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Piekarz Classroom Article by Bibiane Kan

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Piekarz Classroom Article

By: Bibiane Kan

Students stroll along the tall lab tables in the science room, pausing at seats to flip through pages of a hand-crafted children’s book or to scroll through an infographic pulled up on a Chromebook screen. They absorb newfound knowledge by learning from unique sources and different medias, and are deeply intrigued by the variety of projects produced by their peers. Two days before the start of Winter Break signified the long-anticipated Gallery Walk for the eighth grade Panthers. They had spent nearly a week creating projects to describe the process of meiosis, and many of the results were outstanding.

Mrs. Piekarz was very pleased by the amount of creativity displayed in her classroom, stating that when a student is provided with the opportunity to “present creativity in a novel way, the students end up understanding the concept better than studying for a test”. She believes that expressing knowledge through projects and creativity is a very valuable tool for students, and it is actually the thinking process that Mrs. Piekarz is looking for, not creativity. Not only was the Gallery Walk itself insightful, but the reflections that the students completed after spectating the projects were as well, in order for Mrs. Piekarz to learn more about the thinking of the students. One aspect of the reflection required students to state a specific person’s project or a particular type of media that they had enjoyed, and Bill, Grace, and Matthew’s projects received many compliments. Mrs. Piekarz’s favorite media utilized by the students were the cartoons or the children’s books, but there is a great amount of value in all types of media.

In the next month of February, the eighth graders will be learning many new concepts, including pedigrees, connecting genetics and the environment, and the concept of DNA.They will continue working through the Genetics textbook, and the new concepts will build off of the concepts that the students have already learned and are still in the process of doing so, such as manipulating Punnett Squares and utilizing the previously studied vocabulary. The homework load in the near future will increase by a considerable amount compared to previous months. Mrs. Piekarz predicts that a steady amount of homework will be assigned, around two to three times a week.

Examples of Students’ Work:

Rajvi’s Infographic:

Bill’s Parody Video:

Mehek’s Video:


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The student news site of Kennedy Jr. High School
Piekarz Classroom Article by Bibiane Kan