Reflection: Conferencing pHantastic Chemical Reactions Day 2 - Section 9: Conferencing in Small Groups

 

Of any strategy I have ever implemented, sorting formative assessments to create conference groups of learners with similar needs is among the most influential on student growth and learning.  Many students learn and are able to focus so much better in small groups.  And, students have a much higher vested interest in your instruction when they know it pertains specifically to them.  Moreover, when they have their work in front of them to compare, your feedback becomes way more useful to the student.  I used to spend so much time writing all of these comments on papers that students would shove in their binders and never read.  However, pulling these small groups for discussions and mini lessons provides the students a situation where I know they are getting the feedback they need.

There may be an initial concern as you think, "While I am meeting with a conference group, what are the other students doing?  Can the other students 'survive' and learn without me?"  I will tell you from my experience, the answer is yes!  In fact, the students gain an independence that for me has reduced problems.  Now, are there students that will sometimes get off task while you are conferencing?  We all know with middle school attention spans and brain development, they will.  However, I would argue that it is just as much or less than they would have if you had been circulating the classroom.

If you are able to build a culture of respect and trust for the lab and high expectations for work and learning, there are only positives that result.  Students receive instruction tailored to their own needs and can make real growth with this extra instruction.  

If you have never tried this, I would highly encourage you to "give it a go"!  Student learning will increase!

  Using Formative Assessments and Conferencing In Small Groups
  Conferencing: Using Formative Assessments and Conferencing In Small Groups
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pHantastic Chemical Reactions Day 2

Unit 6: Chemical Properties and Reactions
Lesson 7 of 9

Objective: Students will be able to identify evidence that the chemical properties of the reactants and products are different in a chemical reaction and identify common acids and based by measuring pH using various indicators.

Big Idea: Students try to find an explanation when the teacher models a new medical innovation by revealing a "bloody" hand print! Students also create a rainbow of bubbles in a test tube, write a mystery message, and more during labs on chemical changes!

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10 teachers like this lesson
Subject(s):
Science, Acids and Bases, acids, pH, acid-base reactions, Chemical Reactions and Balancing, physical properties, middle school, chemical reaction, chemical properties, hydrogen ion, hydroxide ion, base, pH indicator, signs of a chemical change, chemical change, physical change, reaction
  140 minutes
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