Instructional Openings

Experience Based Lab Introductions

Experience Based Lab Introductions is a strategy I use to get students to start thinking about their prior knowledge and how it can be applied to a problem or challenge. For example, I use the story about Who Polluted the Clark Fork to set the stage for our water filter lab. The story allows students to use their knowledge-base to answer simple questions throughout the story. As the activity continues, I see students' perspectives change as more elements and variables are added to the story. The stories peak students' interest and bring a call to action into a classroom activity. This strategy is embedded in the Conceptual Change Model, where I'm trying to expose students' beliefs, confront and accommodate those beliefs, and then extend the concept to help students move beyond their misconceptions.

Strategy Resources (3)
Lesson Plan
 
 
This is the lesson I use for the Who Polluted the Clark Fork activity, where I'm trying to get students to think about their beliefs. I have adapted this lesson to include information about our local area, which is why I have changed Potomac to Clark Fork. I also included historical information about mining from our area, as well as made connections to the ranching community my students live in. This lesson is easily adaptable to any location. (Credit: Northeastern)
Teacher In Action
 
 
This is a link to a demonstration we did on waves. During Demo Wednesday's, I often ask students a lot of questions at the beginning of the demonstration about what they are observing. This questioning helps me better understand how they are approaching what they are seeing. Demo Wednesday helps bring students' experiences into the science classroom by exposing their beliefs based on their prior experiences.
Lesson Plan
 
 
This is the lesson I use for the Who Polluted the Clark Fork activity, where I'm trying to get students to think about their beliefs. I have adapted this lesson to include information about our local area, which is why I have changed Potomac to Clark Fork. I also included historical information about mining from our area, as well as made connections to the ranching community my students live in. This lesson is easily adaptable to any location. (Credit: Northeastern)
Teacher In Action
 
 
This is a link to a demonstration we did on waves. During Demo Wednesday's, I often ask students a lot of questions at the beginning of the demonstration about what they are observing. This questioning helps me better understand how they are approaching what they are seeing. Demo Wednesday helps bring students' experiences into the science classroom by exposing their beliefs based on their prior experiences.
Jessica Anderson
Powell County High School
Deer Lodge, MT


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Moderate
Subject:
Science
Grade:
Ninth grade
Similar Strategies
Feedback Systems
Grade Contracts

Grade Contracts are a strategy I use to assess my students' progress towards mastery of defined sets of content and skill objectives and to provide feedback on their development at the end of each level in my blended learning class. Students review the mastery requirements for each level and decide whether they will pursue an "A," "B," "C," or "D" contract; in so doing, they understand and commit to what they must know and be able to do in order to earn the letter grade of the contracts they have chosen. Grade Contracts eliminate the superficiality of number grades on individual assignments and focus my students' attention on authentic demonstrations of mastery over time. This strategy also empowers my students to challenge themselves and to monitor and take responsibility for their own learning, which is an essential mindset shift in my largely self-paced class.  

 
Assessment & Data
Socrative Digital Assessment Tool

Socrative is a Digital Assessment tool I use to conduct formative assessments. For example, during a recent activity I used socrative to assess students' misconceptions or misunderstandings about porosity and permeability when discussing groundwater. The students took the four question quiz and the results were displayed on the board for students and myself to view. From the data I was able to make decisions about my teaching in the next 40 minutes based on the results of the quiz. As a blended learning teacher, I particularly like Socrative as a formative assessment tool because it lets me choose how I my students will be assessed. I can choose to have them do it self-paced, to give instant feedback, or to guide the entire quiz myself. I love the flexibility in this tool and the instant data I receive from it. 

 
Assessment & Data
Jessi's Use of Assessments and Data

Assessment and data play a crucial role in a blended teacher’s classroom. Blended learning gives teachers an opportunity to assess consistently throughout a class, in a way that drives instruction, impacts grouping, and assignments. Blended educators need to develop capacity to sift through multiple sources of data and synthesizes quickly into action. Check out how Jessi utilizes Assessment and Data here.

 
Something went wrong. See details for more info
Nothing to upload
details
close