Reflection: Complex Tasks Tributaries - Section 2: Student-Conducted Lab


Unlike in previous labs, students are asked to draft an evidence based conclusion without numeric data. This can be a challenge for many students as they are more familiar with citing high and low data points than using observational data to support their thinking. In order to help my students succeed with this task, I provide extra support and encouragement for my students. Before giving the class time to work on their conclusions, I ask them to share observations and record these on the whiteboard. I discuss with my students which observations could be used to answer the questions found in their lab worksheet. I place a star by these observations and leave this work on the board throughout the students' independent work time. The students can use this as a resource as they draft their own conclusions. During independent work time, I circulate around the class and provide support to students who are struggling with this task. I have found that asking students to share aloud what they saw during the lab can help jump start the conclusion writing process for reluctant writers and students who need additional processing time.  

My aim in asking students to cite observational data is twofold; first, I want students to understand that data comes in many forms and that making observations is a crucial part of laboratory work. Second, I want my students to compare and contrast their observational data from this lab and previous labs so they can come to the conclusion that more erosion has occurred in a river with multiple streams and /or greater flow.

  Evidence Based-Conclusions
  Complex Tasks: Evidence Based-Conclusions
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Unit 4: Land and Water
Lesson 12 of 18

Objective: SWBAT create a model of tributaries and identify erosion and deposition in a stream model.

Big Idea: Tributaries can branch off of a stream and can join together to form a larger stream.

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