Reflection: Adjustments to Practice Diving Deeper into the Human Body Systems (Day 4 of 4) - Section 4: The Classroom Flow: Checking for Understanding


In my early years as a teacher, I was under the impression that students would not possibly do intensive work without the carrot/stick of points and grades.  However, I have found that as I have switched to a project based, longer/slower learning arc in our classroom, students are willing and eager to test their knowledge on their own time for their own learning, understanding, and improvement.  

For assignments that are for students (rather than work that is for me/grading), I always have a master document available in the classroom for students to consult on their own to check their work and to use as a tool for discussion with me about contested answers or underlying misconceptions or confusion.  By using a wide range of self-check assignments that would not necessarily work for me as a graded assignment or assessment like fill in the blank work with no word bank, students get to test their flexibility in ways that builds connections between different scientific terms and ways of expressing the similar concepts.  The nuances of language that we can discuss in this format is particularly powerful students building their science and academic literacy toolkit.

When I give out this type of assignment, I feel very free to use a wide variety of sources so that students see an even broader range of ways to talk about or visually represent one concept and they tell me repeatedly that this exposure to multiple ways of describing one event or phenomenon supports their success on the many standardized tests our students take each spring.  

By giving work just for students, I give students the opportunity to take initiative to talk with me and build connections that I could not necessarily create on my own without this urgent science question that they have based upon the solo challenge they took upon themselves to try.  It is inspiring to see students with very little free time make time for our work together and it gives me additional specific points of praise to encourage students on their progress throughout our time together in class.

  The Value of Optional Homework
  Adjustments to Practice: The Value of Optional Homework
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Diving Deeper into the Human Body Systems (Day 4 of 4)

Unit 10: Unit 10: Human Anatomy & Physiology
Lesson 8 of 9

Objective: SWBAT discuss each body system in depth through the creation of and interaction with student created presentations.

Big Idea: Allow your students to be the teachers during this engaging lesson series of student created human body system presentations!

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