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
Assessment & Data
Digital Assessment Tools

I formatively assess students through digital technology like Plickers, Kahoot, and Poll Everywhere. Plickers (Paper clickers) is a free software tool designed like QR codes to collect students’ answers to questions. I create questions on the Plickers website (www.plickers.com) and assign each student a card number. I will read and display the question on the SmartBoard and scan the room to determine students’ answers. The answers are displayed on my device in two colors (incorrect/correct) and in graphical form. This gives me a good visual of where students excel in the curriculum and where they struggle. I also use Kahoot (www.getkahoot.com) as a whole group assessment of students’ understanding. Kahoot allows me to write questions, allows for an allotted amount of time for each question to be answered, and for students to be ranked on time and the correctness of their answer. The students are fully engaged in this activity because it’s over material they’ve all covered, there is music that is aligned with the timer, and they get instant feedback. I also get a report showing their answers to the questions at the end of the game. I use this report, which uses conditional formatting, to show me which answers are correct and which are incorrect. I love how the visual gives me feedback on what students still need to master. I’ve also found Poll Everywhere (polleverywhere.com) to be a great way to formally assess my students. For instance, I asked my students to give me an example of something that is within the hydrosphere. They messaged their answers to our classroom code. It was then displayed on our SmartBoard as a word cloud. I’ve also used Poll Everywhere in conjunction with small group discussion groups with a checklist of skills and standards students need to achieve. For instance, I first used Poll Everywhere to check to see if students understood what objects would be in the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere. I wanted to see if they understood the definitions before we moved onto more complex tasks. The word cloud created a list of all the objects in each sphere. I then had students take words from the word cloud and create drawings showing how the four spheres would interact. The students then shared their drawings via Apple TV and the SmartBoard in small groups. I gave verbal feedback in front of the group as well as asked probing questions if I needed to.

 
Blended Learning Model Overviews
Modified Flex Model with Gamification

After five years of traditional teaching, I broke away from direct instruction and moved into a self-paced, blended-gamified classroom. My students flexibly move through the curriculum while self-directing and managing their learning. This is done through the use of Classcraft, an online education gaming software, and our classroom game “Isle of Nosredna.” The addition of game elements into my classroom has helped my students stay on track and motivated as they progress through the science curriculum.

Number of Students: ~20 students/period

Number of Adults: one teacher

Length of Class Period/Learning Time: 51 minutes

Digital Content/Ed Tech Tools Used on a Regular Basis: Haiku Learning (LMS); Classcraft; Google Classroom; Doctopus (Add-on in Google Sheets connected to Google Classroom); Educreations; Flipboard; Symbaloo; Kidblog; ThingLink; Socrative; Kahoot!

Hardware Used on a Regular Basis: iPads (1:1); SMARTboard; Apple TV

Key Features: competency-based; student agency; project-based; gamification; innovative use of space

 
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. 

 
 
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