Reflection: Joy Using Toys to Explore Enzyme Activity in DNA Replication (Day 2 of 2) - Section 3: The Classroom Flow: Collecting Data from Student Designed Experiments

 

My experiences with this lab working with students on inquiry based questions they came up with on their own is a happy memory of our year together in class.

At this point in the year, students students don't tend to need much support in terms of their work flow in their groups for engaging activities like this.  What they do want is affirmation and a sense of community where we all celebrate their discovery moments.  It is really fun and necessary for students to feel that their expression of excitement is exactly what we want them to be feeling during science investigations!  The more they associate our work with fun and collaboration, the more willing they will be to delve deeper into the science terminology and big ideas and the more confidence they will have when doing so.  It makes a big difference to be the cheerleader this session rather than sit apart from the kids while they work because they don't need redirection or a bathroom pass.  I truly enjoyed every moment of this lab experience with my kids--they felt truly connected to the process and incredibly proud of the deeper understanding they found for themselves for a topic they remember being challenged by early on in the school year.  

This was a brand new activity for our class and it was was so successful the first day I added in this second day of investigation immediately with very little time to meticulously plan out my teaching strategies.  I was able to trust that my students and I could navigate a freer space and loose objectives while I simultaneously observed and participated in our session based upon all of the careful work, close attention, and earnest effort we had put into our class throughout the year.  What this activity reminded me of is that in our classroom, students aren't the only engaged learners; we teachers are learning partners too.  Taking risks, enjoying the process, and congratulating ourselves on small successes are all pieces of advice we give out kids and for this lesson, I took my own advice and had a memorable experience as a teacher and partner in the room with my students.  

  Learning as a Mood Booster
  Joy: Learning as a Mood Booster
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Using Toys to Explore Enzyme Activity in DNA Replication (Day 2 of 2)

Unit 7: Unit 7: DNA & Protein Synthesis
Lesson 14 of 22

Objective: SWBAT connect their understanding of basic enzyme structure and function to the specific work of DNA polymerase in DNA replication.

Big Idea: Your kids will be amazed and engaged as they simulate enzyme action using Hexbug toys and see that enzymes really do speed up chemical reactions!

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dna polymerase 3d
 
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