I've taught chemistry for nine years (IPC, Special Ed., 504, On Level Chem., PAP Chem, and AP Chem). For the first six years, I taught at a high poverty school district where many of the students were at risk. Over the years, I have gained a lot of insight into how to help at risk students succeed. I never lower the rigor, but work to build the structures that help students move from where they are to where they need to be academically.
Over the years, I've tried a variety of different teaching styles. I've done traditional lecture, flipped my classroom, added technology, 5E - you name it, I've probably tried it!. A couple of years ago, I discovered POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning). I really liked the concept, but found that traditional POGIL just didn't seem user friendly to my students. So, I created a few "POGIL-like" lessons that were more user friendly and a bit more scaffolded. I tested them out at the end of the school year and discovered that I REALLY liked the way they worked! Since the students constructed knowledge themselves, there was very little need for lectures and note taking. This freed up a lot of class time for me to run around interacting with students, assessing them verbally, and clearing up misconceptions on a one to one basis. I also made sure the lessons included some kind of manipulative - a separate card to look at, card sets to sort, rank, classify, etc. I've found that having something that they need to pick up or get out in order to do the lesson really helps to focus their attention. So, last year I took the plunge and switched to a "no lecture", guided inquiry style of teaching. I wrote the entire curriculum from scratch so that it would cover exactly what I wanted based on our standards and my experience with how high school students understand chemistry. I'm very happy with the way it worked - I feel like my students were able to develop a much better understanding of the material while also developing better higher order thinking skills. This summer, I am revising and editing my lessons to make them even better. So...I decided to put some of them on TPT! It's a slow process, but I hope to add several over time. (:
By far, the most significant honors that I have received are the heartfelt letters of thanks and love that I have received from my students over the years. Many of them have now graduated from college and are doing amazing things. It has been a privilege to be a part of their lives and to watch them succeed in their chosen fields.
M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction (Grand Canyon University); Graduate Certificate in Cytogenetics (UT Health Science Center Houston); B.S. Medical Technology (UT Health Science Center Houston); B.S. Zoology (University of Texas)
Prior to becoming a teacher, I spent fifteen years analyzing the chromosomes of newborns and childhood cancer patients. I have been married for 25 years and have two children - a 21 year old daughter and a 16 year old son. And of course, there are my other children - two dogs and a cat. (: Logo Design by: A Little Peace of Africa https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/A-Little-Peace-Of-Africa