Collaborative Student Groups

Critical Friends: Portfolio Preparation

Getting high school students to collaborate effectively can be tricky, though certain digital tools do a great job of making teamwork more seamless. Groups in my class keep document their lab activities using video recording, Youtube, and Google Apps for Ed, and compile Wikispaces digital portfolios with their work (see “Lab Documentation” strategy). Before submitting final drafts students engage in a Critical Friends review period where groups present their portfolios and offer critical feedback. First, each group gets Portfolio Preparation planning time where they can revisit the data they’ve collected, make sure all charts, tables, graphs, images, and videos are accurate, and pair them with solid written analyses. Labs are power learning activities, but oftentimes students are too busy trying to “complete work” instead of reflecting on the meaning of their results. Groups exhibit better teamwork when they have time allotted specifically to prepare portfolios, ultimately leading to more polished lab reports and focused class time.

Strategy Resources (4)
Student Work Sample
 
 
Use of content hosting platforms like wikispaces make it easy for other groups to see each section of a group's portfolio, and offer feedback in a streamlined process. Neopolitan Dynamite's "Can You Make 2.00 Grams of a Compound" lab is featured in this public wikispaces page with procedure videos removed for privacy concerns.
Rubric
 
 
This is the science fair rubric that students made last year based on the lab report issues that emerged across all submitted work. When students make the rubric themselves, they are much more inclined to follow along with it!
Student Work Sample
 
 
The end of the year science fair pulls everything together for one cohesive project that paints a clearer picture as to how far students have come in their ability to design and implement lab experiments. I provide them with guidelines for each piece of their lab development to highlight what protocol must be followed and remind them what parts are crucial in the process.
Rubric
 
 
This is the science fair rubric that students made last year based on the lab report issues that emerged across all submitted work. When students make the rubric themselves, they are much more inclined to follow along with it!
Student Work Sample
 
 
The end of the year science fair pulls everything together for one cohesive project that paints a clearer picture as to how far students have come in their ability to design and implement lab experiments. I provide them with guidelines for each piece of their lab development to highlight what protocol must be followed and remind them what parts are crucial in the process.
Student Work Sample
 
 
Use of content hosting platforms like wikispaces make it easy for other groups to see each section of a group's portfolio, and offer feedback in a streamlined process. Neopolitan Dynamite's "Can You Make 2.00 Grams of a Compound" lab is featured in this public wikispaces page with procedure videos removed for privacy concerns.
Jeff Astor
Cindy and Bill Simon Technology Academy High School
Los Angeles, CA


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Long
Subject:
Science
Grade:
Eleventh grade
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