The Missouri Reader Vol. 40, Issue 3 - Page 22

I wanted students to know more than just the nucleus was the control center. Here is what a finished product might look like.

The important thing about the nucleus is that it is the control center of the cell.

It contains the DNA or genetic code.

It controls everything the cell does and makes.

It is large and round and is located near the center of the cell.

But the important thing about the nucleus is that it is the control center of the cell.

Another example of how it could be used is with the various rock types. Once again, I wanted students to know more than just how they were formed.

The important thing about igneous rocks is that they are formed from melted rock that has hardened.

Some have crystals - big or small.

Some are glassy.

Some have air holes in them and may even float.

But, the important thing about igneous rocks is that they are formed from melted rock that has hardened.

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2. Reading web/concept webs: In this strategy, students create a web or visual for how concepts fit together (Vacca et al. 2014). A web contains the same basic information that an outline would but creates a visual representation of the relationships among the information. I use this strategy when teaching about the macromolecules/building blocks of living organisms (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids). The central idea is macromolecules or biological molecules with the four types branching off of them. From those, details can be included about their structure, where they are found, or what purpose they serve in living organisms.

3. Read, Discuss, Conclude: In this strategy, students read a passage and take notes on it, then they discuss it with a small group, and finally write a conclusion. This strategy has been useful in my genetics unit and specifically when we are talking about the pros and cons of genetic engineering. This can be a hot topic for discussion anyway, and having small groups discuss it after reading some information gives everyone a chance to voice their opinions. Requiring students to pair their opinions with information from the reading as evidence of support or contradiction forces to students to look for specific details in the text. I also have students fill out a T chart as they were working this strategy to summarize the arguments made. macromolecules/building blocks of living organisms (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids). The central idea is macromolecules or biological molecules with the four types branching off of them. From those, details can be included about their structure, where they are found, or what purpose they serve in living organisms.

Classroom Close-up

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