Reflection: Classroom Setup Apparent Motion of the Sun Lab - Section 4: Lab-based Computer Time


In my class, we utilize a mobile computer cart, so we have to pass out/collect the computers at the start and end of every class period. In that sense, I very carefully try to be judicious in how the process of doling out the (expensive) laptops take place a manner that's straightforward and as non-chaotic as possible. 

Usually, during the Do Now, I sign up 2-3 kiddos to pass out the materials while the rest of the students are completing the 'Do Now'. I don't have them even open the computers until we're actually ready to utilize them - they use the computers regularly in all of their classes, so they're able to power up, sign in, and get started with relative ease. 

While they're actually working, I'm very clear (before the lesson starts) on what will happen if students are on any non-approved websites - in the sense of this lesson, any website outside of the single animation that they're using. If they're caught (and this hasn't happened yet), they get a zero automatically. I also am very diligent about circulating, and when my students sit in rows, it's easy to see what they're doing vis-a-vis the computer from the back of the room. Like most laboratory or science-based activities, clear expectations in concert with concrete enforcement of those expectations is a key to making sure students are on-task and working with maximal effort.

  Monitoring Computer Time
  Classroom Setup: Monitoring Computer Time
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Apparent Motion of the Sun Lab

Unit 4: The Sun & Insolation
Lesson 4 of 8

Objective: SWBAT complete a lab diagramming the path of the Sun at different points of the year (including shadow distance, seasonal changes, and insolation height at different times of the year) [LAB][2 days]

Big Idea: Students complete a computer-based laboratory simulation of the Sun's path at different latitudes and at different times of the year in this two-day lab

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Science, Earth and Space Science, sun, sunlight, Insolation
  57 minutes
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