Jenny Soriano

Making Marshmallow Babies

Mar
26

  • Lesson: Inheritance and Traits
  • Starter: Inventory of Traits
  • Class Practical: Making Reebops Babies
  • Breeding Reebops Babies Class Practical Photos
  • Inventory of Traits Activity Photos

Last week, the 6th graders explore how each organism has a distinguishing characteristic called a trait and how many traits are passed from one generation to the next during reproduction.

We started this lesson off by watching a Brainpop video on heredity. This video has an easy-to-follow description on why you’re taller than your parents, or why you have blue eyes when your parents have brown eyes.

From there, the students took an inventory of their own easily- observable genetic traits. Working in small groups, they observe how their trait inventories differ from those of others. Students record their observations in a data table and compared the most and least common traits within their group.

In the Science lab, the students were given instructions to breed a male and a female Reebop in order to make a baby Reebop, and find out what it might be like. Students work in pairs with guided student procedure sheets, envelopes of chromosomes, a decoder key and the materials to build their baby Reebops.

I prepared extra marshmallows as a reward when students successfully bred (a.k.a. completed) their baby Reebops. This was also one way to prevent them from eating off the marshmallows used in their practical work.

References:

  1. Inventory of my traits
  2. Brainpop: Heredity
  3. Inventory Checklist Reference
  4. Making Reebops Resource Page

Fortune Favors the Brave

Apr
01

April 1, 2017
Washington, DC, USA

Back in June 20, 2016, I moved to Washington, DC with my husband. In June 22, I went for a job interview at a school in 15th St NW; the following day at another school in Hayes St. NE. I got back from the former and never heard from the other school.

The school at 15 St. and V NW is St. Augustine Catholic School, a pre-K through 8th grade Catholic school, sponsored by St. Augustine Catholic Church (the mother church of black Catholics in the District of Columbia, founded in 1858).

I officially joined the school (i.e. signed my teaching contract) in July 19, 2016.

Being a trooper, I did not waste time and started fixing my Science lab/classroom. The classroom/lab looked like a mess, period. All the clutter were piled up one after another inside the tall cabinets and opening the file cabinets was another story.
Most of the materials here are actually working and usable – I just needed 
to remove any unwanted sticky and gooey material formation
In my past schools, we had laboratory assistants and maintenance crews that will actually take care of the issues I was facing. In this school, it is good practice for you to step up and work on things as hard as you can to achieve your vision. The school has a very affordable tuition fee because the parish subsidizes about 60% of the actual cost of education per student.
My vision was to own this Science classroom. I was looking forward to a year of fun, active Science activities with every student who will come into my room. I was told that I will be the core Science teacher for grades 6-8 and will meet pre-K to 5th grade once a week for hands-on experiments.
My background is high school teaching. I started as a teacher in Philippine Science High School teaching Drafting Design, AutoCAD and Earth Science, moved on to teaching college engineering courses to teaching IGCSE Physics in international schools in Shanghai, China.
I have a passion for teaching middle school age-group students since it is very doable to introduce higher Science concepts into bitesize and understandable process through hands-on activities. The idea of being able to connect to pre-K to 5th graders for a 45-minute stand-alone experiments was very exciting to me. I used that as my driving force to organize my Science classroom.

Fortunately, the administrators in my school were very supportive of my vision. I told them that I understand the financial limitations of the school but there are Science lab characters that are non-negotiable: working microscopes (not toy microscopes), laboratory coats or aprons, basic chemical lab supplies, basic physical science lab supplies and cabinets for the glasswares and other necessities that needs to be securely stored.

I taped the floor with painters tape for boundary symbols for the lower grades (actually applies to
6th to 8th graders, as well). This was to make sure they do not touch lab materials in the cabinets and shelves.
The milk crates were very useful to store basic kitchen chemistry essentials.

 

 

 

I meet 6th to 8th graders five times a week. We have practical experiments twice a week,  work on virtual laboratory experiments once a week and the other two days are spent learning concepts and shorter activities.
Making edible cells – demonstrate parts of a cell

 

Viewing small objects using the magnifying lens with the Pre-K

 

Demonstrating static charges with the 2nd graders

 

Paper boat challenge with the 2nd graders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the lower school, I prepare the same activities but vary the degree of challenge according to their grade levels. I document all the class activities and post this to our bloomz page and my Science class page.

