Clearbiology.com is a site dedicated to the teaching of life science. My goal is to post ideas, techniques, and resource material in order to aid those whose vocation includes connecting science content with science learners.
From the Blog
For those unfamiliar with Concord Consortium’s Molecular Workbench, it is free molecular simulation software used for teaching and learning science. The new, lighter, Next-Generation Molecular Workbench is accessible within your web browser. This should make using the MW with your class much, much easier. I’ve created a couple of free biochemistry review activities to showcase the software’s capabilities.
The importance of the AP Biology learning objectives has been firmly established. Teachers of AP Biology need tools to aid them as they continue to organize and assimilate the objectives into their courses. I’m a visual learner, but I also like to manipulate information in a tangible way; I made lots of flashcards in college. And so—driven by my love for manipulatives—I formatted the 149 AP Biology learning objectives into sheets of equally sized boxes, perfect for cutting into cards.
Over the last few weeks, much information has been released by the College Board about the results of the 2013 AP Biology test. In order to help make sense of this data I created an infographic as a visual summary of the results.
It may come as no surprise that many students struggle with answering the free response questions on the AP Biology test. One possible reason is that they don’t know the answer. A less obvious reason is that they don’t understand the question.
The 2013 AP Biology Exam features many new question styles. Of particular interest is the grid-in style format. Here you can find a detailed description on how to answer the new AP Biology Grid-In Question.
With the new AP Biology Exam just over two months away, I’ve started thinking more about the new question formats. According to the College Board, the first half of the exam will have 69 questions; 6 of these will be grid-in questions. These questions require numerical responses and the answers must be entered into a grid on the answer sheet. Here’s a resource I created in order to prepare my students for this unique question style.
The other day I was meandering the web looking for new ways to teach about membranes, the cellular variety. In my search I was hoping to find something tangible for my students to experience that might reveal the dynamic and adaptive nature of cell membranes. To my pleasure, I came across something that does an excellent job modeling membranes, soap bubbles.
If you’ve participated in any educational professional development training in the last couple of years, then there’s a good chance you’ve heard the term “formative assessment.” I can personally attest that it’s easy to forget the actual definition of such a term. The lexicon of educational strategies is ripe with “buzz” words rattled off in conversations between educators, the true understanding of their meaning often hazy. Sometimes its hard to dissect the efficacy of new teaching strategies. After all, the weekly cycle of planning, instructing, and assessing provides little time for casual experimentation with every “pedagogical technique du jour.” So, you may find yourself asking, “What is formative assessment?”