I teach with a LOT of practical experiments. For the first half of the term, my labbie hates me because I am so demanding. But This year, I am making some changes to my pracs…. so she hates me more.
I wanted to make sure we were putting less and less in the bin and being more ethical. A few things that I have changed are
1. I used to do a prac that examined how the length of an object that could make sound changed the pitch of the sound it makes. We used to make clarinets our of straws, but that involves cutting them. And also the kids can't control themselves when they use it. I gave the task to my labbie and some ideas to come up with one that suited her better. 10 minutes had passed and she had been down to the tech room and got our design teacher to make me 6 pianos out of paddlepop sticks and wood...… I love her, she is amazing.
2. we do a prac that involves pinning insects into Styrofoam. I'm no longer teaching it, but I think we could do this one better.
3. When doing sound I also do a sting and cup telephone prac, but I get the kids to make them at the beginning of the year, and we use them for all 3 term rotations. I'm hoping these ones will last even longer so I never have to make them again.
4. the m & m prac for half-life. Now, this one is essential. There is no other prac quite as effective as this one for showing half life decay. However, this only produces one bag of rubbish... which I then took home and used as a rubbish bag for a week. So with that I am pretty happy.
5. we do stem pracs with the year 10s, like making catapults and bridges etc. But we reuse everything as much as possible. Including string that we have rewound onto paddleop sticks.
On other teaching news, this year I have printed less than $30 worth of printing in one term. Last year by this time I was well over $100. Bearing in mind though I did have some challenging yr 7 students who needed a lot of things printed so that they could learn better. Not to mention, my filing cabinet of student assignments is basically empty. It has 6 physics exams and 1 set of science assignments in there. Everything else I have them submit electronically.
This along with my refillable fountain pen and my refillable whiteboard markers, I am slowly making more progress towards teaching and modelling sustainability.