Friday, September 19, 2014


Well Week 3 of the Genius Hour experiment wasnt what I would call successful, but there was none of the serious resistance and flippancy of the last week.  Did a Five W's scaffolding where we worked in small groups to try and flesh out the idea with wimple question generation: Who.. what..when.. where..

Some cool topics though! My particular favorite is Martial Artists and the chemistry tie in has to do with structural changes in bone and mineralization. That might turn into some pretty interesting discussion regarding bone formation and composition.  We will see. There is also some odd balls too... but trying not to judge... even if I am.  haha.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Wow!  I didn't expect active resistance to the idea of Genius hour! I have students basically choosing total BS projects. I know I get to approve them, but short of calling them out and saying 'why you gotta be like that' there is nothing I can think of than let them do it.  Of course we are just at the idea generating stage of the exercise, but still, it is disheartening.

Bansho Dojo!

So I am trying a bunch of Modeling Techniques and working on adapting the techniques from Math classed called BANSHO.  Basically it is a a reversal of the I, We, You practice I grew up with.

It involves the following three steps with lots of interaction and comparison.

1. Activation
a prompt to get them to be active
a preparatory exercise?

2.  The problem
explanation, labels, answer sentence and show work

3. Consolidation
talk about the work, focus the idea
turn and talk, come up with an explanation.

This is sort of forming the cornerstone of my push into modeling when I cant actually get them to build the models in class time.

Genius Hour: (well Genius 30 min)
I introduced it last class (my classes are 2.5 hours long) and it was a big ????WTF???? and they spent more time asking questions about what isnt graded than what is graded.

The exercises have definitely increased the energy of the class. I am worried about the utilization of online resources to supplement content though. Have they been watching the vids?? Youtube analytics says NO. Assuming these are unique views then it is a whole 10% of the class.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Trying some new things

Well this blog has lain fallow for long enough!

This semester I am trying a pile of new things. I am kicking myself, but if it was easy then it would be the same old thing!! I have been worried about pseudo teaching ever since coming across Frank Noschese's blog post about the subject.  I wonder and question whether the things I have been doing were really useful for the students or just useful entertainment.

So, this semester, I am trying two things, Genius Hour or some variation of it, and Modeling Instruction.   I dont know how well they will go.... I am going to use this space a a public way to keep me honest with the world and not slink back into lecturing at the students.  The curricular work I have seen for modeling is for high school mostly and I dont think I can restructure the class in a short enough time frame to build ideas from the historical context and the lab is separate and everyone in the class is not the same as in the lab.  Still...  such promise...

Well maybe I should quit writing about what I am doing and just do it. ;)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Inactivity (but not really)

Greetings net crawlers! I havent been using Pencasts as readily in my courses lately, having switched more to a flipped class model. This involves recording little lectures in advance and then using class time for constructive growth of learning. I Occasionally still post pen casts when I have students who want additional recordings and I hope to include pen based recording devices in the in-class setting in the future. If you are curious about doing some research on what is going on in the college chemistry class room, feel free to contact me. You can find some of the new stuff I am working on youtube: danhasclass

Monday, October 22, 2012

SCI 108 week 7

SCI 108 Week 6