Reflection: Accountability Using Protists as a Model of Succession (Part 1/3) - Section 4: Teacher Mini-Lecture: What is a Protist?


It is important to hold students accountable for their work at all times, but this is especially true with a time-sensitive lab. This page from a student lab notebook shows the feedback that I give students on lined post-it notes. (Note: For the purposes of this reflection, I scanned a copy of the page and annotated it.) I have students submit their lab notebooks to me at the end of each period. Then I read through their responses and look at their data. If necessary, I jot down some feedback that will help them improve their data-collecting. If a student misses a day of data collection during this lab, he or she will have a gap in their data. Because we are working together as an entire class, we find that a few gaps in data are not a problem. However, severe gaps in data cause the results of the statistical analysis that we will run at the end of the lab to be not significant. Therefore, if a student knows he or she is going to be gone, it is his or her responsibility to find a proxy to take data for them. Either way, it is a learning experience for the students. However, it is a richer experience if we can collect a lot of data.  

If students need to complete something they did not have time to finish or have overlooked, I request them to come see me. I have three times during the day that students can come get work completed. The first is during their Learning Academy (which is our version of study hall).  The second is during our Seminar period. This is at the end of the day. Our school uses it for meetings and special activities. If a student does not have a meeting, he or she can meet with teachers or use the time as a study hall to complete homework. If a student feels he or she can work independently, then they can quietly work in the room during their Learning Academy (as long as they have permission from their teacher). If the student needs individual help from me, they can either meet with me during Seminar or right after school before sport practices start.  This method requires buy-in from the other classroom teacher and coaches. However, I extend the same courtesy to them. The faculty have found it to be a great method of allowing students time during the school day to complete their work and get the extra help them need.  

By holding students immediately accountable for their work, they feel a sense of ownership in the project. They also end up thanking me when we complete the lab because they have all the data they need to perform a valid statistical analysis and write an excellent summary report.  

  Accountability: Holding Students Accountable for a Time Sensitive Lab
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Using Protists as a Model of Succession (Part 1/3)

Unit 4: Protists
Lesson 1 of 11

Objective: Students will explain how succession occurs in an ecosystem by noting the changes in a hay infusion over a period of time.

Big Idea: By using protists as model organisms, we can shorten period of time succession occurs so we can observe changes in an ecosystem.

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3 teachers like this lesson
Ecology, Science, Developing and Using Models, stability and change, Ecosystem Dynamics
  46 minutes
amoeba proteus
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