Category Archives: Curriculum

The Environment is Interdisciplinary

Working with Eco Club and thinking about the complexities of the interactions, causes, effects and issues we need to tackle, I am often reminded of this Lovelock quote, from a 2014 interview in the Guardian. Perhaps if we can get interdisciplinary teaching and learning right in our schools, we can help students make the connections they need to truly understand the deeper causes of the problems they might need to solve.

For a more detailed post on how we’re trying to tackle IDU’s, please see my blog.

lovelock_teaching_mess_ibiologystephen

James Lovelock on the challenge of really teaching people about the environment, from this Guardian interview: http://gu.com/p/3zx4j

First Unit Reflections: Is It Working?

This is posted over from my personal reflections blog, but it is about my current IB Biology class. I love these students – they are can-do, and give really useful feedback.

Ripples & Reflections

Today we took the opportunity in the IBBio class to reflect on the unit we have just completed, including the tasks and assessment. As always with CA students, the results were constructive, positive and useful, with a general affirmation of the value of what we are doing as a class. The feedback included our personal GoogleSites project, with most students keen on continuing and feeling it helped them learn and with some interesting alternatives for those that it is not.

This kind of feedback is really useful once the class has settled in. They are open enough to be able to be honest, but it is early enough to change practices where needed. We will make some adjustments, though we are generally on the right track with this group. I’m really looking forward to seeing the process and products of the students who have elected to become science writers…

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IB Biology: Sortable Syllabus

I made this document to help my students review for their mock and final exams. It is the syllabus presented as a sortable Google Spreadsheet. There are tabs at the top for Paper 1 & 2: Core content, Paper 1 & 2: Core & AHL content, and for each subtopic.

  • Go to “View –> List view”.
  • Use the sort feature to target individual command terms, topics, objectives or levels.
  • It also has the ability to sort by suggested TOK connections or aims.

It does not include any images from the subject guide, as these cannot be included in cells to sort, so you will need to use your own copy or the text(s).

This could be a powerful review tool if used in response to practice papers or as a formative/ self-assessment tool. If a student is identified as weak in a particular command term, they can sort their revision and set priorities. It should allow for quick and focused differentation of exam preparation.

SortableSyllabus: IB Biology. Click to open and go to List View

Unit Planner Sample: The Nature of Biology

I’ve been trying to do a bit of Autumn cleaning on the site, as well as working on planners and curriculum jobs as MYPCo here at school. As a result, I’ve done a lot of reading of new IB documents (Concept-based learning, Approaches to Teaching and Learning etc) and review of older or more fundamental ones (Principles to Practice and so on).

Anyway, taking all this into consideration, I figured the unit planner was due an update and wanted to make one more useful for Biology. Here is an example:

For more (and a blank template), head over to the Unit Planning page. This is not an official IB product, so please treat it with due diligence.

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