Reflection: Routines and Procedures Getting Food to The Cells (3) - Section 3: Understand and Describe the Problem


This is the kind of lesson that can be made or broken by student behavior.  It is difficult to manage because it is OUTSIDE of the normal routines and practices.  Students are sitting on the floors, there are periods where you are talking to some students and leaving others alone, there is some natural confusion and misunderstanding as the simulation starts, and students are passing items from one to another.

Despite this, it can be a powerful experience.  At the end students will say things like, "Wow, I didn't realize it was that complicated,"  "It is hard to manage that many parts,"  and "It really helped me see how it worked together."  

Some things you can do when students are working outside routines and procedures are;

1. Start slowly and be clear with students about your expectations.

2. Make a list on the board of behaviors students can use to help organize the activity. 

3. Give students a post- it note and have them describe the structure and function of their part while you are getting the students into place.

I was being evaluated while I did this, this year.  My evaluator wrote, "They struggled to understand roles at first, however demonstrated more understanding as they started to participate."  This is pretty much par for the course for this activity.  I have never done it once without thinking it was powerful and I've never done it without being exhausted and mildly frustrated!

  Management is Key
  Routines and Procedures: Management is Key
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Getting Food to The Cells (3)

Unit 4: Life is Organized: Systems and Cells
Lesson 3 of 7

Objective: Students will be able to model the functioning and connections of the Digestive, Circulatory, and Respiratory systems.

Big Idea: Getting food and oxygen to the cells takes a lot of parts and coordination!

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