Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge To Be or Not to Be a Neurotransmitter: Exploring the Nature of Common Neurotransmitters! - Section 4: Explain


       While introducing and reading the criteria for a neurotransmitter (slide 5) aloud to the students, it became a very spontaneous, yet natural decision of mine to relate each individual criterion to a component of the Loewi's experiment viewed during the engagement piece of this lesson.  As opposed to sharing my connection directly, through questioning, I assessed students comprehension of not only the investigation itself but how the various steps and observations of the chemical's expression and impact lent itself to the specific criterion outlined on the slide. For instance, when I read that the chemical had to be produced in the neuron, I asked "What evidence do we have from Loewi's investigation that this occurs?" Students in all classes referenced the production of the heart slowing agent when the Vagus Nerve was stimulated electrically in saline water (which did not produce the same biological effect prior to the electrical stimulation). More impressively, when I introduced "the chemical must be found in the neuron", I asked "Is this redundant to another criterion? Explain and site an example." Students replied that sodium is not produced in the neuron but can be found in the neuron to produce an electrical impulse. This gave me an idea of how well students understood the material from the previous unit "Neuron Structure and Function" and that the criterion wasn't redundant. It was an excellent session of discourse and continuous assessment. 

  Connecting the Dots: From Engagement to Explaining!
  Connection to Prior Knowledge: Connecting the Dots: From Engagement to Explaining!
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To Be or Not to Be a Neurotransmitter: Exploring the Nature of Common Neurotransmitters!

Unit 6: Neurotransmitter Chemistry and Mechanism of Action!
Lesson 1 of 10

Objective: Students will construct an argument that supports the categorization of common neurotransmitters and critique the categorization systems of others.

Big Idea: Neurotransmitters are chemicals that are specifically designed to control brain activity, but vary in their chemistry and physiological consequence.

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