Have you noticed there are tons of ideas for first day biology activities, but not so many for second day biology activities?
I think its because the first day of school is so stressful … we teachers know how important it is to set the right tone! But I personally think that the next few days are even more important. Let’s face it, there aren’t usually behavioral issues on Day 1!
So here’s what I typically do for my SECOND day biology activities.
Check and go over the Biology Pre-Test from Day 1.
I’ve always enjoyed this … it’s the one day of the year when pretty much everyone will have their homework done :)! And I find that going over the answers to the pre-test questions generates some really good discussion, not to mention giving you a peek into how much background your kids are coming in with.
I plan ahead and have some Google images ready to show on my Smartboard. It’s especially cool to show the Honey Mushroom, which is the largest organism on earth. Hardly anyone ever gets this question right! I love bringing up pics of other large organisms too for comparison.
When we get to Question #16 about genetic engineering, this gets almost everyone talking! I have pics to show them of glow-in-the-dark cats and other organisms. We have a short discussion on where we are in the field of genetic engineering and what the possibilities are.
Going over the answers this way can take as much or as little time as you like.
I’m also using this time to learn names and start to model procedures such as raising hands to speak and not interrupting others.
Start discussing classroom procedures.
How this happens will depend on how much time was spent discussing the pre-test answers.
I usually start out by asking them why they think we have certain procedures for doing things. What do they think would happen if there were no clear-cut way for doing everyday things?
The idea here is to get the kids to realize that procedures are put in place for everyone’s benefit, not simply to keep them from doing what they want to! (Sometimes I think they honestly believe that!)
Again, depending on your timing, this may bring you to the end of the period. I usually had about 10 -15 minutes left at this point. So I typically would now get them started on my Classroom Procedures Scavenger Hunt. This is a fun activity that gets them up and out of their seats for a bit while they hunt around the room to find out what my class procedures are. Here’s a link to this activity in my Teachers Pay Teachers store if you’d like to check it out!
I have a recording sheet to go with it so they will have a record of the procedures. This is something that I would have them keep in their Interactive Binders to refer to throughout the year.
They usually don’t finish the Scavenger Hunt during their second day biology activities. I give them time on Day 3 to finish it up. Then I check them for completion and we quickly go over the answers.
I like covering my procedures this way … it’s more active for the students and gets them actually finding the places in the classroom where they’ll be sharpening pencils, grabbing highlighters, etc.
How do you cover your classroom procedures for your biology classroom? Let us know in the comments!