 

 

 

My students joined me for STEM Design Studio during after school. Our activities have included connecting paper circuits, building motorized cars and designing houses using Google Sketch Up.

The STEM Design Studio team are currently working on creating a racing car and a paddle board game using Scratch.

To keep parents posted on what’s going on in our classrooms, I maintain a class page: www.scienceexplorersindc.weebly.com.
The 3rd quarter for this academic year has just ended and the best is yet to come. We will be hosting our Science Fair Exhibit Display on 27th April, 2017 and our parish is promoting our STEM program.
*Update: See photos of our Science Fair Exhibit Display.
Beginning next school year, our school will be strengthening the integration of more active learning activities in every classroom, not just in my Science classroom. Students will have more exposure to hands-on and blended space learning. I already have lots of ideas in store for more hands-on Science activities and collaboration opportunities with other Science classroom enthusiasts.

Year J, Two Thousand Fourteen

Jun
24

*Everything that was 2014. Entries below were drafted  in Shanghai, China – where internet connection is restricted and can drain happiness off you even from merely trying to get online.
*Currently fluttering somewhere in the District of Columbia, Land of the Free

I just realized that I have not updated this blog for the last n months years. Here are special random highlights of the year that was.

Starting you off with some classy Bling Bling Holiday greetings from a mall next to Jing’An Temple.

2013 Bling Bling Holiday Greetings from Jing’An, Shanghai, China

(1) New Job
I moved to a new job to teach MYP/Pre-IGCSE Science somewhere in Minhang District, Shanghai.

View of the hallway from the Science and Math Block

 

My work corner when I started. I was transitioning into the Macbook life here.
Also, there’s more clutter on my desk when school is in progress.

(2) New Home
Michael and I moved to a new apartment in June 2014. Our landlady is an interior designer / architect and her place was one of her early projects. Photos taken below during our 1st tour of the house with our property agent.

Entry area reminds me of the ocean. 
Bamboo ladder was kept as part of the house interior.
Property agent’s pair of shoes not included.
Intricate detail on the dining table stand – lovingly hand-crafted 
by my landlady and her daughter.

 

Hallway to the guest bedroom and bathroom
Living room zen area – where we spent most of our times appreciating how awesome life is.

(3) New Adventure: Gourmet Home Cooking

We tried out xinwei to guide us in the kitchen. Proportioned ingredients for gourmet dishes with user-friendly instructions. Mackerel and Ratatouille and Mushroom Risotto were our favorites. Michael took charge of this at the kitchen. My OCD was put to good use during preparation stage.

 

 

 

 

Michael being a pro at the kitchen

 

The dishes did not make it to the pictures – they disappeared too quickly.

(4) New Toy: Jacuzzi – our new place came with one, in the master’s bedroom because why not

Bubble-bathing because I can

(5) Annual Homecoming Faves
Next to my family…..

the reasons I come home can be summarized below

Boiled Saba Banana in Bagoóng (Fermented Krill or Anchovies)
Singkamas with Suka’t Toyo with Sili (Turnip in Spicy vinegar sauce)

 

Paksiw na Isda (Fish cooked in vinegar and spices) and Kinilaw na Isda (Ceviche Filipino Style)

(7) Hosting our 1st Shanghai Thanksgiving Dinner November 2014
Michael and I hosted our first Shanghai Thanksgiving Dinner. Food was catered from Mr. Harry’s .
Captured moments from Michael’s time-lapsed video coverage here.

Table details courtesy of Michael and Pinay.

 

(8) 2014 Christmas Dinners Snippets

At PauPatri Boracay

At Argonauta Boracay Boutique Hotel’s dinner spread

 

At Argonauta Boracay Boutique Hotel’s dinner spread
At Mergrande Resort with Davao Family
At Shanghai Filipino Family Dinner
At Mr. Harry’s Shanghai for Bashers’ Christmas Dinner

 

Here’s to more posts for 2015. I know it’s already halfway across the year but I will work on catching up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mabuhay Homeland 2014

Sep
01
July – August 2014
Summer Holiday

Tagaytay; Davao City; Boracay Island, Philippines
Shanghai, China

One of the perks of working as a teacher is the summer vacation we get to have at the end of each school year, which is about two months of uninterrupted laziness, waking-up-late morning days, staying-up-late evenings, traveling, eating, movie marathons and all imaginable things worth doing.

