All biology teachers should start the year by having students and parents/guardians sign a “Student Safety Contract” (word-doc). I have included an optional “Web Page Permission” form in the Word version in case you have a class web page in which you would like to include pictures. It can easily be deleted.
Show this “Lab Safety” video (requires Windows Media Player 10 or above) that was provided by Renee Diamond of the NSTA Listserve. The music in the video is from a band called “rhythm, rhyme, results.” Spaces in the song are meant for students to fill in the blanks with the correct lab safety procedure.
This Sponge Bob “Science Safety Rules” activity is primarily for middle school students.
For labeling beakers, flasks, etc., I find printing the labels and taping them with “invisible” tape the easiest for removing later. For permanent labels, I use transparent tape. Here is the document I use for making the beaker/flask labels (word doc) and the dropper bottle labels (word doc) (one example left in tables).
All the biology reviews for Glencoe’s Biology: the Dynamics of Life (2000) are on www.quia.com and linked to this page.
Students and especially parents find having a class page with assignments and other class information very helpful. Here is an example of one of my former class web pages. You can create your own website with the freeMicrosoft Office Live Small Business tools. Just be sure to sign up for the Basic service.
Use these tips for “Teaching 90-minute Time Blocks” (word doc).
I created a page for the review of the biology core standards in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. It includes previous tests and links for further study. Find it at “MCAS Biology Review.”
If you use Glencoe’s “Biology: The Dynamics of Life,” I created a site for students at my former school with resources to accompany the chapters covered in that book at “Bristol-Plymouth Biology.”
Mrs. Michal Kreiselman, Ph.D., a biology teacher at Architecture and Digital Arts Magnet, Kennedy High-School starts her school year by sending this letter (word doc) home to parents. She also has students do a “Scavenger Hunt” (word doc) to get acquainted with her course and uses this scoring rubric (word doc). Finally, she uses this “Thinking Maps” (doc) PowerPoint presentation in her introduction to the students.
If you don’t have gradebook program, you might want to try the freeEngrade online gradebook. It allows students and parents to check grades online.
Games, Puzzles, Songs, Videos
Paul Koenig has recently published a CD of “Bio-io-ology” songs. Listen to an mp3 preview of the “DNA” song or listen to all of the previews and purchase the CD or individual songs at cdbaby.com.
Students from Montana State University’s Science and Natural History Filmaking graduate program have posted a series of science and nature films called TERRA: The Nature of Our World. You can access the videos at: http://terravideos.blogspot.com/
In New York Science Teacher you will find science labs, demonstrations, lesson plans, activities, movie worksheets, notes, regents review materials, educational related information, and much more: http://newyorkscienceteacher.com/sci/