As the students enter the room, they respond to the prompt on the board:
Open your Nervous System Unit Info page and complete the red, yellow, green activity.
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. I also remind students where those terms can be found in the flipped notes and the 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.
After providing students with time to examine their charts, I have them take out their Nervous System 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.
I use this approach to encourage students to become more active participants in their learning and to grow student thinking through discussion. I also post a video review of the study guide online for students to review in case they missed class or they want to double check their answers.
After the students have had an opportunity to review their study guides and ask questions, it is time to play a game. I divide students up for this game, sometimes in small groups and sometimes into two large teams. This game involves a little bit of hand-eye coordination, and allows for students to toss things, so it keeps their attention. The first team sends up a representative, who picks a body part from the collection of sticky body parts. The body part selected determines the type of question the group is assigned.
For instance, a student selects the eye if they want a question about the process of vision or the structures of the eye. I found these sticky body parts on sale after Halloween one year and I have since been able to find them at the local dollar store. They look a little gruesome, which, I have found, adds to the student enjoyment of the game. The student then throws the sticky body part at a dart board. The location of where the body part sticks determines the point value of the question. A question is then posed to the team who threw the body part. Generally, I take the questions from the study guide or ask questions that are generally related. If the group answers the question correctly, without looking at their notes, they receive the points. If they answer incorrectly, they lose points and the opposing team gets a chance to answer the question, also gaining or losing points based upon their answer.
Answering the questions addresses NGSS MS-LS1-8 as the students review information about how messages travel to and are processed by the brain.
My students are very competitive, so I end the game a little bit before class is over and bring the whole class together as a group to review the information one last time. I review the format of the upcoming assessment with the students and I ask them if they have any lingering questions about the study guide. Doing this helps provide the students with one more opportunity to ask questions, but it also helps them refocus after playing the game.