Teachers

If you teach IB Biology or High School Science, please feel free to use the resources on this site, within the limits of these Creative Commons guidelines.

With time I might develop this page further for starting-out IB Biology teachers. However, if you follow the links around the navigation bar (above), you will find everything I use in my own classes, from presentations and resources to IA rubrics and more.

If you are a teacher in an IB World School, you should have access to the Online Curriculum Centre (OCC), which has more resources and a forum for seeking help and guidance.

Good luck!

This video is for all teachers, by  Jeff Goldstein and John Boswell from the awesome Symphony of Science:

As Boswell says, we “have to ensure that testing serves education, not that education serves testing.

  1. Hi Stephen,

    I am seeking some advice on what to do with students that miss labs or miss the Group 4 project. I have been teaching IB for 5 years (with massive amounts of help from your resources…you are a life saver:)) and this year I have had the worst problems with students not turning in written lab work, not coming to school on the days for labs and I had one student not go on the Group 4 project trip (he was even already paid) and he now wants to do an alternative. I have worked hard developing what I think is a great project.

    Do you have a policy about missing labs, about turning lab write ups in? Also do you offer an alternative to your Group 4 project? What do you do if a student is sick?

    Since my school is in Venezuela it is too big of security risk to do anything here, so we go to Curacao. We are there for 4 days and investigate 4 ecosystems and look at water chemistry in regards to human impact. IF you are interested here is the wiki to our project http://ebvgroup4.wikispaces.com/

    Thanks so much for everything that you have done for biology teachers around the world. You have made a huge impact in many classrooms!

    Jodi

    • Hi Jodi,

      Thanks for the comment. I am not currently an examiner or moderator, but am an IBDPCo, so here are some suggestions:
      – Turning in work and absenteeism is a school issue and is more to do with school policy and discipline than with the IB itself. Your best line of support here are your supervisors and the students’ parents. If you post your deadlines and so on online, you can direct students and parents there for reminders.
      – I have students submit work to Moodle. I demand a first draft and sometimes a second. Although I do not check and return these drafts, it does show me who is working and who is not. It also gives students a Turnitin report, so they can work on their citations.
      – Your G4 project trip looks like loads of fun and a great experience. Trips away do mean that a student can miss the whole project. We run the project in school over a few days spread over a couple of weeks – so that it is highly unlikely that a student misses the whole project. You can find our documents here. You could think about scheduling it for a time of year where a student could go again in G12 if they miss out, without getting in the way of their studies too much. This year we put G11 and G12 together in January (May session school) and focused it on the Global Issues Network.
      – You might also get in touch with other school locally for your student, or have him take part in a project with another school online.

      I hope this is of some help.

      Good luck!

      Stephen

    • Jodi;

      One other perspective: In our school we do group 4 in second semester (January). This way students new to the program can still pick up group 4, and students who miss the project in grade 11 still have a chance to make it up in grade 12. This makes it easier for us to manage (such as the issue you mentioned).

      Jay

  2. Tony O'Sullivan

    Stephen,

    I just wanted to say a quick thanks for putting all of this up online. It’s my first year teaching IB Bio and your website has been truly invaluable.

    Thanks again,
    Tony

  3. Thank you so much!! Have a great end of the year and a relaxing summer!!!

    Jodi

  4. Carrie Turunen

    Dear Stephen,

    I just wanted to take a moment to say a HUGE thank you for your site. It has saved me many a times and my students love your presentations. I am amazed at the work you put into your site and it shows the dedication and passion that you have for science, biology and teaching. So again thank you so much for your great work and all the best.

  5. Hello Stephen,

    Just wanted to say thank you for creating this awesome resource. This is my second year teaching seniors, and this site has been a great help for me and my students. Thank You!!!

  6. I am a teacher at the Queensland Academy for maths science and technology – (IB School, and I was wondering if you might have the IB Biology Practice paper for say, 2010, 2009, 2008 or anything. I was wanted some extra materials for me to teacher the students and show them some examples. And also, I just wanted to say that this website is great!!! Its helped so much.

    Thank you very much!

    Donald

  7. Jenny Sandercock

    Hi Stephen,
    You are an inspiration to all Bio teachers (well all that I have met anyway). The resources you are happy to share with us all are top notch. Your students are very luck to have such a dedicated creative teacher. And on top of all that you do as a teacher you are a dad. WOW. It my first year as a teaching mum & it is certainly a balancing act.
    Many many thanks for sharing.
    Jen

  8. Hi Stephen,
    Thank you so much for putting this webpage together – it is an incredible resource! I have been looking for an area on your page where teachers could share ideas.

    I see that you have included many links to animations from around the web. They are excellent. I haven’t found an area to offer suggestions on your page, so I will write something here.

    One thing I have started doing with my students is having them create their own animations for various processes. We used a piece of software called “i can animate” which makes the filming process quite simple (another way is to just take pictures and then use a movie program to stitch them together).

    This year, my students have done animations for DNA replication, Transcription, and Translation. Although it required a couple of classes to figure things out, the results have been great. The students were forced to make all of the molecules, and in order to communicate with each other, they used the real names of the molecules. In the tests following this activity I found that the class did better on these sections.

    Again, thank you for all of the effort you have put into this site. It is excellent.

    Cheers,

    Ben

  9. [Comment to Ben]
    Is it possible for you to post examples of your animations? If they really promote student learning, that is definitely something I would like to look at.

    Jay

    • Hi Jay,
      As part of another project I have just created my own blog (literally yesterday). The address is: http://benwylie10.edublogs.org/
      There obviously isn’t much there, but I have uploaded two of the stop-motion animations the students made, with a little more details about them. One thing I will mention is that the students made these animations during the learning process, they weren’t a summative task, so they are far from perfect – and they completed them in a couple of class periods.
      Let me know what you think.

      Cheers,

      Ben

  10. Stephen,
    Thanks so much for putting so much valuable information up on this blog. Here is an interesting TED talk about making pseudoliving things from molecules.
    I find it fascinating, if not amusing.

    Thanks,
    Bob
    Kaohsiung American School

  11. Dear Stephen,
    just an disproportionate quick THANK you for being such a dedicated educator and giving us so much to work with and teach our students. Your resources lead to another world of knowledge. Thank you again
    Tasos

  12. I am an IB senior and I am having serious trouble with my biology teacher. My junior year I had no idea what to expect from my teacher and I have found she does not teach by the syllabus or the IB textbook. I am now a senior and, of course, have this teacher again. My peers and I do not learn the way she attempts to teach and our test grades are reflective of this. We spend entirely too long on one chapter and we still do not understand at the depth IB requires. Because we spend so much time “going over the chapter” we are now what I would estimate to be about 1/2 a YEAR behind the syllabus. All of my other courses are on track and I am afraid this higher level class will be the down fall of my IB diploma candidacy. I often wonder if I am failing her as a student by not understanding the material or if she is failing me as a teacher. She is reluctant to adjusting her teaching style and her lesson plans (if she has any) are of little use in the classroom in that the “lessons” have very little structure. Last year’s IB seniors had a high score of 2 on the exam and I am expecting to get the same if something doesn’t change. She is a wonderful and caring person, but I do not agree that she has the right mentality and qualities to teach a successful course. At this point, being my senior year, I have just about lost all hope. I do not think the time that has been lost can be made up. I would appreciate all recommendations you have for myself and my peers and thank you for your time.

    -May

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