Science Labs

Discussion in 'High School' started by isomerismqueen, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. isomerismqueen

    isomerismqueen Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2007

    Science Teachers,

    Do you allow students out of their seats during experiments?

    This will be my second year to teach, but last year, I couldn't allow anyone out of their seats during labs because during a time when they had this privelege....they set my trash can on fire ...by "accident"...

    I would love to hear ideas on managing labs without an aide or good ideas you have.

    Thanks.
     
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  3. Lyquidphyre

    Lyquidphyre Comrade

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    Aug 17, 2007

    Do you have safety contracts?

    You should tell them if they do anything on purpose or on "accident" that looks like it was on purpose (or you document previous lab problems) they will get a zero for the lab and a detention. This should be detailed in the syllabus and in the safety contract the students (and parents) sign. Also, there usually is no reason for the kids to be out of their chairs, so you might want to stress that at the beginning- there should be no roaming in your class during labs or lecture.. or however you want to word it.

    The more preventative steps you make- safety contract, specific lab rules and your serious attitude about lab conduct- the better off you are =o)
     
  4. isomerismqueen

    isomerismqueen Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2007

    Science Labs - Preventing "Accidents"

    Safety Contract - Yes. It has the lab rules on one side, and the blurb about I will abide by these rules...blah blah on the other.

    I guess I'm also concerned about setting up labs back to back...one period right after another. How do you have time to do that?
     
  5. Lyquidphyre

    Lyquidphyre Comrade

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    Aug 19, 2007

    This will be my first year, but I plan to have bell ringers for them to do the first 5min of class... maybe if you had something similar that would give you time to set up the lab.

    OR you could have a system where, lets say you need 4 test tubes, a flask and 10 Q-tips.. have them all up at your desk and after you explain what to do for the lab have a specific person get the supplies for the desk. You could assign lab groups and there would be a person to gather materials, read the procedure to the group before starting, someone to clean up lab and another person to write down what happened. Hope that makes sense.. hehe =o)
     
  6. isomerismqueen

    isomerismqueen Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2007

    ah, that's true. I need to make more use of the kids. I know setting up the labs last year I was killing myself because I wouldn't allow them out of their seats...so I had everything in tubs for them. SOOO time consuming.
     
  7. Lyquidphyre

    Lyquidphyre Comrade

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    Aug 19, 2007

    I definitely think assigning lab tasks would be really good and make a rule "once you start your lab, you are not allowed to get up."
     
  8. my58vw

    my58vw Rookie

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    Aug 20, 2007

    I teach chemistry, and this year I will have 38 kids in my biggest class. During the last two days of the first week we do lab safety. The students on the first day are instructed in lab safety, some of the possible consequences (not classroom management), like blindness, etc, and I send home a contract the student and parent signs, and the student brings back. One the second day we do some more specific lab safety ideas, then we have a lab safety test. The students must get 80 percent on the test, and will retake it everyday at lunch until they pass. If they don't pass it before the first lab, they have to come in after school and do the lab with me.

    In the safety contract the students sign that they will not perform any unauthorized experimentation without asking me first. They are also told that if they catch something on fire, cause major incorrect reactions, turn on the gas when not instructed, etc. I will investigate, and if it is found they they did something incorrect on purpose they will loose their entire lab points, and be referred to the office. There is zero tolerance in my lab groups. Not leaving their seats will not solve the problem, good lab management will.
     
  9. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Aug 20, 2007

    That sounds really good to me. My son's science teacher did the same thing.
     
  10. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Aug 20, 2007

    I have not had a problem in chemistry in the 10 years that I have taught it. I also have a zero tolerance policy because any major problem in the lab and they do not do any labs for the rest of the school year. I am very firm on this issue and have only had to revoke lab priviledges on time in my 10 years of teaching.
     
  11. sc teacher

    sc teacher Rookie

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    Aug 21, 2007

    Hi new teacher ,
    At first I would like to know your name.
    Yes I allow students because they need to pick up materials or any thing might help them to do their experiment.Have a good time.
    SC TEACHER adam
     
  12. sc teacher

    sc teacher Rookie

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    Aug 21, 2007

    Hi science teachers,
    I think it depends on what the experiment is . Do they work in group to do their experiment?
     
  13. aciervo

    aciervo Rookie

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    Aug 21, 2007

    I tend to do more student-centered, cooperative and inquiry based activities than labs. I find the students are more engaged in these types of lessons. This saves a lot of headaches since the lessons are easy to manage and there are hardly ever any chemicals involved. In fact, you mainly just have to roam the room to make sure the students are working and prompt each group with questions. Your students deserve to get out of their seats every so often, and this way the classroom remains a safe place.

    I find that most labs are boring for students. The students are ususally just following a set of steps already laid out and they are to come up with a definite answer. If the students are to discover something new to them or solve a problem using critical thinking than the lab is worthwhile.

    Another idea is to turn your potentially dangerous labs into demos where you display the effects of the experiment to the students. This way you are in control the whole time.
     
  14. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

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    Aug 21, 2007

    "I find that most labs are boring for students."

    I don't know what labs you are doing, but my kids love lab days. They would prefer a lab over any other activity (except for the write up section of it).

    I do let my kids get up. If they can not behave in lab they are sent out. Because they like labs they tend to act appropriately.
     
  15. aciervo

    aciervo Rookie

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    Aug 22, 2007

    If a lab is teacher-centered, in which most labs are, they are pretty much what I said "boring" and "worthless."

    Students tend to like "lab days" because they get out of their desks and play around. I choose to give activities that are engaging and require critical thinking. I'm not at all trying to be condescending but didn't you learn about teaching science as inquiry in your credential program in AZ?
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Aug 22, 2007

    I loved lab days when I was in high school, and we did the plain old "follow a set of directions" type labs.

    What made it interesting to me was that all the stuff I was doing was new to me, even if it wasn't some huge breakthrough in the scientific community. My science teachers were big on wanting us to discover the world for ourselves, even if we needed a little guidance along the way.

    I sure don't see anything wrong with doing traditional lab work.
     
  17. sc teacher

    sc teacher Rookie

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    Aug 22, 2007

    lab

    Hi member,
    Yes I agree with you .My students also tend to like the day lab because they have the opportunity to have a chat and move around.
     
  18. SciTeacherNY

    SciTeacherNY Companion

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    Aug 22, 2007

    This is my second year teaching science as well and I did allow the students out of their seats. Lab is definitely a hectic time. My suggestion is you keep the kids on task the entire time. Hold them accountable for everything. First demonstrate what they need to do and then remind them where they should be every 10 minutes to keep them on pace. Do not give them extra time, if you know they were just fooling around. Also assign lab partners. At my school last year, they did not do this, but at my new school I am definitely going to do this. It is imperative that the students know what they need to complete before the end of the period so they are on task the entire time. If you give them free time or additional time, they will not take the work as seriously.
     

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