Reflection: High Quality Task Understanding Nuclear Waste - Section 2: Engage


Annotations are a very important way to help students identify the most important information. In addition, students can organize their annotations into a writing piece.

Typically getting students to write is difficult.  I ask them to annotate and then place the annotations in a bullet point list or in a graphic organizer. With this organization, I ask them to write an introduction and a conclusion and use only the most important information for their summary. Typically I ask for a 5-7 sentence summary. Surprisingly, because the information is so well organized, I have students asking me if they can write a longer summary. "Yes," I say, "But I don't want an essay." They assure me they will keep it short. By breaking the writing into easy pieces, the writing doesn't feel like drudgery and the students perform better than expected.

In the Nuclear Waste Annotations Student Samples, it is clear how the students circled the important vocabulary and how they made the annotations with a U. This makes the process very convenient to write. In addition, the vocabulary is circled so when they write the summary, they can use the paper or my Word Wall. 

  High Quality Task: Annotations
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Understanding Nuclear Waste

Unit 8: Designing for the Future: Nuclear Waste Facility
Lesson 5 of 5

Objective: SWBAT explain the current methods of storing nuclear waste and why the half-life of nuclear waste is important in the design of a nuclear waste facility.

Big Idea: How does the government store nuclear waste? Why does it have to be stored for thousands of years?Students learn about nuclear waste and they conduct an investigation exploring the half-life of nuclear waste.

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