Lesson 14 of 14
Objective: SWBAT explain the relationship between key genetics terms.
As the students enter the room, they take out their Chromebooks in order to update the red, yellow, and green on their genetics unit information sheet. The students are familiar with the red, yellow, green system because it has been in place since the beginning of the year. For more information on the activity, please visit the Explore section of Chemistry - What do You Know? and/or view this video I created for my students.
While the students work, I circulate through the room in order to view their charts and ask them to describe the ways in which they can practice the words that are in red and yellow. This helps them begin the process of thinking about study strategies and techniques. I also remind students where the terms can be found in the flipped notes and which class activities they can reference as a further reminder of the information.
Doing this provides students with individual attention focused on their specific needs and enables me to follow up with them during study hall or after school. I am also able to access their completed unit info sheets online, to determine the class' overall understanding of the information. Most importantly, checking in with the students helps me plan the rest of this lesson and allow for time to reteach before the summative assessment.
After providing students with time to examine their charts, I have them take out their Genetics Study Guide. I ask the students if they have any questions about the information on the study guide.
My policy on reviewing study guides is that I do not read and answer every question for the students. Instead, they are responsible to ask questions about anything they are unsure of. They are welcome to ask questions about every single question on the study guide, if they choose. Also, rather than answering the questions, I redirect the question to the class and wait for a student to answer. Ultimately, I review the correct answer with the students, so they all have correct information.
Teacher: Are there any questions about the study guide?
Student 1: I am not sure about the bases of DNA.
Teacher: Okay, how did you answer the question?
Student 1: I wrote A and G.
Teacher: What do you think class, is A one of the bases?
Student 2: Yes.
Teacher: Can you tell me more about A? What does it represent?
Student 2: It stands for adenine.
Teacher: Student 1, do you agree?
Student 1: Yes, I think so.
Teacher: What base does it pair with? ~This process continues with different students providing parts of the answer but with the question/information always going back to the first student so he/she can provide the final answer.
I use this approach to encourage students to become more active participants in their learning and to grow student thinking through discussion. Additionally, my students know that the study guide is not a copy of the summative assessment and that the guide is meant to help focus their studying. My students also know that they are also accountable for knowing the terms and being able to meet the objectives on the unit information sheet.
This portion of the lesson relies heavily upon models as I help the students review concepts and information. This portion of the lesson is also dependent upon the students' completed red, yellow, green sheets, so it looks different in different class sections. I begin by holding up a model and asking the students to provide me with as much information as possible about the model. I ask them to jot down the information on their study guides, so they can refer back to it when they study.
I begin by holding up a DNA model and asking the students to describe it, using as many of their vocabulary words as possible. For instance, with DNA the students could write genes, chromosomes, the structure, the bases, RNA, etc. My goal is to have the model serve as a trigger for the students to remember information from the unit. After providing the students with a couple minutes to write down information, I call on a volunteer to provide one detail about DNA. I take the students' answers and ask questions to help lead them to other related concepts. For instance, I may ask the students to explain the relationship between DNA and RNA. I may ask them to use an animal cell model and point to where the DNA is located, etc. Another of the topics that I have students quick write about is cell division. I hold up some of the mitosis models they have made and ask them to describe the models. In this instance I am looking for comments regarding mitosis, chromosomes, meiosis, and alleles. When we discuss these models, I move the students toward discussing phenotypes and how they can be predicted using Punnett squares. I do take time to review Punnett squares with the students by having them quickly develop scenarios of parent traits for which to find the probability of the traits of the offspring. The review of Punnett squares addresses NGSS MS-LS3-2. Reviewing using models helps to address NGSS SP2 - Developing and Using Models. Using the models in this manner also addresses the NGSS Cross Cutting Concept of Structure and Function as the students use the models to review the relationships between structures during cell division.
I also leave the models out when the students take the summative assessment. The models are not labeled, so the students cannot find answers on them, but they are able to view the models and think about our reviews of the terminology and how we used the models in class.
I conclude the lesson by asking the students to tell me which items they think will be on the summative assessment and to explain why. This helps the students reflect on the key parts of the unit as well as verbalizing why those concepts are important. This also provides students with another opportunity to ask for clarification on concepts and a chance to add information to their study guides.