Collaborative Student Groups

Partner Lab Investigations

Partner Labs are investigatons that require more than one student in the group. These labs require my students to work together to come up with a solution to a problem or to conduct an experiment. Some of my favorite activities to do with my students are The Virtual Thinking Project (PBL), and the Solar Oven and Cooler design projects. These projects require students to work collaboratively together, often in the lab, to engineer solutions to problems or to perform experiments.

Strategy Resources (4)
Lesson Plan
 
 
This link shows the lesson and rubric for the solar oven activity I do with my students. This activity is another example of projects that require students to work in small lab groups to design a solution to a problem. This particular activity focuses on convection, radiation, and conduction. It is used in conjunction with the cooler design activity. Students are given a choice on which activity they want to complete.
Lesson Plan
 
 
This link shows the lesson and rubric for the cooler design activity I do with my students. This activity is another example of projects that require students to work in small lab groups to design a solution to a problem. This particular activity focuses on convection, radiation, and conduction. It is used in conjunction with the solar oven activity. Students are given a choose on which one they would like to design.
Lesson Plan
 
 
"This link shows a lesson plan for the Virtual Thinking Project I do with my 9th grade earth science every year. This project is is a global collaborative project concerning problems and/or issues within the topic of Global Climate Change. The project focuses on students’ creative thinking, ability to develop innovative solutions to tackle challenging problems, and to communicate, collaborate, share and publish virtually using a variety of digital environments. This project is an extended project (PBL), but requires students to work in small groups to come up with a solution to a problem."
Lesson Plan
 
 
This link shows the lesson and rubric for the cooler design activity I do with my students. This activity is another example of projects that require students to work in small lab groups to design a solution to a problem. This particular activity focuses on convection, radiation, and conduction. It is used in conjunction with the solar oven activity. Students are given a choose on which one they would like to design.
Lesson Plan
 
 
"This link shows a lesson plan for the Virtual Thinking Project I do with my 9th grade earth science every year. This project is is a global collaborative project concerning problems and/or issues within the topic of Global Climate Change. The project focuses on students’ creative thinking, ability to develop innovative solutions to tackle challenging problems, and to communicate, collaborate, share and publish virtually using a variety of digital environments. This project is an extended project (PBL), but requires students to work in small groups to come up with a solution to a problem."
Lesson Plan
 
 
This link shows the lesson and rubric for the solar oven activity I do with my students. This activity is another example of projects that require students to work in small lab groups to design a solution to a problem. This particular activity focuses on convection, radiation, and conduction. It is used in conjunction with the cooler design activity. Students are given a choice on which activity they want to complete.
Jessica Anderson
Powell County High School
Deer Lodge, MT


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Long
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.  

 
Learning Apps
ThingLink for PBL in Science

ThingLink is an online software used to make images interactive. This year, I've used it during a project/problem-based learning (PBL) activity, in which students did a series of tasks to collect data on a soil site of their choice (please see my "Model Overview" to learn about how I use Levels in my classroom). They collected this data and saved it for the final activity, the Soil Report, which asked the students to compile all the information they learned about their soil site and to post it on a ThingLink. This ThingLink was then used to make a target on the larger map of Paracini Ponds (the field site we visited), which was also its own ThingLink. The insight I was looking to gain from the completion of this activity was whether students could take scientific data from a field exercise, analyze it, and make a decision about how the land should be used. 

 
Small-Group Instruction
Small Group Sessions

Small Group Sessions are used for student sharing or to conduct small-group direct instruction. Students within these groups are usually working on the same content in the level or are struggling with the same topic/skill and need further instruction from me. Small Group Sessions allow me to gauge a student's understanding of content and promote the importance of sharing and talking about learning. During Small Group Sessions, I actively listen to students talk about the content we are discussing. I also use this time as an opportunity to question their thinking and formatively assess their understanding of the material. In the days after a Small Group Session is over, I work one-on-one with students who have yet to master the material.

 
 
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