Friday, January 18, 2013

Mrs. Brown, Um...That's Not Right

As a new teacher of science, I have spent many-a-nights reading and writing notes on all of the subject matter that I have to teach. Plain and simple: it's NOT easy learning 5th grade science all over again. Or just learning it period. Lots of things are confusing and it takes reading and re-reading and re-reading again to "get it".

Case in point today: I was so excited about the little foldable that I had all put together and ready to go for our shortened day today (late start due to "inclement weather"). So, I'm up, I'm teaching - we're labeling together and it's going great. Until it's time to start explaining how blood circulates throughout the heart. I'm fine until I get to the pulmonary veins, which I then realize that we have labeled completely incorrect. Ok, no problem - let's fix that. So, we fix it and I'm going on and on about how oxygen-rich blood enters the left and right atriums from the lungs.....and then one little friend walks up to me and quietly says, "Um, Mrs. Brown. That's not right." I look down at my diagram and realize that he is 100% correct. It's NOT right. And I'm dumb. In front of my kids. I have now managed to completely confuse them on something that is already confusing to comprehend. And, to make matters worse, we ran out of time as I'm standing there dumbfounded, so I won't even be able to fix this mess until TUESDAY! Yikes.  I wonder how many emails I will get from parents over the weekend asking me why I am confusing their children!?

I love these teacher moments. For one, it lets the kids see that no matter who you are or what age you are, you're still very capable of making silly mistakes. For another, I get to laugh at myself and how much I DON'T have it together. Ha!!

The diagram on the foldable is supposed to look like this when it's filled out correctly:

{I'm departmentalized and luckily, I had this moment of stupidity during the first class, so my other three classes were able to actually do it correctly....}. We are not finished with it, but once we are, the little flaps on the outside will list the correct steps in the circulation process. I really thought I had a good grasp on it - and in reality, I do - but when you make one mistake in front of the entire class, it kind of snowballs out of control. And really, when you think about it, there aren't really "steps" to the circulatory process. It's a cycle that goes round and around and around. No beginning. No end. Always happening. And that's difficult for me, because I have to have a list of how things work. Otherwise, it doesn't make sense to me. So below are the "steps" I came up with and if you click on the image, you can download yourself a little freebie. All you do is fold on the vertical dotted lines and cut on the horizontal dotted lines. On the outside, label the flaps 1-8 and then list the steps on the inside of them. Hope this helps someone out there not have a dummy moment like I did today!!

1. Oxygen-rich blood comes into the heart from the lungs through the pulmonary veins.

2. Pulmonary veins pump the oxygen-rich blood through the left atrium and to the left ventricle.

3. Once the blood leaves the left ventricle, it travels to the aorta, where it is then pumped all over the body through arteries.

4. Arteries all over the body branch into tiny vessels called capillaries. Here, the oxygen in the blood is exchanged for carbon dioxide.

5. Oxygen-poor blood travels to the right side of the heart through veins.

6. Oxygen-poor blood enters the right atrium and passes through the right ventricle.

7. The right ventricle pumps oxygen-poor blood through the pulmonary arteries and then to the lungs to get oxygen.

8. The pulmonary veins carry the oxygen-rich blood to the left atrium of the heart and the cycle starts all over again.

Today's moment of idiocy brought to you by:

1 comment:

  1. I found myself laughing as I read your post because I can completely relate! :) Once, during a Spelling test, instead of saying the word and a sentence, I said the word and then spelled it for them! I don't know where my brain was! :)
    No worries - I've found that students are very forgiving and will have forgotten about it by Tuesday.

    Joy in the Journey