This lesson is the final of six lessons that were created to reinforce the scientific method and provide the students an opportunity to create their own inquiry lab. I encourage you to review the student inquiry labs that were presented in the previous lesson using student created Google Drive Presentations. This introductory unit guided students through the process of creating their own inquiry labs, conducted their own investigations, analyzing the data from their labs, and developing a presentation to share their findings. Now, the students need to take a step back and reflect on their depth of learning and collaborative experiences so they can move forward and use this knowledge in the future.
As the students enter the classroom for today's lesson, they will need to pick up four half-sheets of paper which are the Presentation Evaluation Forms that we will use later in the lesson.
The lesson begins with a video clip below from Debbie and Friends singing about the Magic Mirror from Snow White. The video is 7 minutes long, but I only show the first 90 seconds to get the students excited about reflections and thinking about the Magic Mirror.
At the conclusion of the video clip, briefly review the Magic Mirror's ability to be all knowing. Then, pose the following question to the class, "If you had a Magic Mirror in your life, what would it say about you." Students love to speculate about their imaginary mirrors; therefore, I keep the discussion focused on the lesson for time sensitivity purposes. Then, pose the question, "If your Magic Mirror was reflecting about your effort, learning, and collaboration in Biology class during our most recent unit, what do you think your Magic Mirror would say?"
I then go into more detail about the value of self-reflection and the importance of being able to evaluate your performance and learning in an effort to strive for constant improvement. Keep the mirror in mind as you begin your self-reflection.
Ask each student to get out a sheet of paper and title it, Inquiry Lab Reflections. Students need to respond to at least three of the provided prompts for the first and second paragraphs. Students will need to answer both parts of the third paragraph to assist the teacher in assessing group effort, cohesion, and productivity. Click the link for the list of Mirror Mirror Reflection Writing Prompts.
This activity is designed for students to take an introspective to asses their personal efforts and determine their level of learning throughout this multi-day scientific inquiry unit. Through this analysis students will be able to identify their individual strengths in both the collaborative experiment and class presentation. Students will also determine areas of growth targets to focus on the next time an collaborative inquiry lab/project is assigned.
In preparation of today's lesson, I have reserved ten laptops, enough so that each lab group of four students has access to one of the devices. This activity will require that the students have access to other groups' presentation, so it is necessary that I pre-load a different class period's presentation on the laptops for the first class of the morning to evaluate. For example, Period 1 classes will evaluate Period 5's presentations. I have organized the lap tops in ten stations on the counters around the perimeter of my classroom. Students will rotate in a clockwise pathway to view at least three peer presentations, more if time allows.
The concept that students are exposed to work that is created outside of our class period is an untapped enrichment resource that I think is invaluable. By allowing the students to evaluate work done by their peers from other class, the students are afforded the opportunity to watch a wide-range of inquiry lab concepts and a variety of Google Drive presentations. Each class has it's own personality and this activity exposes the students to fresh, innovative ideas!
The students will use the four Group Presentation Evaluation Forms on the half sheet of paper that they received on their way into class to record two commendations (one concerning the presentation itself and the other regarding the scientific content), one recommendation to improve, and one fact they learned from the presentation. Students are encouraged to utilize the Suggested Prompts for Student Critique as they formulate their responses on their evaluation sheets. When each lab group gets up from their seats, say "select a presentation". They will view their selected presentation from the lap top and record their comments on their Group Presentation Evaluation Forms Students will have 7 minutes to view the presentations and need to wait at their stations until I call out, "rotate to your new presentation" when the time is up. Groups will visit four laptops of their choosing as only one group is at a laptop at a time.
Students will turn in their Group Presentation Evaluation Forms at the end of the period. Read through the forms and then return them the student groups whose presentation has been evaluated. The Group Presentation Evaluation Forms will serve as another piece of data to assist in the self-reflection process for each group.
When the first class of the morning is wrapping up their class period, ask each lab group to send their recorder/secretary from the prior student-developed inquiry lab to one of the laptops, so the they can login and access their group's presentation. This way the laptop will be ready for the second class to evaluate the first class' presentation. As we progress through the day, Period 2 students will evaluate Period 1's presentations and Period 3 students will evaluate Period 2's presentations. This process will continue until we get to the last class of the day.
This is a time for the students to provide verbal feedback to the teacher regarding this multi-day inquiry lab unit. There is no structure or leading questions. Place this list on the overhead projector for students to view to remind them how far they have come over the last few days.
This section is another opportunity to reinforce the importance of reflection to your students in an effort to continually grow as a Biology student, a budding-scientist, and a critical thinker!
As the this multi-day inquiry unit advances, I will remind students how each day is scaffolded to the next to enable the students to understand the progress they are making during their study and mastery of the scientific method.