Cell Structure and Function
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Preparation of an onion cell slide

Hatice Dereli's insight:

 This resource is a simple interactive activity that teaches how one can prepare a slide of an onion cell. What make this resource useful is that it provides the teachers with an alternative method of giving the students instructions to complete the well known experiment where students prepare onion cell slide to examine under the microscope. The visuals and the animations are much more engaging and interactive way of presenting instructive material. One of the many ways teachers can use this activity is to use it at the beginning of the experiment and then ask the students to write a report about the experiment in their own words after the experiment is conducted. Often when the students are given written instructions to experiments they choose to copy the instructions from the worksheets and are not challenged to think scientifically and plan scientific investigations.

Another reason why this resource is useful is because at the end of the activity it requires the students to complete a short quiz about what they have learnt in the activity. This way the students are assessed about the experiment before they can proceed with the methods.

Many of the schools in NSW are now switching their regular white board classrooms to ICT based classrooms. Some schools use active boards whereas others have students using individual laptops or tablets. This resource was chosen because it is a simple to navigate; ICT based activity that provides information about a scientific investigation.

One disadvantage of this resource is that the instructions may not be very specific for some students and for this reason the teacher should provide extra help to clarify the given instructions.

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Cells and structures, specimen slides

Cells and structures, specimen slides | Cell Structure and Function | Scoop.it
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This website is a great resource to show students electron micrographs of different types of cells. The website consists of a variety of types of cells that include example from both animals and plants. What makes this website useful is that it gives a list of educational values that the teachers could read through before showing the students these images.  This resource will be very useful in lesson plans (for stage four students) where the aim of their lesson is to recognise the differences between animal cells and plant cells. The website is very easy to navigate through so the students may switch between different types of specimens and compare their components.

Another way teacher can use this resource is when the students are learning about sketching schematic diagrams of biological specimens. The large number of images available to look through can be used to challenge the students to sketch diagrams of the cells they see.

The disadvantages of this resource include the large amount of background information that is presented with each specimen. Although these texts could be used to improve the student’s scientific literacy, it will also cause difficulties for students them as a few of the concepts in the texts are beyond the knowledge they need to take as stage 4 students.

 

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Concepts in Biochemistry - Interactive Animations

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This resource has been provided by interactive concepts in Biochemistry Wiley. This resource is great in understanding the 3D structure of typical animal and plant cells. The resource consists of a number of different kinds of activity which target many different areas that teachers are trying to achieve in their classroom. As this activity is ICT based, the colours and the images it provides are much more appealing to students who are trying to understand microscopic structures. The resource is very informational and would be great to use in revision lessons. Another detail which makes this resource good to use in revision lessons is that at the end of every section, the activity has a small quiz which assesses what students have learnt from this activity. One of the very important details about this resource is that it gives simple-to-understand explanations to the different types of organelles inside a cell and allows the students to compare the functions of different organelles. Secondly this activity is designed to cover both animal cells and plant cells. So teacher can use this resource in order to teach students the significant differences between animal and plant cells. The great amount of scientific vocabulary that is used in the resource definitely challenges the students into learning these names and also improve their scientific literacy.

One of the main difficulties in using this resources is that you must monitor the students to make sure that they are actually doing what they are suppose to do. The activity is very quick to complete and definitely requires a few more minutes of discussion after it in order to check that students have understood the components of this resource. One of the things science teacher must target in a classroom is the higher order thinking skills of the students. At the end of this resource, there is a separate activity which asks the students to construct a new cell using the organelles provided. Although the activity could be improved to a more challenging task, it could definitely be used as a stimulus to more challenging activities the teacher can use in the class that would get the students thinking.

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The discovery of Cells

The discovery of Cells | Cell Structure and Function | Scoop.it
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This article written by Minoti Hiremath addresses the discovery of cells and the historical developments in the formation of the cell theory. This resource is great because not only does it provide some major historical developments in the discovery of cells but it also gives a small paragraph highlighting the general features of cells. Teachers can use this article as a stimulus material for an assessment task that requires the students to research about scientist that played a role in the development of the cell theory. This research task will be a great opportunity for the students to develop their scientific literacy as they would need to read through various articles in order to proceed in their research activity.

This site was selected as it provides reliable information about historical events in science. The article is referenced and the information is up to date. Often when the students are given a research task they look into any website that provides an easy to read answer to the topic they are researching, and mostly do not consider whether the article or text is accurate and reliable. When using this text teachers can draw the students attention to the idea that in scientific research, reliable sources are supposed to be used rather than any random website article.

As the article is also easy to read, the students will be encouraged to research similar articles on the web. This task will then improve the student’s skills in researching scientific ideas.

The disadvantage of this task is that it may be slightly not engaging for the students. To overcome this problem the teachers may make use of extra visuals and videos to help the students interact with this article.

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Types of Cells Human

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This resource is a very short clip, highlighting the variations in the structure of different types of human cells. Although it only takes 42 seconds to play this video, it definitely engages the students to think of the different structures of cells and explain how the structure of these cells could be related to the function of the cells. This video could be used as a starting stimulus to a lesson that will cover the structure related functions of different types of cells. After watching this video teacher could easy discuss the individual cells demonstrated in the video and develop a brainstorming activity looking at cell structure and function. Another activity that could be linked to this video is the who am i game, where students are given  brief information about a number of cells – which include information related to structure and function- and the students guess the name of each cell with the help of a second sheet which contains images of cells and their names. This activity targets the higher order thinking skills of the students as it challenges them to look at photos of cells and try to figure out how the structure of the cell could be related to one of the functions listed in the game sheet.

This video was selected as a resource because it targets a lot of areas which could each be discussed in the classroom after watching the video. From cilia to the donut shaped blood cells to strange looking nerve cells, this video acts as a perfect stimulus material that could be regularly revisited if it is used in a lesson plan that aims to explain the relation between cell structure and functioning. One of the disadvantages of this video is that it only illustrates animal cells and does not give any interest to the types of cells that are found in plants.

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