Reflection: Gradual Release Lights, Camera and Action Mechanisms of Neurotransmitters - Section 3: Explore


In this section, I found it helpful to do two things as I facilitated students through the exploration activities:

      a) Continuously weave in the significance of the oscilloscope to the material presented. For instance,  while introducing the first activity, I made certain to emphasize that the data presented at the top of the sheet was produced by an oscilloscope. We, as a class then aligned the significance of the one peak on the oscilloscope's image to the vertical lines presented on the diagram via simple question prompts (eg. What do you think each line represents?, How does that compare to what we see on our papers?, etc. ). In a nutshell, it was helpful to students that they comprehended t the simplified representation of the action potential on the worksheet prior to diving into the task at hand.

    b)  Walk students through Case A on the Neuron in Series activity on the board prior to letting them complete cases b-d in partners. Demonstrate to them how to interact with the text to clarify their thoughts. For example, I read the first statement of the case, asked students where the critical information was, underlined it as per their responses with a specific color, and created a symbol (using the same color) to represent the chemical highlighted in that particular statement. Then, I asked students: "Where might I place this colored symbol on the diagram?". I allowed students to dictate it's placement and to justify it so that they continuously interacted with the text to extract and grasp information. Finally, I repeated these steps with the subsequent statements in the text. Overall, this helped students to interface with the material multiple times and mull over the material before filling in their data tables. Students found this very helpful (empowered them to be more independent) to complete the task. (See Exploration Pics 1-3)

  Gradual Release: Making the Connection!
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Lights, Camera and Action Mechanisms of Neurotransmitters

Unit 6: Neurotransmitter Chemistry and Mechanism of Action!
Lesson 2 of 10

Objective: Students will interpret neurotransmitter data to deduce how one neuron influences the action of another.

Big Idea: Neurotransmitters have the potential to exude inhibitory or excitatory actions on neurons which control the traffic of signals in the brain's roadways.

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