This was the first time that I have had the opportunity to teach an all girl group, and I have to say that I absolutely adore these group of girls! We had such a wonderful time in Biology HL this year as we made models, creating biology music videos, design digestion t-shirts, created iBook stories about biotechnology, and incorporated augmented reality project when learning about defense against diseases. Overall, it has been an amazing year with these group of girls and this video highlights and celebrates their success.
I am inspired by primary teacher Kyle Schwartz who posed the question: ‘I wish my teacher knew’? Obviously her students felt safe to be completely transparent about their ‘wishes’, and I think that speaks volumes about the type of safe learning environment that she has created for her students. See video below. I will pose this question to my Year 12 tutor group and ask them to create a video log of their response ( to be uploaded shortly – stay tuned).
Year 12 Biology HL girls were investigating the effect of enzyme concentration on the rate of reaction using hydrogen peroxide and liver. They learned that 2 H2O2 —-> 2 H2O + O2. The oxygen is given off as a gas and foam is formed. The volume of foam produced in a give time can be used as a measure of enzyme activity.
Year 13 students were assigned one learning objective from Option G1: Ecology Community. The following three videos were class favorites and based on the following learning objectives:
Video One: Outline the factors that affect the distribution of plant species, including temperature, water, light, soil pH, salinity and mineral nutrients.
Video Two: Explain the principle of competitive exclusion.
Video Three: Explain the niche concept
Year 12 Biology HL students were asked to create digital stories using the Book Creator app on their iPads. The stories needed to be linked to their learning objective applications from the Bioengineering and Genetic Modification Unit ( See the topics below). It is no surprise that the stories that were created were unique, interesting and educational. I am so proud of their creations. There are two samples below. Enjoy!
Carl Wilkens, a humanitarian and author of the book: I’m not leaving, spoke to our TOK students about his role during the Rwandan genocide, but more specifically he came to talk about the importance of tolerance. Whilst thousands of expatriates were fleeing Rwanda to their respective countries, Carl Wilkens decided to stay. He felt that his presence could save the lives of not only his night watchman and maid, but also the lives of the orphans that remained. Between April 1994 and July 1994 Carl ventured out everyday to try to save the lives of orphans by bring them food, water and medicine to different orphanages around the city. His actions saved thousands of lives (worldoutsidemyshoes). At the end of his talk he wrote this powerful quote: We are not defined by what was taken or what was lost. We are defined by what remains -Carl Wilkens. As such, we asked out TOK students to reflect on the following Carl’s presentation, his documentary and the following questions:
BLOG QUESTIONS: To what extent do you find each ethical perspective offered in the film useful or insightful way of thinking about morality? We learned from the film that Carl stayed behind because he felt that his presence could save lives, thus begs the ethical question: Do you have a responsibility to act on knowledge ie. are we responsible for for situations were we fail to act (poverty, famine, genocide etc) ? If you are aware of situations where you could act to improve them, are you obligated to act to the best of your ability?
]Year 12 Biology HL were asked to first create Meiosis models and then create an animation discussing the stages of meiosis. The final projects were absolutely fantastic. See photos and videos below:
Year 12 Biology HL girls wrote this fabulous Protein Synthesis song (based on Pink’s -Just Give Me A Reason) – I loved it so much I had to post it here! It’s catchy! You are going to love it!
Year 12 Biology HL students were asked to create DNA models that illustrated their knowledge of the DNA structure. Here is the criteria that was given to the class:
Construct a model of the DNA molecule. Your final model must meet the following criteria:
1. It must be self-supporting, stand at least 30 cm high and have a diameter of at least 12 cm
2. It must clearly model the double helix structure of the DNA molecule
3. Each of the major components of the molecule (bases, sugar, phosphate) must be clearly recognizable using labeling, colour coding, shape, size, material or any combination of the above. Purines must be distinguished from pyrimidines.
4. 3’ and 5’ ends are shown
5. A minimum of six base pairs must be represented
6. Correct number of hydrogen bonds between base pairs must be demonstrated in the model
The models were a great success!
See images below.
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.