advice from science teachers for next year

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by chemistrynerd, May 30, 2014.

  1. chemistrynerd

    chemistrynerd Rookie

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    May 30, 2014

    This year I think I did about 10-11 labs in Chem. How can I add more labs next year with getting through the material since it is mostly math based? I seem to have low success with students being able to do labs on their own without asking questions every two seconds, or they can't do the lab and connect it to the material. I want to challenge them but I struggle with balancing lab time and lecturing/practice time. We have 90 min blocks every other day.
     
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  3. ScienceEd

    ScienceEd Companion

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    May 30, 2014

    do you demo the lab beforehand?

    have you thought about having them do some virtual labs?

    You should make one or two of the students repeat the instructions for the lab and ask questions in pre-lab before letting them even start. establish expectations of them reading the instructions and knowing what to do beforehand.

    also have them connect what they expect and what they actually see.

    it might help to mention that in college, lecture and lab classes are taught separately and they will have to learn how to connect.

    you can do some of the labs as just demos until the class learns how to use the equipment, etc and you might see how that helps motivate them to listen and pick up the skills to be independent.

    you may have to go back to the basics in the beginning: teach them how to measure, use balance beams, etc.

    have them reword the procedures so they can understand and do it themselves.

    then call one student to demo each step.

    don't know if it would help but it was suggested to me.
     
  4. cby1224

    cby1224 Companion

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    Jun 2, 2014

    I am interested in seeing responses to this as well.

    Not counting demos I am planning on between 10-12 actual labs. A lot of this will depend on how well the students work in the lab. This will be a first for many of these Jr.'s because the lab has not been in working order up to this point. I do know the VP (who does class scheduling) is planning on keeping my class size low. Approximately 13 students/class and this will be my only prep. We are also on the block schedule so that will help me add lab time in as well.
     
  5. Briana008

    Briana008 Companion

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    Jun 2, 2014

    I teach biology, which is kind of a different animal, but I would suggest maybe just incorporating more short "activities" rather than the full-on labs. These activities can incorporate the use of lab equipment and proper safety procedures and would probably generate data that you can use to practice the calculations. I'd try to do the math using as much lab-generated data as possible rather than doing the math practice separately from the lab.

    It may also be helpful to streamline the lab instructions into some sort of "worksheet" (or graphic organizer-type thing). That way the students can focus on exactly what they need to get out of each activity. If you use fairly standard lab ideas, there may already be youtube videos of proper lab setup, data collection, safety equipment, etc. Students can either watch them as homework or you could show it as a bellringer while you take attendance. If you're enterprising, you may even want to make your own! :)

    The way I structured my honors biology class was to (try to) conduct one student inquiry lab per unit--I have 16 units total. I found it much more approachable to just choose one big idea per unit and design a lab for it, rather than wholesale adding labs to the curriculum.
     
  6. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Jun 2, 2014

    Can you do virtual labs? Also you can do really short "observation" labs. Like 10-15 minutes.

    Though I'll be honest, I don't do nearly as many labs as I would like to.
     
  7. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Jun 2, 2014

    In do not just do labs to do labs, they have to understand what is going on and I give a lab quiz after every lab. I do about 6-8 demos where we discuss everything as we are doing it and I do about 6 labs that they do on their own. I used to do everything as a lab but then when we discussed it after the lab, they had no idea what happened so I do the things that they can easily understand as a lab and the more difficult concepts as a lab. It has also drastically cut down on the cost of labs.
     

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