And The Winner Is. . .

Here is my first visual assignment completed with a little help form Prof. Smith.  It was a little difficult to complete because I do not have photoshop installed in my mac. Sad, I know.  I think DS106 is one of the websites that I will visit more often, so many innovating and creative projects that are done by so many.

This picture was taken by myself in a company picnic last July.  At first my idea was to create a before and after picture because it was challenging to jump forward and also be able to go under the net.  The aftermath of the net challenge was hilarious. See below

One way I can use what I have learned here today in a classroom is to do the one shot project to look at cell division.

Let’s Make Edible Cell Models

I suppose you get an idea of what I am going to make just by looking at the tittle.

Yummy Idea hu. I encountered a few problems trying to find something that I would like to do in my future classroom.  At first, I thought about dissection of a frog or earth worms. So I thought how cool would it be to make an app that would let you actually dissect a frog.  Well, unfortunetly it’s in the market already. I believed this would be a great idea because many schools do not offer this experience, and how neat would it to complete it without anyone being grossed out by the oder or slimy feeling.

Nevertheless, I found something more interesting that would be both educational, fun and yummy by Se7en.  We can’t neglect the fact that all children have a sweet tooth.  In this activity children would make both plant cells and animal cells.  Why both?  So they would learn about the organelles and later be able to compare and contrast the two.

When I was in junior high school, I clearly remember just having to memorize all the organelles, but with this activity students would be unknowingly memorizing them with this fun activity.

This would be our final product below.

edible cell

 Se7en shares an edible cell model made from candies, making biology fun for children. Grant Potter begins,

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.” ― Jim Jarmusch

INSPIRATIONAL isn’t it.   Potter adds “Tinker with me”.  And so I have, it’s not my idea, but I will definitely tinker on. . .

My Entrance Point to Educational Networks

So I began to reflect on what Professor Smith spoke about in the classroom, I think its one thing I have thought about numerous times and have not worked on, but here it is. . . where do we as future teachers begin to search for those connections.

Well first off I googled high school educational blogs, then I opened window after window, after window of all sorts of different websites and finally I found the The Edublog Awards website and then I clicked on a link under Best teacher blog called “In Search of Scientific Creativity”.  I knew this would be where I would start.

Todays trend in which students  are accustomed to utilize search engines like Google or Bing can certainly be helpful to a certain extent, but to most students it is simply a “answer engine”.  This new idea gives a new insight on how the world-wide-web can be more practical and effective strategy for both teaching and learning.  When I came across In Search Of Scientific Creativity blog by Frank LaBanca, Ed.D. just from reading the tittle I knew I hit the jackpot. After reading this section, I began to envision how I as a future biology teacher can use this view of “flipped classroom” to help my students become critical thinkers before I deliver my lesson the following day.

I believe this will set me in the right path as a teacher because in high school many students struggle to keep up with the material.  Especially subjects like Chemistry, Biology, and Math. The original video in this blog does not work, but if you watch the video below it explains “Flipped Classroom” more in depth.


Some extra bullet points to emphasize what a flipped classroom is and what its NOT. Taken from  LEARNING, INNOVATION & TECH BOMBS & BREAKTHROUGHS: The Flipped Class: Myths vs. Reality by by Jon Bergmann, Jerry Overmyer and Brett Wilie

The Flipped Classroom is NOT:

  • A synonym for online videos. When most people hear about the flipped class all they think about are the videos.  It is the the interaction and the meaningful learning activities that occur during the face-to-face time that is most important.
  • About replacing teachers with videos.
  • An online course.
  • Students working without structure.
  • Students spending the entire class staring at a computer screen.
  • Students working in isolation.

The Flipped Classroom IS:

  • A means to INCREASE interaction and personalized contact time between students and teachers.
  • An environment where students take responsibility for their own learning.
  • A classroom where the teacher is not the “sage on the stage”, but the “guide on the side”.
  • blending of direct instruction with constructivist learning.
  • A classroom where students who are absent due to illness or extra-curricular activities such as athletics or field-trips, don’t get left behind.
  • A class where content is permanently archived  for review or remediation.
  • A class where all students are engaged in their learning.
  • A place where all students can get a personalized education.


Ely’s Vision of College Today

This video below sums up what my vision of college is today. Although I strongly believe COLLEGE IS IMPORTANT, colleges today private and even state or city colleges is not what I envisioned my college to be when I graduated high school.

The main reason why I am attending two sessions this summer is because my father agree to pay for them.  I do not have the economic means to pay for them even if I was employed.  All together the CUNY tuition increase (including the additional material fee for the course…. If you didn’t get that email along with prices I will gladly email it to you) and textbook scams are infuriating.

I just visited the bookstore to check on the prices for a book needed for the next session and I have to spend an average of 140 dollars on two books for roughly three weeks.  Since this class starts July 2nd I will have to make copies of the book in the meantime. It is insane how colleges and textbook publishers are pairing up to market books specifically for their college courses also known as “custom textbooks”.  In addition every year another version of the same textbook  is in the market and most of the time the newer version is REQUIRED.  In the end, we the students cannot save money nor profit from a brand new book purchased not even four months ago.

I’m just glad this class does not require a textbook. 


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Front Line Teachers Struggling

There are many educational CRISIS, but my topic today is about the collaboration of front line teachers’ views and wisdom to the R.E.S.P.E.C.T Project (Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching).

I entered York College without choosing a major, after a few semesters I knew I wanted to make a difference and chose to become a biology teacher.  Mostly because I have children of my own, but also because of a speech given by Dr. Margaret Hamburg M.D.,  Commissioner of Food and Drug Administration here at York.

Why a biology teacher you might ask yourself?

When I first told my father that I wanted to become a teacher he rejected my decision, but I stood proud and tall and told him that my decision was made and I would just hope that he supported me.  I am not going to lie and say that I didn’t think about the low salary nor the small margin for growth, but I thought mostly about the children and how I could broaden their minds to the field of science and pass on the knowledge so that they too could have an interest in this field and later become doctors, medical engineers, surgeons, or even biology teachers too, etc,

Dr. Margaret Hamburg M.D. states,

” truthfully we’re failing to affectively translate breakthoughs through discoveries and innovations into benefits for people enabling us to better diagnose treat and hopefully prevent and cure disease. . . when we first began as the F.D.A back in 1906 imports were just a tiny part of products used in our country, but in 2010 its a different story all together. . . about 80 percent of active pharmaceutical ingredient used in drugs come from outside our borders and as much as 80 percent of all aspirin taken in the United States comes from China alone”

You can too hear this speech below [youtube][/youtube]

Not only are children are being let down by the new policies, like the No Child Left Behind Act, but educators are too. As I began to read this article,  I thought to myself would I be in the same situation in a couple of years. I would hope not because my interest in education is enormous.  Molding children to become future leaders is what I was born to do.

“After earning her law degree while teaching full time, Lori Wheal thought she might leave the field of education. She had spent 10 years as a middle school teacher in the Bronx and was tired. Thanks to low pay, little respect, and limited opportunities for growth, she was at a crossroads.”

Thankfully she was promoted at the same school where she taught.

Although I am not a certified teacher yet I respectfully give thanks to the initiative of this cross-country conversation that is going on to aid in policy making for teachers today and future teachers.

 This video below explains R.E.S.P.E.C.T in further detail by U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. [youtube][/youtube]