Instructional Openings

Experience Based Lab Introductions

Experience Based Lab Introductions is a strategy I use to get students to start thinking about their prior knowledge and how it can be applied to a problem or challenge. For example, I use the story about Who Polluted the Clark Fork to set the stage for our water filter lab. The story allows students to use their knowledge-base to answer simple questions throughout the story. As the activity continues, I see students' perspectives change as more elements and variables are added to the story. The stories peak students' interest and bring a call to action into a classroom activity. This strategy is embedded in the Conceptual Change Model, where I'm trying to expose students' beliefs, confront and accommodate those beliefs, and then extend the concept to help students move beyond their misconceptions.

Strategy Resources (3)
Lesson Plan
 
 
This is the lesson I use for the Who Polluted the Clark Fork activity, where I'm trying to get students to think about their beliefs. I have adapted this lesson to include information about our local area, which is why I have changed Potomac to Clark Fork. I also included historical information about mining from our area, as well as made connections to the ranching community my students live in. This lesson is easily adaptable to any location. (Credit: Northeastern)
Teacher In Action
 
 
This is a link to a demonstration we did on waves. During Demo Wednesday's, I often ask students a lot of questions at the beginning of the demonstration about what they are observing. This questioning helps me better understand how they are approaching what they are seeing. Demo Wednesday helps bring students' experiences into the science classroom by exposing their beliefs based on their prior experiences.
Lesson Plan
 
 
This is the lesson I use for the Who Polluted the Clark Fork activity, where I'm trying to get students to think about their beliefs. I have adapted this lesson to include information about our local area, which is why I have changed Potomac to Clark Fork. I also included historical information about mining from our area, as well as made connections to the ranching community my students live in. This lesson is easily adaptable to any location. (Credit: Northeastern)
Teacher In Action
 
 
This is a link to a demonstration we did on waves. During Demo Wednesday's, I often ask students a lot of questions at the beginning of the demonstration about what they are observing. This questioning helps me better understand how they are approaching what they are seeing. Demo Wednesday helps bring students' experiences into the science classroom by exposing their beliefs based on their prior experiences.
Jessica Anderson
Powell County High School
Deer Lodge, MT


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Moderate
Subject:
Science
Grade:
Ninth grade
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Learning Apps
Jessi's Digital Content and Tech Tools

There are an infinite number of digital content providers and tech tools and education programs a blended teacher can choose to use in her classroom. Check out how and why Jessi uses specific digital content and ed tech tools!

 
Academic Culture
Treasure Map

The Treasure Map is a strategy I use to help my students progress through levels in a self-paced environment without setting deadlines for them. My students record when they start a level and when they end a level. If they complete the level in a given amount of time, they receive a piece of the Treasure Map. When my students complete four levels within the given time, they earn a free A (like contracting for an A). This strategy would also work with other forms of rewards, not just awards linked to a grade or extra credit.

 
Assessment & Data
Socrative Digital Assessment Tool

Socrative is a Digital Assessment tool I use to conduct formative assessments. For example, during a recent activity I used socrative to assess students' misconceptions or misunderstandings about porosity and permeability when discussing groundwater. The students took the four question quiz and the results were displayed on the board for students and myself to view. From the data I was able to make decisions about my teaching in the next 40 minutes based on the results of the quiz. As a blended learning teacher, I particularly like Socrative as a formative assessment tool because it lets me choose how I my students will be assessed. I can choose to have them do it self-paced, to give instant feedback, or to guide the entire quiz myself. I love the flexibility in this tool and the instant data I receive from it. 

 
 
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