Concluding Crayfish Experiments

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Objective

SWBAT analyze data to reach a conclusion and display their experiment results.

Big Idea

How can you collect data to reach a valid conclusion?

Organizing Data

20 minutes

Each group of students found a way of recording data from their Crayfish Experiment that made sense to them.  I explained that their job was to organize their data in such a way that someone could walk up and see it, and understand their results in 10 seconds or less.  This made it easy to make the connection towards the graphing we'd been practicing in math.  

Some groups used tables to improvise bar graphs within Google Docs, and some asked for graph paper or just used scratch paper and made them by hand.  One group tried to force a line plot that didn't quite make sense given their data, but generally each group displayed their data in an appropriate form.

Displaying Experiments

20 minutes

Because our school's Family STEM Night (formerly Family Science Night, formerly Science Fair) is coming soon, I used these experiments as guided practice on how to display science experiments, as well as a a way to show other classes what great things my students have been working on.  Our committee sells project boards at cost from the dollar store, and I've found that cutting them in half horizontally provides plenty of room, with less white space to cover.

As student arranged their elements, I did my best to make sure each group was listening to each other.  Every time I saw a student move something, I'd stop everyone, and have that student explain what they were doing, and why they thought it was a good idea, then go around the table to try to reach consensus or at least vote. 

Self Reflection

15 minutes

After project boards were completed, I asked students to reflect honestly about their work together on this project on Crayfish Experiment Reflection.  I made sure to emphasize that their answer needed to be justified with specific examples.  I'm not sure if there is a way I can make this part of a grade or anything, but I do feel that making them take time to focus not just on how their group treated them, but having to name ways they helped their group plays a role in developing their roles as members in a learning community.