Science Labs - Need advice on quick set ups and take downs.

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Sci, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. Sci

    Sci New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 26, 2011

    My school asks that about 85% of our days have some type of lab activity. These range from full labs that take up multiple days to 10 minute "quick labs", such as putting a pencil in water to observe refraction.

    I am the only 8th grade teacher and I teach 2 preps. This means that some weeks I am setting up and taking down up to 8 labs! I am looking for advice on how to make the process go quicker. Here are things I do now:
    1) I usually run 8 lab groups. When setting up a lab, I put the supplies into 8 bins and each group just picks one up.
    2) I try to store things that I'll need for a lab all together so it is easier to get out.
    3) The science storage room is in another location in the building so I have a section of my room where I put "to be stored" materials.

    Last year I found myself so backed up that the "to be stored" area looked like a cluttered mess! My students are pretty good in following the rule of "Don't touch any lab equipment without permission" But I fear with so much clutter, something might go missing or get broken.

    Help!
     
  2.  
  3. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Messages:
    2,397
    Likes Received:
    4

    Jul 26, 2011

    Could you set aside a certain time every week to clear the "to be stored" area? I have to do this with a couple areas of my room--I don't leave on Friday until they are clean.
     
  4. KateL

    KateL Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jul 26, 2011

    Does you school have any student TAs? If not, see if you can start doing this! In the middle school where I used to teach, the 8th graders who didn't want to take an elective like art or choir could choose to work for a teacher or in the office instead. I had 2 TAs last year, and I couldn't have done as many labs as I did without them. I would set up the bin for one group, then have them set up the rest of the bins. They also washed the equipment and put it away after labs. They received a grade from me for their work. If they finished their work early, they got study hall for the rest of the period (we didn't have any other study halls in the daily schedule). I highly recommend TAs!
     
  5. Sci

    Sci New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 26, 2011

    I love the idea of TAs. We don't have any, but we do have students who get to school early. Maybe I can recruit them to help me out.
     
  6. RebekahD

    RebekahD New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 26, 2011

    I need some ideas as to how you keep your lab organized. I am going to do A LOT more this year and do you use journals?
     
  7. ybmiuq

    ybmiuq Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 27, 2011

    I don't know if you could use my method, but here it is.
    I have worked in hospital and industrial chemistry labs. Everything was always left out for easy access. So in teaching I leave out a lot of equipment. I let students use some equipment (not all chemicals or other dangerous things) during noon hour or down time so they can run their own little experiments - like trying things they might think of later on. I have students set up the labs. Usually I tell them to go find the answer to a problem using whatever lab equipment is out there. Sometimes to get them to understand, I tell them I don't care if they use a ten-ton truck to get the answer.
    Other teachers have told me they like my idea of leaving things out for two reasons:
    1, they say that the lab equipment is there for the students and
    2, when they need to use some equipment for their classes, it is easier to glance about my room rather than going through cabinets.
    I do ask other teachers to give me a list of stuff they take or borrow.
    Students do not tend to steal things maybe because I have a system where other students can anonymously rat out thieves and vandals.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. catnfiddle,
  2. waterfall
Total: 202 (members: 2, guests: 173, robots: 27)
test