the host site and then I uploaded the files onto Canvas. Thankfully, this solution worked and my other periods were able to watch the videos uninterrupted.  As students worked at their own pace, either individually or with a partner, I walked around the room to ask or respond to questions; as well as ensure that students were on-task with the blended learning assignment.  The great thing about Canvas is that I can see which students are having difficulty and develop a tailored lesson just for them.
I also had to make a decision about topics to cut out from this particular unit (which I'm combining with the previous unit). For example, I decided to scrap isotopic composition; or at least push it to nuclear chemistry toward the end of the school year.  Students will still be required to know what an isotope is, but they will not learn how to calculate the average atomic mass.  Since I made the decision to combine atomic structure with my matter & change unit at the last minute, I did not have time to give students all of the handouts; so we used a few minutes in class to prep interactive notebooks.

I requested my formal evaluation to be conducted on Monday of next week. I have decided to combine two Student Learning Stations for the evaluation: Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table (mainly because I need to catch up) . I've done stations during previous evaluations and my students have done three other learning stations. I'm not worried about doing two different stations because I've had duplicate sets of a single version during previous lessons and the students did fine. Students should be able to complete all of the stations since I will be using them as a wrap up to the concepts covered in the blended learning lessons. 


  1. Thanks for the photo and word breakdown. I never have time to watch thit vlogs so it’s nice to be able to still see what you’re doing!

  2. You have carried out lovely science experiments for 9th grades.I hope these students will learn slot through this video of yours.Please upload some more helpful videos

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