Reflection: Lesson Planning Float-a-Boat: Student Rubric Creation and Authentic Data Analysis - Section 2: Engage


This lesson is written specifically for the Float-a-Boat project. However, the format of the lesson can be adapted to many different investigations. When something works well, in this case, using student created rubrics to assess and analyze their own data, it makes sense to take the basic structure and use it more than once!

Some points to consider that made this lesson successful:

1) Data is shared with the entire class. Students are able to compare data sets, look for patterns and make conclusions on a larger scale than simply focusing on their own data. Sharing can also lead to interesting discussions about patterns, error and sample size.

2) Competition made analyzing the data authentic. By creating a concrete outcome (determining a winner in this case) for the data analysis, students have an intrinsically motivating reason to find an answer. The data takes on a purpose above and beyond making conclusions.

3) By setting up groups with representatives from every original design team, students get to share what worked, what didn't and why. This promotes a deeper level of understanding of Cause and Effect (CCC2) and Structure and Function (CCC6).

These points contributed to students having fun while analyzing data, which contributes to a more memorable experience. By finding the hallmarks of a successful lesson through self-reflection, it is possible to apply that template to other contexts.

  Finding a Structure that Works
  Lesson Planning: Finding a Structure that Works
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Float-a-Boat: Student Rubric Creation and Authentic Data Analysis

Unit 5: Forces and Motion
Lesson 4 of 18

Objective: SWBAT analyze a collective data set using a student-generated rubric.

Big Idea: Authentic data analysis takes on a new spin when it determines the winner of a student engineering design challenge.

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