Reflection: Adjustments to Practice The Cell Lab: Working with Microscopes (Day 2 of 3) - Section 3: The Classroom Flow: Lab Group Work


I was inspired to include a photography component to this basic cell/microscope lab after viewing a brief science film about the secret life of sand.  I wasn't quite sure at that moment how much additional time we had in our semester schedule to fully work with this aspect of the lab so I kept our pilot this year casual and informal so that I could gauge student interest and potential ways creating and sharing micrographs could benefit student learning and engagement.  

I was happy to see the variety of ways student created micrographs supported their learning.  Students could more easily share their micrographs with each other, increasing communication as they attempted to work together in order to figure out what they were seeing on the slide.  Students could also share with other groups in ways that are not as feasible when working with large equipment in a crowded space.  STudents could also more easily confer with me to talk about their questions and their observations as well. Some students came back the following day with ideas they wanted to share concerning their micrograph images; this is not something that could have happened if they were observing their specimen under the microscope during our 40 minute activity.  

I would like to further expand this aspect of the cell microscope lab next year.  I can see an interesting conversation happening around the idea of context--looking at micrographs with a title and without, attempting to guess the structure/specimen, and connecting the patterns they see in their images to those found in other student micrographs.  I could also envision a great conversation happening about the NGSS cross cutting concept related to scale, where students compare the patterns in their micrographs to macro scale natural phenomena.  

I am finding that the more ways I can incorporate creative, art infused outputs, the connected students feel to the content, the activity, their classroom community, and their learning.

  Keys to Productive, Successful, Engaged Microscope Work
  Adjustments to Practice: Keys to Productive, Successful, Engaged Microscope Work
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The Cell Lab: Working with Microscopes (Day 2 of 3)

Unit 5: Unit 5: A Tour of the Cell
Lesson 4 of 7

Objective: SWBAT independently and effectively use a light microscope to view and identify cells.

Big Idea: Check out my version of the classic microscopes and cells lab experience using an engaging online tutorial and encouraging students to take their own micrographs to share!

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