Reflection: Coherence Punnett and The Rules - Section 6: You Do Together

 

It is very tempting to present this lesson, demonstrating how to construct and interpret a Punnett square and then having students go ahead and practice, what you just said, with nothing else in-between. After all, it is not a very complex task. However, this often leaves the students confused. They see you do it effortlessly, and when it's time to do it on their own they realize that they need more understanding than just to execute the proceedure. This is why I borrowed the gradual release strategy used by Language Arts teachers.

The strategy starts with the teacher assuming all the responsibility for performing a task and slowly shifting said responsibility to the students, through leading questions and providing support as needed. In this case, I work presented a couple of examples in the presentation, and as I moved along, I elicited more and more answers from the students themselves. By structuring the lesson this way I gave the students an opportunity to see how the task is performed, we practiced together, the students practiced with support from each other, until finally they were able to do it on their own.

This strategy can be used any time you introduce a new task, and works well with students of all levels because it reaches them in their "zone of proximal development".

  Gradual Release
  Coherence: Gradual Release
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Punnett and The Rules

Unit 6: Genetics
Lesson 7 of 14

Objective: Students will be able to set-up and complete a Punnett Square.

Big Idea: Traits are defined by directions encoded in genes.

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