Now that I have challenged each of the lab groups to create their own inquiry lab that mimics the steps of the scientific method, I have my work cut our for me to keep track of each group's progress. I have recorded this video reflection to help add insight into my comfort zone of controlled chaos!
Each of the student lab groups were to share their proposed lab procedures with me via Google Drive as homework last night. Our District, Conejo Valley Unified School District, has created a Google Drive account for each student in the District, so communication and collaboration via Google Drive has been made much easier. Although I have reviewed each of the procedures last night, I will quickly conference with each group to see if there were any procedural changes to their approved labs. Students have been told that they must adhere to the lab procedure that has been approved for safety reasons and to help maintain classroom control.
As the students are moving to their lab stations, I will point out where all of the necessary supplies are located for their experiment since each lab group will be conducting their own unique lab. The set-up of each group's lab can be a little chaotic since each group is preparing and conducting their own experiment. I suggest you front-load this lesson with student behavior expectations in an effort to keep all of the students on the same page. I also remind the students to wear their safety goggles and follow all lab safety precautions.
I do not want to take any more time of today's lesson since the students have so much to accomplish in a short time!
Without further ado . . . I now present the Student Inquiry Worm Labs!
As the student lab groups are setting up their unique labs, I will remind the students to assign roles to each of the group members. Here is my suggested role assignments:
Scientists (2 students): should be conducting the lab, gathering data, and making observations.
Timer/Reader (1 student): should be reading the lab procedure, giving directions to the two conducting the lab, and watching the clock to make sure the group will complete their lab in the allotted class period.
Recorder (1 student): should be recording all of the data and observations. I have encouraged the students to type in their data to the Google Doc so that all group members have access to the lab report after the class period. I will have out the class set of lap tops to enable the "recorder" to keep track of the observations and data.
By assigning individual roles, each students is actively engaged and responsible for the success of the group project.
The students will use their completed Student Developed Inquiry Lab Investigation Worksheet guide them through their lab experiment. This is also the same document that the "recorder" will use to fill in all of the data and observations. As I stated before, I suggested that the student create a Google Doc from this file so it can be shared with all group members to access as necessary.
I will call out to the class when there is 10 minutes left in the experiment and then again when there are only 5 minutes remaining. As an extra set of eyes and ears, I can help encourage all of the student lab groups to be efficient with their time and productive in their lab groups! I am certain, if left to their own pace, many lab groups will run short on time because we will need to take the last few minutes of the class period to clean up our lab stations. This is an example of where the teacher becomes the task master and needs to encourage all students to keep on track and moving forward!
We will utilize tonight's homework assignment and tomorrow's in-class lesson to make sense of the data.
The student had an amazing time being able to see their scientific ideas come to life. Please view the photo gallery in the Resource Section to the right side to catch a glimpse of these Biologists at work.
The Scientific Method through Student Inquiry using worms!
Photo #1: Comparing the worm's heartbeats per minute in the rocks versus soil environment
Photo #2: Determining which habitat the worm liked most: soil, dirt, rocks, grass by comparing the time the worm spent moving freely between each environment
Photo #3: Measuring worm's wiggles per minute in wet versus dry soil
Photo #4: Determining which habitat the worm will burrow fastest - rocks or grass
Photo #5: Measuring the worm's heartbeat per minute in the grass versus the soil environment
The Recorder for each lab group needs to make sure that the Group's Student Developed Inquiry Lab Investigation worksheet has been shared with each group member via Google Drive so they can access it tonight. Tonight's homework is for each group member to provide their contributions to the Inquiry Lab Worksheet in a different color so I can track which student contributed which portions of the lab. The students will create a key at the top of the Record Sheet that identifies which color has been used by each student to write their contributions to the group document.
For tonight's homework assignment, the students will focus on the Summarize Results and Draw Conclusion section. The lab groups will have the class period tomorrow to create data tables/graphs and create a final version of their Lab Investigation Worksheet.
I will also notify the students that they will be presenting their lab procedure, data, and conclusion to the class so they need to take tonight's homework seriously. Nothing like a little positive peer pressure to motivate the students to greatness! These presentations will be in two days so student-groups will have time to analyze data and prepare their presentation.
Looking ahead to the next lesson, students will have an opportunity to work in their collaborative lab groups to analyze their data and work to create their Google Drive Presentations.