The students have 5 minutes to meet with their lab/presentation groups to finalize any last minute details. I encourage the students to only discuss the logistics of the presentation during this time since their final presentations were to be shared with me by midnight last night via our District-wide Google Drive accounts. I also remind the students that their presentations should reflect the procedure, data analysis, and conclusion statements from their inquiry lab using the Student Inquiry Lab Investigation Handout. The students completed their inquiry lab in this prior lesson.
As the students are attending to their last second details, I prepare for the presentations by turning on the LCD projector (it always needs a little head start), logging-in to Google Drive and cuing up the first presentation. The students were given an opportunity to sign up on our Group Presentation Schedule so that each group felt comfortable and confident with their order in the presentation line up. The presentation sign-up sheet is passed around the room while student-groups were creating their inquiry lab procedure a few days earlier.
I notify the groups when there is only one minute remaining for their group discussions and invite the first group of presenters up to the front of the room to cue up their Google Drive Presentation on my teacher computer.
I call out "5,4,3,2,1" - When I get to "ONE" students need to be at their assigned seats with a sheet of paper out on their desk titled, Inquiry Lab Presentation Notes. Students are told they need to record observations from each group presentation as it relates to the steps of the scientific method and remind the class to pay specific attention to data analysis and conclusion statements. My goal is to stimulate the ninth grade students to become familiar with the process of data analysis and understand its role in scientific research.
The big moment is here and the first group is ready to present. The classroom lights are dimmed and the projector is ready to share a moment of scientific greatness . . . or at least a solid review of the scientific method and respectable data analysis!
As the students present, I assess the group presentations using the Student Inquiry Presentation Rubric. The students received the assessment rubric a few days ago so all expectations were clearly communicated in hopes of motivating my students to reach to new academic heights.
The student group presentations should run 5-10 minutes which means that these presentations may continue through to tomorrow's class session. Out of respect for each students' collective efforts, I do not rush the groups and I am willing to encroach on tomorrow's class time to complete the group presentations.
I also have to remind the students that they need to record observations from each group presentation as it relates to the scientific method, data analysis, and the conclusion statement.
The students are also encouraged to make verbal comments in the areas of commendations and recommendations for each group to share with the class at the end of their presentation. I emphasize that the commendations may spotlight an individual student, but the recommendations for improvement must only describe the group's effort. Since this is the first presentation of the year, I want to emphasize our potential for improvement in not only or scientific investigation skills, but also our presentations abilities. A more detailed critique of student-peer presentations will be conducted in tomorrow's lesson using these suggested prompts.
Drum roll please . . .
I thank each student for their effort over the last week of lessons that revolved around the scientific method and also remind students of the importance of self-reflection and encourage all of the students to begin their thought process regarding their experience during the inquiry lab unit. Tomorrow's lesson will provide the students an opportunity to reflect on their group's effort, their own level of learning, and critique other classes' projects.