Category Archives: Uncategorized

Capturing the Criteria & “Zooming In”

Data Literacy with ‘Explore’ in GoogleSheets

Super-quick lesson idea for teaching datasets and presentation types. When processing data in Google Sheets, use the ‘Explore’ feature, highlighting parts of the dataset. Click here for an example (to save a copy, go to ‘file –> make a copy’)

For: Sciences, Maths

Thanks to Liz Durkin (@lizdk) for the reminder of this feature.

Questions to ask students

  • What are different types of data (continuous, discontinuous)
  • Why do we use graphical presentations of data?
  • What information do we need to be able to present data clearly?
  • Why are some data presentations suitable for some sets of data and not others?
  • How are the ‘basic’ presentations of data limited? (or Why can’t I use a bar chart for everything?).
  • How does my interpretation of the data change when I change the graph or chart type?

screen-shot-2017-01-23-at-16-49-49Explore in GoogleSheets – a quick way to visualize some of the data collected in an experiment or survey, and an opportunity to teach some data literacy and critical thinking skills. Click to open.

Going Further: Here is a set of resources for more advanced data presentation and statistics, used for IBBio, but useful for more: IBBio Statbook by Stephen Taylor. This one is for MYP Chemistry.

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MYP ATL Skills

Information Literacy
Collect, record and verify data
Present information in a variety of formats and platforms
Process data and report results
Understand and use technology systems
Critical Thinking
Interpret data

NGSS Connections

Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Construct, analyze, and/or interpret graphical displays of data and/or large data sets to identify linear and nonlinear relationships.
Use graphical displays (e.g., maps, charts, graphs, and/or tables) of large data sets to identify temporal and spatial relationships.

 

8 Mind-Blowing Optical Illusions

Here’s nine neat minutes from Sci Show on illusions – classic and modern – that will be of use to those studying Option A: Neurobiology & Behaviour.

 

A Great Batch of TOK Questions

This year’s TOK Questions are a great crop (I think) for connecting the sciences as an area of knowledge with many current and historical knowledge issues. Here’s a wee poster I made on PiktoChart for the questions. Which do you lean towards and why?

 

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

Exploring Environmental Science: Student BlogPosts

In our current Grade 10 Environmental Science course, students have designed their own unit based on an area of interest and their subject choices for next year. This year’s class have broken into four groups: climate vs biodiversity, climate vs ocean and air currents, pollution & biomagnification, and invasive species vs biodiversity.

As part of the requirements for the unit, students must write a case study blog post, assessed using Criterion D: Reflecting on the Impact of Science, that explores an action taken related to their topic of choice. They were asked to look for some reliable sources, making the most of the blog format with suitable media and images. Successful blog posts teach the reader about the big ideas of their unit, through the lens of a specific case.

Here are some of their products: 

How to build a human [animated gif]

Eleanor Lutz's brilliant animation shows development of an embryo and fetus. From the TableTop Whale Blog.

Eleanor Lutz’s brilliant animation shows development of an embryo and fetus. From the TableTop Whale Blog. Click on the image to go there. 

Beautiful and sad GIFs that show what’s happening to the ocean

The gif images illustrate some of the damage we’ve done to the oceans. Slow clap, humans.

ideas.ted.com

Scientist Sylvia Earle (TED Talk: My wish: Protect our oceans) has spent the past five decades exploring the seas. During that time, she’s witnessed a steep decline in ocean wildlife numbers — and a sharp incline in the number of ocean deadzones and oil drilling sites. An original documentary about Earle’s life and work premieres today on Netflix. Watch it here.

Below, four ocean infographic gifs from the film.

What happened to the coral reefs?

Between 1950 and 2014, half of the coral reefs across the oceans died.

What happened to tuna, sharks, and cod?

Mission_Blue_gif2_256_99_0_600Between 1950 and 2014, Pacific Bluefin Tuna, sharks, and North Atlantic Cod were all almost fished to extinction. Between 5% and 10% remain.

The number of ocean deadzones then and now:

Ocean deadzones are spots in the sea where life no longer exists. They occur when massive fertilizer runoff (or other ocean crises) set in motion an oxygen-depriving chain of events…

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Quick Review: Tony Butt’s Guide to Sustainable Surfing

A quick review of a quick read: if you’re into surfing or the outdoors, this is worth your time (and is very cheap).

Ripples & Reflections

Dr. Tony Butt

This quick read (74 pages,£0.87 on Kindle) is worth an hour or two of your time, especially if you’re into surfing or outdoor pursuits and are concerned about the environment. Tony Butt is a big-wave surfer and has a PhD in Physical Oceanography; his educational columns on Surf Science in Surfer’s Path magazine (and his book on the same) are excellent primers on waves, surfing and the environment.

In this text, Dr. Butt sets out to describe how we impact the environment as surfers and how we can make choices that can mitigate these impacts. He makes connections between the issues of Energy, Travel and Stuff related to surfing, highlighting the unsustainable nature of the jet-setting, product-hungry, WCT-inspired modern surfer. Of particular interest are issues of embedded energy and product life cycles, which you may recognise from Annie Leonard’s Story of Stuff series…

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Teaching our Sons not to rape: SexEd & #YesAllWomen

This is re-blogged from my personal reflections site, but it is an important current issue and might be of interest.

Ripples & Reflections

This is a brief reflection on a work in progress, but health education in school is very important to me. It is a brief reflection on a project to update and refine a Sex Ed sequence, bringing in a stronger element of values education, sexuality and attitudes. It aims to move away from the traditional ‘plumbing and don’t get pregnant or raped’ approach to a more powerful and relevant ‘plumbing, make good decisions and be a good person’ approach. 

Background

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 2.24.17 PM From @feministabulous on Twitter.

Towards the end of the year we had the opportunity to review and teach a G9 Sex Ed class, standing separate from the regular MYP PHE class and with a different staffing allocation. It comes at a time when the school is working out how to re-distribute health topics into PE, to make PHE, yet retain the balance of content work and physical activity. Sexuality education is…

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