Reflection: Accountability Science Safety Public Service Announcement - Section 5: Evaluate


The process of "constructive negotiation" requires very careful preparation around norms, trust and protocol because students are talking with each other to decide on a final level of proficiency around safe behavior. I have had instances of students in tears because their group members were very honest with them about their behavior during the investigation. Often middle school students have a very different view of their own behavior versus how others perceive it. I do find that most students are able to follow the protocol with maturity and honesty without my intervention. However, hurt feelings do arise and this presents a great "teachable moment". Depending on the situation, I will conference with the whole group or parts of the group to determine the problem. I always follow the structure of allowing everyone in the group to speak once. In all cases, the group decision is actually very fair, so the real work comes in working with the affected student to manage his or her emotions, accept feedback and move forward with a plan for next time. Since safety is an important practice with the science practice of planning and carrying out investigations, I include the negotiated score in the grade book. If a student makes a plan and shows progress the next time around, I will replace the original score with the new score. This encourages a growth mindset for students and helps build confidence.

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Science Safety Public Service Announcement

Unit 2: Engaging 21st Century Scientists
Lesson 1 of 12

Objective: SWBAT identify appropriate safety precautions for a science classroom and justify their importance during scientific investigation.

Big Idea: Scientists work in environments with inherent hazards that can lead to harm of person or equipment. Creating a culture that integrates safety practices minimizes the risk associated with scientific investigation.

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