Learning Apps

Self-Paced Lab Documentation

Organizing labs that span over a number of classes requires a substantial amount of pre-planning. The benefits of proper Lab Documentation are potentially enormous for students. Lab Documentation ensures that I can follow students through every step of the lab process even when groups are completing different segments within varying timeframes. Students develop lab procedures on Google Docs, create charts/tables/graphs on Google Sheets, and compile lab portfolios on wikispaces. By hosting their work on Google Apps for Education, my students can easily collaborate with group mates and me on a lab activity over the course of a week or more. During this time, I can ask probing questions, offer insight on effective lab methods and tactics, work directly on their documents, and help students record their labs with media-capture tools. Being able to analyze video of the lab procedure next to the results it produced provides my students a great means to produce high-quality lab reports, which they can publish to the web and their group wikispace pages.

Strategy Resources (4)
Student Work Sample
 
 
Students work on each piece of their lab in Google Docs, and then insert the final product into their wikispaces portfolio. These portfolios hold the complete body of work that students produce, and are shared with anyone that the student feels comfortable showing. Having a publically visible product promotes individual and group accountability, while at the same time gives students a tangible entity to be proud of and celebrate. This year's Frying Nemo group compiled the entirety of their Flamin' Hot Cheetos project into a Google Doc and inserted different pieces into the corresponding wikispaces pages.
Student Handout
 
 
The end of the year science fair pulls everything together for one cohesive project that paints a clearer picture as to how far my students have come in their ability to design and implement lab experiments. I provide them with guidelines for each piece of their lab development to highlight what protocol must be followed and remind them what parts are crucial in the process.
Online Student Resource
 
 
My Do-It-Yourself Air Conditioner lab incorporates a variety of scaffolds and gets students thinking about collision theory and how hot particles transfer energy to cold particles. Students construct their own air conditioners out of kitchen materials and test their efficacy. Building and designing projects like this make labs more meaningful and meet NGSS engineering and design criteria for thermal energy transfer standards.
Student Handout
 
 
The end of the year science fair pulls everything together for one cohesive project that paints a clearer picture as to how far my students have come in their ability to design and implement lab experiments. I provide them with guidelines for each piece of their lab development to highlight what protocol must be followed and remind them what parts are crucial in the process.
Online Student Resource
 
 
My Do-It-Yourself Air Conditioner lab incorporates a variety of scaffolds and gets students thinking about collision theory and how hot particles transfer energy to cold particles. Students construct their own air conditioners out of kitchen materials and test their efficacy. Building and designing projects like this make labs more meaningful and meet NGSS engineering and design criteria for thermal energy transfer standards.
Student Work Sample
 
 
Students work on each piece of their lab in Google Docs, and then insert the final product into their wikispaces portfolio. These portfolios hold the complete body of work that students produce, and are shared with anyone that the student feels comfortable showing. Having a publically visible product promotes individual and group accountability, while at the same time gives students a tangible entity to be proud of and celebrate. This year's Frying Nemo group compiled the entirety of their Flamin' Hot Cheetos project into a Google Doc and inserted different pieces into the corresponding wikispaces pages.
Jeff Astor
Cindy and Bill Simon Technology Academy High School
Los Angeles, CA


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Long
Subject:
Science
Grade:
Tenth grade
Similar Strategies
Academic Culture
Station Expectations

Students in my self-paced blended classroom work in groups every day to complete a series of activities we call "Learning Stations." Learning Stations provide multiple ways in which my students can demonstrate mastery and build a digital portfolio of content to draw on throughout the year. By creating groups in which my students are paired up according to their supported reading and lexile levels, I foster a collaborative culture in which students don't feel singled out and high quality products can be produced by all groups. To alleviate the stress that sometimes accompanies engagement with highly targeted, rigorous activities, I allow my students to choose Station activities that most appropriately address the Learning Targets (please see the "Learning Targets" strategy video) they might struggle with or want to improve in. Reinforcing Station Expectations with explicit instructions at the beginning of each class is a strategy that ensures that my students understand what is expected of them during the period.

 
Blended Learning Model Overviews
Flipped Mastery Model

I use a Flipped Mastery model of instruction. In this model, students watch videos of lessons that I have recorded and posted on the class website, answer a set of practice problems to hone their skills, and take a Mastery Quiz when they feel ready to show they have mastered the material. I provide 1:1 coaching and support throughout the process. If students pass a quiz, they move onto the next lesson. If they fail, they are required to do another practice assignment before re-trying the quiz.  There is no failing in my class.  Either you know something or you’re still learning how to do that thing, but there’s no in-between.

Number of Students: ~22-28 students

Number of Adults: two teachers (co-teaching model)

Length of Class Period/Learning Time: 110 minutes

Digital Content/Ed Tech Tools Used on a Regular Basis: IXL; SMART Notebook; Screencast-O-Matic; Weebly; PowerSchool; Kahoot!; Google Forms

Hardware Used on a Regular Basis: SMARTboard; Wacom Tablet; Amplify Teacher Tablet (for teacher); Mac PowerBook (for teacher)

Key Features: flipped-mastery; competency-based; student agency; co-teaching

 
Feedback Systems
Student Feedback Surveys

Flipped Mastery is a new model for not only the students, but for me as well - so I went into the year knowing that there needed to be a process for feedback and refinement. I created a monthly survey for students to take, what was working for them and what needed to be improved. The surveys were created on Google Forms and were made accessible on the class website home page. Based on the survey results, I made adjustments to the class structure throughout the year. When students saw their suggestions impacted how the class was run, it made them feel their voices were valued, which helped with the individual buy-in of many students.


 
 
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