Teaching With Toys and Analogies
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Teaching With Toys and Analogies

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Presentation I gave about how I incorporate common toys into lecture to convey complex concepts to students in introductory biology. These are a few of my favorites.

Presentation I gave about how I incorporate common toys into lecture to convey complex concepts to students in introductory biology. These are a few of my favorites.

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  • it is good to have toys...you can visit us here http://www.toy-fire-trucks.com for more information about toy fire trucks.
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  • Great Slide on Toys... I found this great place to by discount legos online
    http://www.leg-go.com
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  • Presentation given on 11/9/07 in Columbus, Ohio in a workshop sponsored by WH Freeman Publishers and Sinauer Associates.

Teaching With Toys and Analogies Teaching With Toys and Analogies Presentation Transcript

  • Teaching with Toys and Analogies
    • Jacalyn Newman, Ph.D.
    • Department of Biological Sciences
    • University of Pittsburgh
  • Foundations 1 & 2
    • Introductory biology course
    • 2 semester sequence, C or better required to take part 2
    • All sections curve mean to 75% (C)
    • Lab is a separate class! Not all students take lab
  • Foundations 1 & 2
    • Mostly freshman, undeclared majors ~ 1,500 students per term
      • multiple sections 200-350/section
    • Serves future biomajors, pre-X majors, gen. ed. science requirement for non-majors
    • 4 midterm MC exams, 45 Q in 50 min. Drop lowest
    • Cumulative 50 Q final.
  • L9 Clapp
    • Seats 409 students
    • Multimedia (overhead, projector, VCR, DVD player)
    • No sink, gas line, vacuum line
    • Nearly continuous use during the day
    • 10 minutes for class changes
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  • Why toys and analogies?
    • Compensate for constraints:
      • lack of lab, stadium seating, large class, inability to do real world demos
    • Make the invisible visible
    • Bridge between their experience and new information
    • Bring fun into learning
  • My personal favorites
    • Cell signaling
      • bubbles, balloons, and Mousetrap®
    • Macromolecules
      • Barrel of monkeys®, pop beads, quick links
    • City of a Cell
    • Country wide defense - Immune system
  • Bubbles for paracrine signaling
    • Plant a student in the back of the room. Start blowing bubbles once we start topic of cell signaling
    • Local reaction, other students are unaware b/c too far away
  • Balloons for endocrine signaling
    • Blow up 4-5 balloons
    • Send into class, tell them to share and keep them moving.
    • Get attention, put up an overhead:
    • If you made contact with a balloon: …and skipped breakfast this morning: stand up …and you’re left handed: stand and face the back of the room …and are bilingual: raise your hand
    • C ontact with a balloon- ONE SIGNAL
      • Receptor 1 skipped breakfast
      • Response 1 stand up
      • Receptor 2 left handed
      • Response 2 stand and face the back
      • Receptor 3 bilingual
      • Response 3 raise your hand
    • No Receptor- No Response!
  • The 4 stages of cell signaling
    • Receive Signal - Someone called 911 to report a fire
    • Transduce - Sirens go off, firefighters get trucks, go to house
    • Respond - put out the fire
    • Reset - clean up, go back to station in prep for next call
  • Cell signaling is Mousetrap
    • Receive - mouse lands on cheese, other lands on “turn crank”
    • Transduce - everything from turn crank up to cage dropping
    • Repond - trap the mouse!
    • Reset - put everything back into ready mode
  • Macromolecules
    • Bonds via dehydration reactions
      • monomer concept
      • monomer orientation
      • number of bonds to make a polymer
    • Barrel of monkeys + sharpie marker, pop beads, Quick links
  • Cellulose vs Starch ...and the diagram of celllulose’s structure here I put the textbook diagram of starch (linear chain) here...
  • Protein Structure
    • Primary doesn’t change when you twist, coil, or zigzag the chain.
    • Models for secondary structure
    • Models plus quick links for tertiary and quaternary structure
  • The city of the cell part 1 City Cell Government Nucleus City limits Plasma membrane Structure i.e. Buildings, roads cytoskeleton Recycling/ trash lysosomes, export to blood Power plants Mitochondria, chloroplasts Communications Signal transduction Transportation microtubules, vesicles
  • The city of the cell part 2 City Cell Manufacturing Ribosomes Maintenance Proteins Good neighbor relations Intercellular junctions, extra cellular matrix Police/ anti-Crime Chaperonins, Lysosomes Imports/exports Vesicles, endocytosis, exocytosis, secretion
  • Country Defense A.K.A. The Immune System Nonspecific Defense Nonspecific Defense Specific defense mechanisms of the immune system First line defenses: skin, mucous membranes, secretions Second line defenses: complement proteins, inflammatory response Third line defenses: B & T cells Canadian border Local police FBI