CGB Year 7 Memories of 2014-2015

I have had so much fun with this group of students – they truly have made teaching an absolute joy! They are true inquirers, comical and have a willingness to learn that makes teaching truly fabulous! This video is a collage of their hard work from our year together!


A New Way to Take Notes: Graphic Notes on iPad

One of my Year 12 Biology HL students uses this APP for creating her graphic notes during lessons.  GoodNotes 4 – Notes & PDF by Time Base Technology Limited allows students to take notes and annotate PDF documents. They will be synced to all your iOS devices automatically, thanks to iCloud. Mac client is coming soon.

Below is an example of my student’s work on our DNA topic – they are colorfully fantastic! Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 2.48.21 PM Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 2.48.28 PM Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 2.48.35 PM Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 2.48.42 PM Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 2.48.48 PM Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 2.48.56 PM Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 2.49.02 PM

We all FIT into the NO BULLY Zone

NO Bully Zone CollageAnti=bullying t-shirts



It’s Anti-Bullying week here at CGB, and our entire community is committed to anti-bullying and our leadership team will speak about the slogan, respect, leadership, acceptance, diversity, empathy, and the celebration of  life. In honor of anti-bullying week, a series of activities have been designed to encourage discussions about acceptance, tolerance, and what to do in the event of bullying. We also decided to devote one TOK lesson this week to anti-bullying. We started out the discussion with ‘How does bullying fit into our ways of knowing’?  We also asked students to share their personal experience with bullying -we asked: Were you ever bullied?, or Were you ever  a bully? The discussion today was surprising and beautiful. Some students shared their horrific experience of being bullied whilst others shared that they were in fact bullies. One student shared his story of being a part of a bully group where he and his friends placed a bag over another boys head and proceeded to punch and beat him. After sharing his story, he looked at a fellow student (who had previously shared a story of being bullied) and said that he wished he could go back and say ‘I’m sorry’. It was a magical moment and I’m so grateful that my students had the courage to share their experiences. Here is the TED Talk: To This Day … for the bullied and beautiful by Shane Koyczan that I shared during our seminar, which ultimately inspired our real and heartfelt discussion on bullying.


By turn hilarious and haunting, poet Shane Koyczan puts his finger on the pulse of what it’s like to be young and … different. “To This Day,” his spoken-word poem about bullying, captivated millions as a viral video (created, crowd-source style, by 80 animators). Here, he gives a glorious, live reprise with backstory and violin accompaniment by Hannah Epperson (


Chalk it Up! Year 7 chalk drawings of organs and organ systems

Taking learning outdoors is always an enjoyable experience! In order to enhance understanding about organs and organ systems Year 7 students were asked to create chalk drawings the human body. They were thrilled with the activity and loved their creations! Collage_20141028-065918_edit


The ‘Graphic Art’ of Reviewing Protein Synthesis

Another fantastic example of how visual notes can work to enhance learning! Year 12 Biology students were asked to create a cartoon to depict their understanding of transcription and translation. As you can see, their work is a colorful indicator of making science ‘fun’ in the classroom! They absolutely LOVED writing and creating their cartoon on the chalkboard! Visual Notes=Protein Synthesis 1visual notes-protein synthesis 2

Year 7 Cell Models

In order to demonstrate their knowledge of cell organelles, Year 7 students were asked to create a model using any materials. Some students created their models out of cake, some used hair gel and others cut open a squash and created their organelles. Needless to say the creativity was amazing and they LOVED presenting their final work. Year 7 Cell Models

TOK: Imagination: Where does it take us?

‘You can’t depend on your eyes when you imagination is out of focus’ Mark Twain

In many contexts, being ‘subjective’ is something to avoid. In what context is the subjective power of the imagination something to celebrate. Where does imagination take us?  This question was posed to Year 12 TOK students, and their presentations were moving, tearful, awe inspired and very enjoyable. Below are a few examples of what inspires my current Year 12 students. Enjoy.



DNA Candy Models

Today in Higher Level Biology, students were asked to construct DNA models from candy (liquorice, marshmallows, toothpicks). The students needed to be able to identify the nitrogenous bases, hydrogen bonds and we discussed the composition of the ‘backbone’ of the molecule. The entire experience was very positive and an effective review from the previous presentation on the structure of DNA.


Year 12 DNA Candy Models