Category Archives: Uncategorized
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?
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.
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:
- Kaiki’s Mercury in Fish
- Fred’s Artificial Photosynthesis, Turning over a new leaf for solutions to Climate Change
- Kikoy’s The Great Wall of Rivers
- Kayla’s Golden Mussels Should Be Feared As A Monster!
- Takeharu’s Oh no! The Bluegill Army is Attacking!
- Michelle’s The Bald Eagle throws DDT — an outrageous move.
- Doo Hyun asks how we can stop global warming?
- Natsuki’s “Bi Bi Fossil Fuel, Hello BioFuel”
- Juhaku’s Burmese Pythons costing citizens every year
- Mami’s MicroBeads
- Irma’s Plant a Tree; It’s Easy as One Two T(h)ree
The gif images illustrate some of the damage we’ve done to the oceans. Slow clap, humans.
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?
Between 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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A quick review of a quick read: if you’re into surfing or the outdoors, this is worth your time (and is very cheap).
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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This is re-blogged from my personal reflections site, but it is an important current issue and might be of interest.
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.
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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I’ve recently been trying to update and enhance teaching practices through a more careful consideration of Hattie’s learning impacts and through the MYP assessment criteria. This is an experiment in giving feedback in a more evidence-based manner.
This quick brain-dump is based on ideas from Hattie’s Visible Learning for Teachers, Wiliam’s Embedded Formative Assessment and the pdf of The Power of Feedback (Hattie & Timperley) linked below.
I spent much of today trying to grade a large project (Describing the Motion of the Rokko Liner, our local train), which was assessed for MYP Sciences criteria D, E, F. Based on some of our Student Learning Goal work on helping students cope with data presentation and interpretation, the lab had been broken into stages (almost all completed in-class), spread across A4 and A3 paper and GoogleDocs in Hapara.
The result: a lot of visible learning in that I could keep track of each student, see their work in progress and comment where needed. A lotof verbal feedback was given along the way, with some worked examples for students. Breaking the large assignment into stages helped keep…
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This is an excellent TED Talk in which Hattie gives a solid overview of the Visible Learning impacts. Teachers should watch it. Students might get something out of it, too.