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
Learning Apps
Digital Distribution (Doctopus)

Doctopus is a widget you can use in Google to distribute documents. I use Doctopus because it's the only tool that I know of that will allow me to distribute a copy of a document to each student in view only mode (Google Classroom at this point only allows for edit only mode). I use Doctopus to distribute the Quest Contracts to students so that each student has access to the document (please see my "Model Overview" to learn about Quest Contracts). I have viewing and editing privileges, whereas each student only has viewing privileges. This widget allows me to update my students' Quest Contracts on my iPad after they have mastered an activity. The student can then go into the same document and view what they have completed and what they still need to complete. Doctopus also works with Google Classroom to allow me to important Google Classroom rosters. 

 
Mindsets
Jessi's Mindsets

A blended teacher’s personal mindsets shape her  decisions as an educator. These mindsets influence general pedagogies, instructional approaches, and short-term decision making, alike. Check out how Jessi’s mindsets have helped to shape her blended instruction.

 
Instructional Planning
Jessi's Approach to Planning

Planning is an essential part of a blended teacher’s practice. In blended environments, where students can be at different points in a course on various modalities, blended teachers need to be very intentional about how they plan. Check out the video below to see how Jessi plans for instruction in her blended classroom.


 
 
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