Reflection: Station Rotation Heat Transfer Lab Rotation: Conduction, Convection, and Radiation - Section 3: Heat Transfer Lab Rotation


Station rotations are a fabulous way to provide middle school students with an opportunity to learn new content.  Just as it is imperative that students are aware of what they need to be learning, they also need to be aware of their behavioral expectations when rotating through lab stations.  While there is no one right answer to these questions, it is important that you answer the following questions for students prior to this lesson.  And, then, explicitly let students know what their expectations are.

1.  Safety is always the first priority.  The procedures for these stations provide safety precautions.  Do not rely on students reading this.  Say them out loud!  Explicitly tell students what the safety precautions for each station are.

2.  How will they be grouped?  Will they pick their own groups?  Will you group them?  There are positives and challenges to each of these answers.  I always tell students that this is the last question I will answer for them.  Groupings should be the LAST thing you let them know about.  If you let them know in the middle of your directions, they will spend more time worrying about who is in their group than to the important directions you are providing them.

3.  Will they rotate on their own?  Or, will you rotate them? If you have enough materials, I love having students have the independence to rotate themselves and work at their own pace.  However, there is a benefit to keeping a time schedule to stay organized.  If you are going to rotate them, be clear about how long they have at each station.  Let them know the order they will rotate in.  If they are rotating themselves, be clear about the entire amount of time that they have to complete all the stations so that they can pace themselves.

4.  Do they have to answer all of the questions for each station completely before they can rotate?  Or, can they do a station and just collect the data, move on to the next stations, and do all of the writing at the end?  Allowing students to collect data and move on allows students to have one exciting class period in which they get to complete many fun stations and allows you the opportunity to not have the "mess" for multiple days.  However, requiring students to complete the questions as they go allows students to really process what they have observed at each station.

There are many questions that you as an educator need to make when setting up a lab rotation.  Whatever the answers are for your personal teaching style, make the expectations clear and explicit for the students.  Students will thrive within the structure that these expectations can provide.

  Lab Station Rotations: Have a plan and Be explicit!
  Station Rotation: Lab Station Rotations: Have a plan and be explicit!
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Heat Transfer Lab Rotation: Conduction, Convection, and Radiation

Unit 5: Energy
Lesson 7 of 11

Objective: Students will be able to identify and explain the various ways that heat transfers through systems in the natural world.

Big Idea: Students go through a fun lab rotation that allows them to experience radiation, conduction, and convection!

  Print Lesson
Science, Energy (Physical Science), potential energy, Energy and Thermodynamics, thermal, radiation, conduction, convection, heat transfer, middle school, Energy, kinetic energy
  60 minutes
radiometer lesson
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