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
Academic Culture
Leaderboard

The leaderboard is a display of both academic and behavioral progress for my students. The results are tabulated separately in the academic and behavioral games. In the academic game, the focus is on the experience points earned by students in academic activities. Experience points in the academic game are only awarded to students once they have mastered an activity. Once they have mastered the activity, points are added to the leaderboard. We review the academic leaderboard and recognize individuals who have made it to the top or who have made significant progress in the class. For the leaderboard in the behavior game, I use Classcraft to display students' points. This display can be sorted by experience points, health points, or action points depending on what is the required view. From my experience, the two leaderboards help steer a cooperative sense of competition among a lot of my students. It also motivates them to continue learning and sharing. Although much of this is external motivation at the beginning of the year, I see a shift towards internal motivation in regards to behavior and academic progress as the year continues. Students are much more willing to learn for learning's sake instead of a prize or written/verbal recognition as they become more accustomed to these behavior and academic qualities. The academic leaderboard displays the rankings of students in all three of my earth science classes. The behavior game on Classcraft is solely based on the students in that particular period.

 
Feedback Systems
Rounds

In order to track students' progress, along with goal sheets, I make one sweep of the classroom at the beginning of class to check to make sure students know what they are working during the class period. Sometimes I write it on an online spreadsheet. Other times, I track it using a paper spreadsheet and clipboard to make sure they have started working on what they need to be working on. This gives me a chance to talk to all of my students and help motivate those students who are slowly getting to work. I particularly like rounds because it helps me gauge students' emotions for the day. This gives me an idea of how far I can push them academically during the period. 

 
Small-Group Instruction
Guided Microscope Investigations

Guided Microscope Investigations are investigations done by two students. The student pairings are usually chosen by the students or made by me as a result of the students’ progress on their current level. During these investigations, students examine slides they've created during labs. They work as a team to complete a task related to the content being covered in class. Students often record what they see in the microscope using Educreations, an app on the iPad. As a result of having a blended classroom where students progress in a self-paced way, I’m able to provide this one-on-one guided instruction without having to worry about what the rest of the class is or should be doing. 

 
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