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Hayden Koller A #1 Reflective Response #1

January 9, 2017
Standards Addressed:
Standard 8-Instructional Strategies: The teacher understands and uses a variety of
instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of
content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in
meaningful ways
Standard 11-Teachnology Standards for Teachers: Effective teachers model and
apply the International Society for Technology Education Standards for Students
(ISTE StandardsS) as they design, implement, and assess learning experiences to
engage students and improve learning; enrich professional practice; and provide
positive models for students, colleagues, and the community.
1. What: This week, in addition to being the first week of student teaching, was
the first week I met my mentor teacher. When I met him he showed me his
chemistry curriculum which was vastly different from anything I had seen
before. Normally chemistry classes follow the standard NGSS method where
each topic builds on the previous, but this one was different. It was based on
three activity books that divided the semester up into units (alchemy, smells,
and weather). They were all based on the idea of doing small lectures and
then having the kids break off into groups to work through an activity to
develop skills/knowledge. This method is pretty cook book in that you just
follow the course as it is laid out in the manuals which limits creativity a bit,
which is not to say it is bad.

So What: This was a really interesting method of teaching chemistry that I

had never seen before. I never really thought about the idea of splitting the
standards and content up into little thematic units before. I also really like
how active this system seems to be, since it requires the students to be
active participants. The books themselves are all really well designed and
written and have some interesting, effective activities.

Now what: I dont think I would use this method in the future when I have my
own class because it seems to really limit your creativity. I may take some
ideas from it though when I plan out my own class. I like the way it breaks
standards up into themes like scents for organic molecules and their
structure. Moving forward I want to see how well this method works in the
long run and whether or not it produces results or not.

2. One highlight of my week was getting a chance to use the smart board in
my class. A smart board is a type of digital white board that uses a projector
to project a computer onto a screen and a stylus that can interact with the
projection. Its really useful in any classroom, especially one like chemistry
that requires a lot of diagrams. You can automatically create shapes, arrows,
annotations, free draw, and more. In addition you can save all of the drawings
as pdf. This was a really great chance to explore a new piece of technology,
especially one that is becoming really common and popular in schools. When
I used it I was going over a lecture on chemical structures of scent
compounds while simultaneously going through a power point. One of the
more surprising things about this was how well it actually worked. Ive seen
similar programs and devices that barely managed to turn on but this
responded quickly and correctly.