NHS Science News

"The only S-NEWS that won't put you to sleep!"

Welcome to the 4th edition of the S-NEWS!

Included are some important announcements, helpful suggestions, and info from CAST 2014.

New logo!

Thanks to my student Hunter Preston we have a new S-NEWS logo! What do you think???

Please review this important information

Winter Break
Hark! Winter Break is upon us! In the spirit of Christmas, or Festivus, or whatever you celebrate, I wish you all a wonderful and relaxing break. Please make sure to unplug and/or turn off electronic devices in your rooms before leaving Friday, since I know you won't look back.

Thanks to all of the people who attended our last department meeting, we got some good ideas down on paper concerning our Science department goals for the year. For those of you who may have missed out, here are the goals:
  • Biology: Have a minimum of 25% of our biology students achieve a score of distinguished on the Biology STAAR test (compared to 11% last year).
  • AP: Have a minimum of 50% of our AP science exam scores achieve a passing score (compared to 31.9% last year).
  • Others: Discuss our campus instructional focus and create some SMART goals to further the use of critical thinking demonstrated through writing.
During the meeting we brainstormed ideas to tackle these goals and came up with some good stuff. Mr. Stueart and I have gone through the GOALS you all made and wrote down and will address these with each PLC when we return from break.

Spring Semester... coming to a class near you soon
Spring Semester is almost upon us! With that in mind, if you have any class issues that need to be addressed, like leveling/balancing a class or some other conflict that falls under the realm of the counselors please let me know ASAP so I can let them know.

Eaton Eagles
As we found out in the last staff meeting, the transfer process to Eaton is open and underway. If you would like additional information, let me know. Also, if you are considering moving to Eaton or if you have already applied/interviewed, please kindly let me or Mr. Childress know so we can hold it against you. No, for real though, if you are interested that's great and it would help us to know who is interested, so please let someone know :-)

Thank you for reading this important info! Please click RIGHT HERE to sign-in that you "attended" the science department meeting by reading the aforementioned info!

Here are some interesting Sciency things happening in our world right now...

CAST 2014

A couple of us went to the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching in November, and many things were learned! Talk to the people in your PLC who went to get some info, ask about any new methods or ideas they might have picked up. Attendees were Freddy Ortega, Pilar Roper-Foo, Steve Speer, Bobby Claxton, and myself.

Here are a few things that I picked up that I can quickly share:
1. Portable Lab Station
2. Unit Checklist

Portable Lab Station
This was an exceptionally easy yet time-saving method to arrange a lab. It won't be applicable to all labs in all classes, but if you are a floating teacher or a teacher with large classes it could be very useful. It could also be useful for make-up labs. Essentially, the presenter broke down all the necessities for the lab and taped or super-glued them inside a regular file folder, including a QR code link to audio directions (in both English and Spanish). Take a look at the pics below. What labs could you use this for?
Unit Checklist
This was part of a workshop on flipping the classroom, which I am also transitioning to, but the checklist can be used either way. The checklist is a good way of letting your students know what they have to do for a unit before they even start. That way it allows them to plan ahead better as well as assess their own learning. If you include grades on the checklist, it helps them track their grades throughout the unit as well. Check them out below, the one on the left is from the workshop at CAST, the one on the right is one I created for Unit 6 (which we are doing right now). If you'd like more info on flipped classrooms and using videos to enhance your class, talk to me anytime!
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This has been... the SCIENCE NEWS!

Please send anything you would like to contribute to the S-NEWS!