Reflection: Adjustments to Practice Connecting Organic Chemistry to the Food We Eat (Day 1 of 5) - Section 2: The Classroom Flow: Introducing the Activity and Choosing Topics


I worked with this lesson as a pilot last year and felt very strongly that I wanted groups that were formed due to shared interests in a topic rather than by shared friendships or a classroom pairing 'rut.'  I had students tell me their individual choices and then I filled in the sign up sheet and in my mind, I thought I was giving students a chance to work with someone new and discover a variety of new working styles and personalities that they could learn from.  What I found is that this idea can only work if every aspect of the project is done during class sessions, which was not the norm for my department or class. Expecting students that do not necessarily like each other spend time together in their private homes was not realistic and the result was an uneven quality level to the projects.

This year, I decided to return to a more casual sign up session where students chose 1-2 topics of interest, conferred with their peer group within the class, and then signed up together.  I found that students were picking topics they were interested in, made compromises to fit the larger group they wanted to work with, and wound up getting more interested in topics that may not have been their top choice due to the enthusiasm of their friends. 

I will continue to experiment with different ways to encourage students to work with new partners in both short term class session activities as well as longer term projects while adjusting our class schedule to allow maximum class session time for those meetings to take place.

I'd love to hear more about how you navigate this issue!

  Determining Groups
  Adjustments to Practice: Determining Groups
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Connecting Organic Chemistry to the Food We Eat (Day 1 of 5)

Unit 4: Unit 4: Molecules of Life: Organic Chemistry
Lesson 11 of 15

Objective: Students will be able to research, discuss, and present information about current food topics and connect them to our organic chemistry unit

Big Idea: Dig into food science topics with this project to connect student experiences to organic chemistry and the world!

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11 teachers like this lesson
Science, food (Personal Health), Organic and Biochemistry, close reading, Life Science/Biology, senses, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, GMOs, processed foods, calories, molecule
  50 minutes
processed food timeline
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