This lesson is designed as a follow up lesson to The Bay of Fundy Tidal Investigation, and is followed by a unit review worksheet.
As the students enter the classroom, I re-display the Bay of Fundy Entry Slide. and have the tables in the classroom set up in groups of 5-6. Also prior to the class period, I create homogeneous groups of students on a word document. In this particular lesson, I am using homogenous grouping simply because I have not used it in my last two collaborative in-class activities, and it is time to mix it up again. To make life simple, I just drag and drop names from an excel document, where I house my class roster, on to a word document. Creating groups in this manner is simple, and I can easily save the file on my computer drive titled "Homogeneous #4" so that I will always know how I have grouped my students in the past.
As the students begin to enter and find their seats, I allow them 4-5 minutes to get themselves organized and ready to share their results with their peers. They will be presenting on their findings from the previous lesson, which may vary from student to student. In my classroom, I utilize easels (one per table) so that the students have a place to write as they share out. If you do not have access to easels, scrap poster board taped to the wall can be just as effective... or you can even set your groups up near a section of the whiteboard.
Once I begin to see that individual conversations are winding down, I visit from group to group to encourage them to talk about what they have learned from the experience. I also ask them to highlight and talk about any differences in approaches that arose between members of their group. This not only emphasizes MP3, but it also forces the students to reflect on their learning and the application of the material.
To help prompt the students in this task, as well as for my own personal reflection, I used the attached Bay of Fundy Group Feedback Sheet and have one member of the group record and submit the main points of the discussion.
NOTE: If you find that 1-2 groups finish up while other groups are still involved in a productive conversation, do not hesitate to circulate the Unit Review. This will allow the groups who have finished to remain productive while the remainder of the class wraps up.
After I have gathered and looked through all of the Group Feedback Sheets, I find 2-3 points to highlight for the whole class discussion. For example, suppose in glancing through the papers I notice that a particular group discussed how they had a few people who modeled the Bay of Fundy phenomena with the cosine function, and a few people who modeled it with the sine function. I will then probe this particular group to ask them how they came to a conclusion about each person's results.
Finally, I make sure to discuss at least one point revolving around how we can make this activity better for next time. In my experience, students often have some great ideas about how to improve an investigation such as this one. It also models to them that you, the teacher, are not set in your ways and are constantly working to improve your activities to the students. High school students notice and appreciate this!
With any of the remaining class time I allow the students to work on the Unit Review Day #1. Although the assessment will not be for a couple of days, and the students have yet to learn to prove/use the Pythagorean Identity, I like to get it in their hands early so that they have an opportunity to ask questions in class. This review is intended only as a partial review and helps remind the students of the early lessons in this unit.