Reflection: Intervention and Extension Mastering the Mind! How Do You Know What You Know? - Section 2: Explore


I have students work in lab groups for this "lab" as it is their first experience conducting a group investigation during the year. In order to facilitate this group work, I make sure to reinforce norms for classroom behavior, cooperation and safety prior to beginning the activity. Through reminders before class, verbal reinforcement of student behavior and actively modeling of norms, students are surrounded by supports that help make their group work more efficient. Another strategy to try is to have students create a Group Work Contract. While students play the game, it is an excellent opportunity to assess how students are performing with regard to these norms and start early interventions if students are having difficulties.

One way to make this group exploration run more smoothly in terms of differentiation is to require that students read the instructions to the game together. Mastermind can be tricky to learn, and if there is a group with no one who has played, this part of the process can take a very long time. Students can access the instructions to the game online and I also print out a copy for each group's lab notebook: Mastermind Student Instructions.

  Intervention and Extension: Supporting Group Work
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Mastering the Mind! How Do You Know What You Know?

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

Objective: SWBAT explore the process of learning new information by playing a simulation game called Mastermind.

Big Idea: The game Mastermind simulates how we, as scientists, learn. During this activity, students think about their thinking as they work to break a simple code.

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