Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I'll admit it, and it's weird to say: I like teaching about puberty. Sure, it's uncomfortable for a little bit, and some of the kids are mortified. The kids see me as young and laid-back, so I try to make the unit as welcoming as possible. We start with basic changes and hygiene before shifting to the nitty gritty.
Eventually, we arrive at the time where we have to go over the male and female reproductive systems. I feel bad for the girls in my class, only because they have a male teacher (who is younger than some of their brothers!) telling them about how their bodies work. I have no idea what a period feels like. I can't tell you what it's like to shave my legs (although I did it once...college track...another story) or the horror of bra shopping with mom.
The handouts we use of the two systems are very similar to the interactive diagrams I've linked below. These are provided by Kids Health, a great website I use often when I need to communicate in a way they will understand. It's an easy link because of their similarity, and I'm able to better explain not only the parts, but how they all interact as a whole. This helps the students engage in higher level thinking, shifting from knowledge all the way to analysis. As you click on a part, its location is highlighted and its function explained. The female diagram has a separate section on the menstrual cycle; I find this to be incredibly helpful in explaining something that is very complex (at least to sixth graders).
Sometimes, a colleague will walk by or poke their head in to drop something off, and the frontal view of the female reproductive system will be looking at them. Once, while rushing out to bus duty after last period, I left one of the diagrams on my Smart-board without noticing...and was treated to a bunch of wide eyed students looking into my room upon my return!
So, check out these interactive diagrams! You will need Macromedia Flash to view.
Female Reproductive System (Internal view, frontal view, menstrual cycle)
Male Reproductive System (Front angle view and side angle view)
NOTE: This is also when I perform my female reproductive system/menstruation demonstration, where I become the system. I saw Deb Tackman do it at MAHPERD in 2009. I really have to post a video of it, because it brings a visual, live demonstration right in front of the students that I have found very helpful.
As always, please e-mail me with any questions, comments, or concerns. 300+ unique viewers and counting!
Sunday, April 4, 2010
As part of my brief commentary on school lunches, I came up with a quick, four step game plan for people who wish to begin creating change within their school districts. I didn't think too much about it (although you could argue a lot has to do with common sense) and I'm not an expert...yet. I knew someone out there with a few letters after their name (M.D., R.D., PhD, etc) would have something, I just needed to find it.
So, in reading the comments on Mrs. Q's blog I came across a comment by the founder of Better School Food, Susan Rubin (she's an expert). Her organization has an action plan with many of the similar concepts as the one I created. I read it, liked it, and now I want you to read it too!
Check out the action plan here, and put it to work!!
On a side note, I'm not really digging the color scheme of this blog anymore. I'm going to try to spice it up soon. I've been receiving a lot of hits from Google searches (30+ a week), and I'm also going to try to get back to why I started this in the first place: spreading teaching ideas to other health teachers. My formative assessment post, HIV simulation post, and ATOD activities are my most frequently viewed pages. If you see something and you like it, please post a comment!! I know there's almost 300 of you who have been reading! :)