Reflection: Complex Tasks Saving the Day- Guided Inquiry Lab pt 1 - Section 2: Problem Introduction


I initially planned to assign lab groups for this activity, to ensure that my top students were sprinkled throughout the groups.  The morning of the lesson I changed my mind for two reasons.

First, I wanted the tables to experience some accountability for how they have been performing.  This activity will show some differences to the class about where they stand in regards to each other.  The groups that are more efficient aren't necessarily better with the content, but they work well together and keep focused.  As the activity progressed, I was able to explain to the groups who lagged behind why they were behind in terms of group dynamics and shared workload.  I believe this enhanced student group work the remainder of the year.

Second, and most importantly, I wanted to limit the amount of change in this lesson.  Students will be experiencing a guided inquiry set up for the first time this year, and that can be very disorienting for students.  I felt the comfort of being with a group of students they know and have already struggled in front of vastly outweighed the benefit of seeding the groups by ability.  This really paid off as students were willing to ask their group members for help, or to go back and explain how they did something.  The intra-group communication allowed for students to help and teach each other, which freed up my time to really help where a whole group was stuck.

While some groups might have benefited from having a stronger classmate in the group, the overall learning was much better for all students by working closely with their group and struggling collectively to understand the process and the content.


  Limiting New Factors
  Complex Tasks: Limiting New Factors
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Saving the Day- Guided Inquiry Lab pt 1

Unit 7: Conservation of Mass in Reactions
Lesson 6 of 9

Objective: SWBAT plan a laboratory investigation to produce a specific amount of product based on mass-mass stoichiometric calculations.

Big Idea: Problem solving requires students to identify the task at hand and conditions for a suitable solution before engaging in solving the problem.

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