To be honest though, on my fourth no-work-day back in June 2014, my body was already used to being in work mode that I got a bit anxious and bored. I was already itching to get back to work so I can do my normal routine –  but that did not last very long. Who was I kidding?

I wanted to go somewhere close, preferably travel time not to exceed 3-4 hours. I packed my bag and left Shanghai to visit my homeland, the Philippines.

Amazing view from People’s Park in the Sky, Tagaytay
Met up with my classmates (since primary school until high school) 
over coffee and loads of calorie-filled sweets
Shared a seafood fiesta dinner with one of our adorkable former Pisay student 
(dishes currently being prepared when this picture was taken)
Reconnected with former work colleagues
Re-lived childhood memories at the beach

 

Spent a weekend at the beach with the family
Embraced the cool ocean breeze
Celebrated my 4th year as Shanghai expats over brunch at Azur, Renaissance Hotel with Ronald  
************************************
Apparently, I was a diligent writer back in 2011 and as my life got crazier and busier, I wrote less. Well, I will try to write more this time, I think I can still fill 2014 up.

Late Entry: US Summer 2013 NYC

Feb
07

October 6, 2013
National Holiday Week
Shanghai, China

I have been intending to update this blog for the longest time but my procrastinating self always overpowers. It has been a long-standing battle but this is as much as I can do for now. I will try to recall as much memories as I can. 

June 28, 2013

Lower Manhattan, NYC
The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Battery Park; Staten Island

I remember Ronald and I going to Shake Shack near Time Square to get the much-hyped burger before we head off to the museum. There was a long queue that starts off from the outside of the shop. There were only a few tables inside, which were all occupied. We were smart enough to buy what we need in take-away bags. I learned from a TV documentary on NYC that shake shack started off by selling hot dogs and so I got myself a Shack-cago dog and a Shackburger. The hot dog did not leave a lasting impression on me but the Shackburger did. It is definitely a place worth going back to, ignoring the calories that goes everything in their menu.

 The Metropolitan Museum of Art  
Anyone can check the pictures of the exhibit displays at The MET online. However there is an indescribable feeling of being in the zone at the museum and observing the awesomeness of everything around you. I leave you to that experience when you end up at the MET at some point in your life.

We got there probably around 4sh pm. For Fridays of this Summer, after 4pm, I think there was an optional admission fee – in other words, you can actually get in for free. However Ronald opted to pay 20 USD for both of us. I thought it was decent enough, considering we get to have the last set of commemorative lapel pins.

Exhibit room near the main entry hall
Main Lobby

I can tell you though that one day is not enough to observe and absorb each story behind each exhibit display.

Battery Park
The Battery park was under renovation when we went there however we found this bus around the area.

Photographs: Ronald Igar

US Summer Trip 2013 NYC Day 1

Aug
07
June 27, 2013
Lower Manhattan, NYC
Day 1
Mission: Cross the Brooklyn Bridge
We had a very lovely weather the next day. We planned on taking a stroll towards Lower Manhattan, hit the Brooklyn Bridge and cross it.
Before we could do that, we stop by the neighborhood cafe for breakfast. This is a glimpse of the local neighborhood where we stayed at.
This was my Day 1 breakfast at Gramercy Cafe.
Ronald was a little disappointed that he couldn’t finish the stacks of pancakes on his plate and that there was only a small portion of bacon strips on top of it.
Our hotel was 2 blocks away from Union Square, which was a very convenient location. We could get into N, Q, R 7 trains. We found some wall artwork across the square and figured it was a good spot to take a selfie.
From Gramercy Cafe to the start off point of the Manhattan Bridge (Manhattan side), we walked a good 7-km or so, occasionally stopping to check out interesting architecture or shops.

When we got to the bridge. We each had to get our obligatory poses to prove a point that yes, touchdown Brooklyn Bridge.

When we got to the Brooklyn end of the bridge, it was approximately another 1km. It was a great day to be in NYC. The weather was awesome. We appreciate being used to walking a lot around Shanghai that we were very prepared for any long walks around NYC.  We walked back to our hotel, which makes it a good 20-km or so altogether hike for the day.
We got back to our hotel around 8sh pm. We were too exhausted from jet lag to leave the hotel room.
We were staying on the 7th floor of what looks like an old residential apartment building turned into a hotel. This is Ronald trying to check out the situation of the apartment next door. 

