Reflection: Adjustments to Practice Using StopMotion Video to Explore Protein Synthesis (Day 3 of 3) - Section 4: The Classroom Flow: Wrapping Up


After video projects, students express how fun it was while teachers almost always talk about how tiring and stressful it was to navigate technology.  It takes time to check them in and out, to deal with missing and tangled cords, log in and program issues, and students take a long time working with programs in part because they are working with new software and in part because they are engaged and interested in doing great work.  

I have a few key takeaways from my time with this project and I hope they can help you as you navigate your own unique school and class technology situation:

  1. Expect a technology based project to take 2 days longer than you initially planned.  Knowing this and accepting it means you can adjust your lesson plans.  This way, you won't feel anxious that you are behind and students won't feel rushed into doing less than their best.  Knowing this also makes for more intentional instructional choices:  we may not do many tech projects, but when we do, they are powerful experiences for students in part because I was able to schedule the type of time they need to get familiar with the software and to do their best work.
  2. Make a typed up sign out sheet for each class period and keep them on a clipboard with a pencil with the device cart.  I am very explicit about sign ups:  I assign numbered devices to lab tables/pairs rather than letting students pick their own numbers because I noticed how much longer the process took when students chose their device:  they spend a lot of time thinking about their favorite/lucky number which makes things difficult because I have trouble figuring out who had which device and putting them back is more challenging because there will be gaps in the cart as students skip specific numbers in favor of others, making me think that maybe there are missing devices still out when that is not the case.  Streamlining this process makes things easier for you and gets the kids into work mode much faster.
  3. Have two student helpers assist you in getting all devices to and from the device cart each class period.  I typically request specific students to help me for the quarter/semester and I ask them with a very real compliment:  that I thought they would be perfect for this job because of their attention to detail, their respect for our school and our class, and because I appreciate and trust their maturity.  Student helpers are amazing and take their role here seriously.
  4. Finally, instead of calling time five minutes before the bell, make the announcement to begin shutting things down and transitioning into exit routines fifteen minutes before the end of class.  This way, the cart return process can be staggered so that the area is not crammed with students all anxious to get this done right at that moment.  

I can't wait to hear some of your tech tips for a great classroom experience using technology for student project work!

  Navigating the Technology Time Drain
  Adjustments to Practice: Navigating the Technology Time Drain
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Using StopMotion Video to Explore Protein Synthesis (Day 3 of 3)

Unit 7: Unit 7: DNA & Protein Synthesis
Lesson 22 of 22

Objective: SWBAT explain the three phases of protein synthesis (transcription, RNA processing, and translation) and protein processing by creating videos to describe the process.

Big Idea: Keep your kids engaged in learning the complex process of protein synthesis using this StopMotion video creation activity!

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