Science Question

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Peregrin5, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Aug 12, 2014

    So I have a hare-brained idea and I'd like to get some feedback on it.

    I assign lab write-ups frequently. I'm trying to get kids to write their own procedures and lab details a lot more rather than just give it to them.

    I'm thinking this year of simply giving them a paragraph that describes the lab and having them write their own pre-labs before the lab in order to participate in the lab. Part of their task would be identifying the following in the text:

    Investigative Question
    Manipulated Variable
    Responding Variable
    Hypothesis
    Safety
    Materials
    Procedures (numbered step by step format)

    An example lab description might be:

     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Aug 12, 2014

    Sounds fine to me. I do this with 9th graders. I'm sure it will work just as well with 8th.
     
  4. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Aug 12, 2014

    Great idea--It fits into the STEM guidelines and with guidance at first it worked great when I taught 8th grade.
     
  5. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Aug 12, 2014

    You could also start with some super simple labs, a list of possible equipment to choose from, the investigative question, and have them suggest an appropriate procedure.

    The Physics AP exam has some written questions structured somewhat like this.

    I'd like to use written lab reports more often, but most of our earth science labs don't really lend themselves well to that approach.
     
  6. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Aug 12, 2014

    Thanks guys! This gives me a lot more confidence to try this out. I was afraid that this would be too much of a shell-shock to students, and it probably would without scaffolding it. So maybe I might just start with a description and have them determine the investigative question and manipulated and responding variables. Then gradually allow them to start filling in procedures in later labs, and eventually just give them the description and have them do everything.
     
  7. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Aug 18, 2014

    I like your idea. It creates more independence and encourages students to think before they do.
     

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