Earlier on our way back to the hotel, we discovered Ricky’s Cosmetic and Beauty Supply along Broadway Avenue. Ronald was looking into dyeing his hair ash blonde. I managed to convince him that I could dye his hair, but only just a few shades lighter.
It was probably around past 12mn at this point and we decided to put those hair products from Ricky’s to good use.
We took some precautionary measures by covering the carpet floor with newspapers before getting to work.
*I believe I look like I meant business here while Ronald looked scared as hell.
We failed to take before and after pictures but you can probably tell the difference if you get a closer look of our mane on the next blog entries.
Nonetheless, our first day in NYC was very productive. We accomplished our mission of the day, walked a lot and ended the night with hair treatments. 

Next: The MET visit, Central Park, Grand Central Terminal and more

US Summer Trip 2013 NYC

Aug
07
June 26, 2013
Midtown Manhattan, NYC
Ronald and I traveled to another time zone to celebrate our 10 years of friendship.
It was Ronald’s first trip to the US. He initially intended to just go to California, where he has relatives. I have not been to California. The farthest west of the US that I have been to is Colorado. Naturally, I want to for him to set foot first in the most diverse and shiny place that I have been to on my first trip to the US back in 2011.
1st stop, New York City, the concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do. And I can tell that Ronald agreed.
We entered the US through JFK airport, breezed our way through immigration then lined up for the yellow taxis to get to our hotel.

Obligatory selfies after checking in and leaving our bags in the hotel.


Our body clock was still on China time zone, where it would have been around 11am. In NYC, it was 11pm. Body clock be damned. We were itching to walk the streets of Manhattan, so off we go to Broadway Avenue to get to the heart of it, Times Square.

We only took our quota Instagram-qualified pictures for the usual NYC landmarks: Flatiron Building, Chrysler Building, Empire State Building to name a few.
We had to head back to our hotel to catch up with some zzzzs and save our energy for the rest of our stay in NYC.

*Photo credits: Ronald Igar

White Christmas

Dec
27

December 23 ~ 30, 2012
Sayre, Pennsylvania, USA

Although I never dreamt of a white Christmas, somehow it feels good to be in one.

It was fun for the first day. A winter storm came the next day so I get to step into 12-14 inches of snow. My friends decided that it was a good time for me to try snow sledding down a hill. It was a blast sliding down a hill covered with soft snow. The climb back up the top of the hill was not.

I would probably enjoy it more if I had proper winter clothes and winter boots on. I felt that my toes were coming off of my feet from being frozen.

Alternative to Sherpas

Aug
05

August 5, 2012
Shanghai, China

Recently, I embarked on a mission to learn how to navigate my way into these endless online shopping websites in China. Thanks to Google Translate and Bing Translator, I have managed to successfully accomplish this, ending up spending my entire days glued to the computer.

I would confidently blame the food delivery services in Shanghai, specifically Sherpas, Mealbay, McDonalds and KFC, for making me lazy. Although, I always miss home-cooked meals courtesy of Lola and Mother, I have to survive living without them. I love cooking, however, it consumes too much time and effort to prepare a dish that is good for one or two people. Hence, food delivery, it is.

McDonalds is undeniably the most dependable food service, for non-healthy deep fried chicken wings, chicken nuggets and double cheeseburgers. It is cheap and convenient (they have 24 hour delivery service) but it is not healthy. Then there’s Sherpas. Sherpas is every expat’s food delivery fantasy. It probably has more than 200 restaurants to choose from, mostly marked-up dishes from restaurants that cater to expat communities, specifically those who do not speak Chinese.

Now, I present to you, 壹外卖 or Yī wàimài, a better healthy alternative to McDonald’s and a much affordable choice than Sherpas.  Yī wàimài means one take away (according to Google Translate).

The following pages are translated from google translate, through Google Chrome browser. To start with, you need to register an account.

Second, choose how you want to register. I registered using my mobile phone number. You can also register using your QQ or 163 email accounts.
Third, fill out the registration information as required below. Follow steps 1-4 from the illustration and you should get yourself successfully registered.

