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Susan Dorfman's picture

Inquiry Based Classroom on Overload

This morning was a feast of inquiry based activities. Each activity seemed to have endless extensions thanks to the guidance of Peter. Some activities, like the effect of position on heart rate, are already part of my Grade 7 biology class, but my organization of this activity will improve in the direction of becoming more open ended after this morning's discussion.

The Mass and Heart Flow software would enhance both levels of biology that I teach, but I think it will be most effective in AP Biology. At first, I thought how much it would contribute to the students' understanding of water potential as it relates to plants. Peter pointed out that the modeling would also contributed to a study of cardiac outflow and the effects of obesity and atherosclerosis. He sugested the example of snorkling and the increase in resistance due to dead space on the driving force.

Who said that science was fun? Double A+ to those people!!! The Grade 7 Biology students will love the exercise to lower heart rate by holding the breath followed by breathing from a bag filled with room air and testing breath holding again. The dive response- I am not sure of with Grade 7 but the older AP students would respond favorably to this exercise and would understand extentions into discussion of cold water marine animals and babies.

The reaction time trials with and without distractions is an activity I will use with the AP students. The extention into a discussion of driving and texting is an important connection for them to experience.

Thanks also to Alan for sharing his experience in physical therapy. I really never understood why the heart rate increases when changing from a sitting at rest to a standing position.


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