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Biology Teachers please help an NQT

Discussion in 'Science' started by dragonslayer33000, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. dragonslayer33000

    dragonslayer33000 New commenter

    I am an nqt who loves and is passionate about science as a whole. Throughout the year afterb trials and tribulations i have come with method and style of teaching for both chemistry and physics. But try what come may, i am really struggling with ks4 biology. I really cannot pinpoint a method that works for the class. My students are low to middle ability and i find it hard to get them to memorise or even digest information. They like physics and chemistry because there is an element of working things out. But biology seems to be alien language to them.

    Maybe it is me and i have not found a method that helps them to learn a subject that requires constant memorisation. Any geography, history teachers? How do you make your students memorise and understand topics that are just mostly text. please help
  2. rehaank

    rehaank Occasional commenter

    Through models, illustrations, diagrams, visual representation etc etc.

    It needs to be more visually taught and presented, that seems to help them get to grasp with what it is they're describing - even simpler concepts like the cell components, get them to make cell models or when looking at enzymes and substrates get them to draw these out so they know which bits they're exploring.

    Then, when it goes on to slightly more challenging things like recollection of names of kidney structure or the major vessels of the heart, they should be better at grasping this.
    border_walker likes this.
  3. particlezoo

    particlezoo New commenter

    Bio is the hardest for kids with low literacy skills. I keep it simple with mine. I try and introduce the topic as something that relates to them e.g. what would happen if you only ate crisps? ASAP science videos are a godsend for this as it grabs their attention. Then we do the key words they will need for the lesson either as a match or print definitions and they write the words in. They can use this for the rest of the lesson. Then we teach and finish with an exam question. For really low ability they come up with an answer in pairs before answering themselves. We also look at models or they mark an exam question that I've written and made common mistakes on.
    After teaching I give mini quizzes on knowledge recall at regular intervals or a simple homework sheet from a previous topic.
    jp1208 likes this.
  4. snowfairy

    snowfairy New commenter

    As particlezoo said I find keywords are the best access point for lessons. Using the textbooks to look them up or matching the correct definition to the keyword.I often tell mine to treat it like a foreing language and even go as far as having a vocab book for biology. Trying to model everthing also works works well either in the form of diagrams or literally having them move around. For the carbon cycle you can use a ball to represent carbon and then each person is a carbon store. When the ball is thrown the person has to state by which process the carbon is transferring to the next. The classroom can be set up like the circulatory system..... balls for oxygen....... They pick up a ball at the lungs and drop it off at the organs having to move through the different parts of the heart.

    Use of exam questions really important as there is definately a technique to reading them etc..... Model answers are good too for certain topics such as speciation. With lower ability you can scaffold the longer answer questions to start with. Use sentance starters too. Go through the command word meanings with them so that they know how to answer the questions "State", "Describe", "Explain", "Suggest", "Evaluate" etc

    Hope that helps a bit.....

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