Fourth, once you are registered, you can now enter your address or select your location from the map. 
For this example, I have selected an apartment complex along Nandan Road corner North Caoxi Road. It will show you the number of restaurants available around your location that offers food delivery service. 

Translated version

When you select a restaurant, it will redirect you to the restaurant’s page and will show you their menu. From there, you can start choosing what you want to order.

Here are some examples of English-translated menu.

Lemon Grass Thai Restaurant
Yeli Xiali

hoF
And Saizereya
Let us say, you wanted to order delivery from this restaurant. The delivery fee is 8RMB, you should order at least 30RMB worth of food, it will take 60 minutes to arrive and it is about 442 meters away from your location.
Select your dishes then click the check button to place your order.
I immediately received a call (from Yiwaimai or from the restaurant, I am not quite sure) after I placed my order. The call was in Chinese. My spoken Chinese is really embarrassing but I managed to understand that they want me to confirm my 地址 Dìzhǐ or address. I confirmed it with my incomprehensible Chinese speaking skills. The guy hung up. Within 45 minutes, my order arrived. Not from Saizeriya but from Yeli Xiali. Xinjiang Food was my test restaurant.
Oh, happiness! You guys should try it.

This Shanghai Life

Jul
25

August 2009 – Present

Cebu Pacific Flight (Manila – Shanghai)
South Laiting Road, Jiuting District, Shanghai
Xujiahui, Shanghai
Shanghai Everbright Hotel, Shanghai
Starbucks, Abreeza Mall, Philippines

Ronald and I arrived in Shanghai, China through the popular red-eye flight from Cebu Pacific last August 9, 2009.

Cebu Pacific’s Manila – Pudong red-eye flight, August 8, 2009

This is the main campus of the Cambridge International Center, attached to Shanghai Normal University, Guilin Road, Shanghai. Initially, both Ronald and I taught in the same campus, in Jiuting District, however starting last school term, I currently teach in the main campus.

We made it, hurrah! Day 1
This is the view of the main school building in Jiuting Campus when viewed from the coffee bar. Each campus has a coffee lounge area for faculty and staff to unwind during breaks.

Shanghai Normal University – Cambridge International Centre, Jiuting Campus*
Obligatory pose, Day 3

Initially, Ronald and I chose to share an apartment that was just a few blocks away from the Jiuting Campus. We had a massive, five bedroom, three-storey high, lane house that was just 2 blocks away from the school. We figured, we came to Shanghai to slave ourselves to work, right? We might as well, conveniently live near our workplace. Wrong. Although, we live in a relatively quiet neighborhood, it was too quiet that Tibungco, Davao City seems busier and livelier in the night. We live miles away from our families and friends, I thought that we should probably live in a much vibrant and livelier community to cope up with homesickness.

On Day 4, Gafor was kind enough to show us around, brought us to the inner ring road of Shanghai. Gafor, also teaches at the Jiuting Campus, however, he does not live near the school. He was wise enough to pick an apartment near the Shanghai City center, in Xujiahui area. He lives only a few blocks away from Metro City Mall.
Point A is Metro City,  Xujiahui Area and Point B is Jiuting Campus 
When we first got hold of the Shanghai Map from the Pudong Airport, we noticed that we cannot find the location of our campus in the tourist map. Apparently, the school is located in the outskirts of the Southwestern part of Shanghai, where the limit of the tourist promotion ceases. 
Our school is about an hour or less of a subway ride from the Shanghai Inner ring road area. This is what the Shanghai Nights look like in the city center.
Zhao Jia Bang Lu, Hong Qiao Lu Intersection, Xujiahui*

It did  not take long for us to move to to an apartment along the inner ring road of Shanghai, where the night lights shine bright. After six months, we were city citizens. 

By the end of our first school term, we were staying in an apartment that was just a few blocks away from Shanghai Everbright Hotel, where my first A2 graduation ceremony was held. 
With Janet, CIE A2 graduation ceremony, Shanghai Everbright Hotel, June 2010

I will share more about my life in Shanghai in my next blog. 

Here’s Ronald and I on our recent vacation back in our homeland.

Starbucks, Abreeza Mall, Davao City, July 11, 2012
* Thanks to my good friends, Gafor and Rusty, for the pictures.