I begin the lab by asking my students to review the procedures that they created in the previous day's lab. This allows the students to refamiliarize themselves with the investigation they created. The students also need to determine which masterials they will need and gather the materials at their workstations. I then ask students to share any questions or concerns that they may have. This allows me to address any final questions students might have.
After the students have gathered materials and prepared for their work, I provide them with time in which they can conduct their investigations. Since multiple experiments are going on at the same time, the classroom can be very busy and noisy. A quick review of lab safety rules before releasing students to their independent work can be beneficial.
During student work time, I circulate around the classroom and visit each group as the students work. During this time, I provide reminders to students, ask questions, and encourage collaboration.
A video of one of my student teams conducting their experiments can be found here.
After each student group has completed their investigation, I provide time for students to write a conclusion based on the data they gathered. I require that students use the data from their investigation to form an explanation for their observations. The students often include knowledge gained through the land and water unit in their conclusions.
This lab serves as a performance task assessment. When assessing the work, I check to see that students have included the following components: a hypothesis which includes an if...then...because statement, a complete list of materials used in the investigation, an appropriate list of procedures which includes multiple trials and recording data, recorded data, and a conclusion which satisfies the rubric provided by my state.