Monday, April 25, 2016


What kind of learner are you? Are you auditory, visual, or kinesthetic? Different learning styles require different teaching and learning strategies in order for students to achieve deep learning. Furthermore, there are times where I need my students to visualize a concept in order to truly grasp it.

I can show them a graphic organizer... But I know it'll go "poof" the next day because they didn't actually construct it.

Or I can have them draw it... But I know that my slow learners will probably not construct it in time... And as for my perfectionists... They'll probably erase their lines and squares over and over again till they achieve that perfect straight line or that precise 90-degree angle.

The nice thing about living in our technically and digitally advanced 21st century is that I can rely on technological tools like Popplet in order to have my students enjoy creating graphic organizers and mind-maps.

My students recently used Popplet to create a graphic organizer that classifies different types of mixtures. Their task was to research and come up with a description of each type of mixture, along with uploading a picture as an example. They then presented their work during an Art Gallery activity and commented on each other's work.

My students love using Popplet! They don't have to worry about spending time positioning their lines and boxes on a sheet of paper. They can incorporate texts, videos, and links which make their graphic organizers more interactive. In the mixtures activity, using Popplet has helped them in making connections between the different types of mixtures. Most importantly, constructing their own graphic organizers enables them to easily consolidate any concept permanently in their mind. In my opinion, this app is perfect for targeting both visual and kinesthetic learners, and is a great tool for enabling students to visualize certain concepts.

I'm proud of my students' work and they truly amaze me each and everyday in all their accomplishments!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Fun with Jeopardy!

Fun with Jeopardy!
If you were to ask my students to list the activities they enjoy in class, one of their responses will definitely be: Jeopardy! Playing Jeopardy has become one of our traditions as a revision for a test.

I was inspired with using Jeopardy from one of my university professors. When taking a Shakespearean course in literature, my professor would have us play Jeopardy as a revision before our tests. We looked forward to the day we played Jeopardy, and it motivated us to read and understand each play so as to answer the questions correctly.

Throughout my years as a teacher, I modified the rules of Jeopardy in order to motivate all my students to work harder and ensure they understand the concepts. Our class rules are:

  • Students will work together in teams in order to solve a problem. Their team names need to reflect a concept they learned in the chapter they are reviewing.
  • They need to assign a different person each time to select a category and state the answer.
  • The answer should be in the form a question.
  • Each team will take a turn (usually in a rotating manner) to select and answer a problem.
  • If the team gives the wrong answer, the other teams will be given a chance to display their answers, and the points will be divided among the other teams. If none of the remaining teams display the correct answer, the original team that answered the question gets a second chance, but will only receive half the points. 
  • Students are responsible for recording their points on the board, and keeping track of which categories were already selected.
  • At the end of the game, they need to calculate their points and designate which place each team came in.

Through playing Jeopardy, my students learn to work in teams, which is an essential skill they need to master in order to succeed in the real world. They also solve all the problems during the game, even if it wasn't their turn, in hope that they might get a chance to receive partial points. Most importantly, they will have everlasting memories of having fun while learning!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Chromosomal Socks Activity

Sometimes, all it takes to spark an idea is simply... a picture. While searching online for fun activities for our human genetics lesson, I saw a picture of a karyotype model. This model was created by using colorful socks, whereby each pair of socks represented a homologous pair of chromosomes. For someone who has an obsession for colorful, funky socks, I jumped at the opportunity of recreating this model with my students!

In order to recreate this model, my students had to complete a set of tasks. They were first provided with a huge pile of mixed-up socks, and had to work together in order to arrange the socks in pairs.

After arranging the socks in pairs, their next task was to figure out how scientists arranged chromosomes in a karyotype. Eventually, they came to the conclusion that chromosomes are arranged by length, except for the sex-chromosomes, which are found in the lower right hand corner. Using the model they created, my students then learned about the number and types of chromosomes found in human cells.

The picture (saved on Pinterest from I found online gave rise to the production of an entire lesson plan that was applied by all our Grade 6 science teachers. It enabled all our students to ask questions and investigate in order for them to learn about chromosomes.