From Mid-March, 2020 to date

I have been teaching remotely for almost a year now. As an educator in these challenging times, we do our best to come up with creative strategies to keep our classes interesting and our students engaged. At the same time, we continue to adapt to innovative methods of teaching, assessing students’ understanding and updating our curriculum. We are training future superheroes, after all – no pressure.

My last post on this blog was about our Middle School S.T.E.A.M. Festival. It was such a blast! I had the 6th graders team up to teach elementary and kindergarten students how to estimate the number of colors in a box of fruit loop cereal and create bar graphs to compare estimated count to the actual count while the 8th graders lead a learning by doing practical lab activity on building rubber band cars. It was a 3-day event that was made possible and extra special with the support of my colleagues and peers.

The distance learning set-up in middle school did not hinder our students from participating in the annual S.T.E.A.M. Fair this school year. This event is part of the long list of traditions at the Wesley School, where middle school students showcase the results of their weeks-long challenge-based projects to their peers.

The 6th graders completed their dream vacation projects, where they created a holiday itinerary trip overseas with a friend on a set budget. The students used Google My Maps to mark off important locations (i.e. hotels, restaurants, places to visit etc), Google Sheets to create their expenditure data table and create charts to show how much money they spent on their trips, and Google Slides to create their trip presentations.

The 7th graders created 3 dimensional models of a cell. The students used toothpicks, pieces of paper, pizza toppings, among others to demonstrate their understanding of the various organelles and structures which make up a plant or animal cell, together with their physiology.

The 8th graders completed their personal projects that included development of original works of art (i.e making paper stationery from recyclable paper, making tote bags out of newspapers, etc),  investigative studies (i.e. effects of gaming), scientific experiments, courses of study or learning engagements, computer programmes, and many other forms of work.  The students’ personal projects offered opportunities for differentiation of learning and expression according to students’ individual needs. 

In lieu of the STEAM Fair Exhibition at the Social Hall, you may view our students’ projects and video presentations at tinyurl.com/steamfair2021 .

Organizing a S.T.E.A.M. Festival

This week, our middle school students celebrated their first S.T.E.A.M. Festival – a 3-day event where students participated in cross-curricular collaborative activities, attended mini-workshops presented by guest experts, completed various design challenges and presented the results of their challenge-based projects through an exhibit.

The middle school students have been working collaboratively with their peers and their community to find ways to:

  • To implement a positive solution in the community by advancing, engineering, or creating a solution that addresses water or recyclable waste related problem
  • To design a self-sustaining house out of sustainable materials and producing as little waste as possible. 

Please go to our STEAM 2020 Project page to view our students’ projects.

To learn more about our S.T.E.A.M. program initiative at the Wesley School, please check out our event schedule and the photo albums below:

The objective of our S.T.E.A.M. Program is to equip our students with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive as global citizens, develop innovative mindsets and the ability to problem-solve using 21st century skills.

California Love

I have meant to write about my move here in Los Angeles, California but I could not seem to find the time to do so.

I loved D.C., still do – it is very walkable. You can walk everywhere. I could walk a few blocks and get to our local grocery – Harris Teeter (which I love and miss dearly) and if you’re on a brave mood, Safeway is just next door. We lived in Adams Morgan area and there was a lot of places to go.

I used to walk to my workplace everyday. My walk would involve me passing by Meridian Hill park. I would make sure to walk through the park so I can get a good view of the towering Washington Monument, directly south off the park. It was always a beautiful sight. It never got old.

A promising school in North Hollywood paved my way to move here in the summer of 2017.

So many things have happened since then – I managed to hike the Cucamonga Peak with my husband; had my family come all the way from the Philippines to the US to attend our renewal of wedding vows; moved to Koreatown; collaborated with great people; and the list goes on.

But one thing remains the same, my passion for facilitating classroom activities to support student learning is still on point. Check out our classroom to see what our middle school students have been up to this past school years. Our Science Fair this school year had a huge turn-out with guest judges from the community supporting our students’ investigative projects.

Let me leave you with some 3D pathogen clay models that my 8th graders made in one of our life science units.

Hopefully, this will not be my only post this year. Paalam for now, friends!

Making Marshmallow Babies

  • 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.


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

Fortune Favors the Brave

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.

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.

I maintained a class page to keep parents posted on what’s going on in our classrooms and to show the community what our students are capable of working on.

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.