Reflection: Adjustments to Practice Photosynthesis, Part 1-Modeling Photosynthesis - Section 4: Independent Practice


Self-reflection is always a useful activity for me as I work to refine the learning experience for my students and me.  Whenever I perform a lab or complete a lesson, I reflect on those things that worked well and those things that did not.  Typically, I have already made a mental list in my mind as the lesson or lab has unfolded. This particular lesson is one that I did not feel went as smoothly as I would’ve liked.

My first issue arose when I became aware that some of the models were missing pieces.  This seemingly small matter created a problem for which I had to quickly create a “work around” solution by telling students to use other colors to form the molecules.  As I reflect on how I could’ve improved the lab experience for my students, I have to acknowledge that for some, the missing parts contributed to some of their struggle with the task.  While students were ultimately able to complete the task, little issues like this should be avoided.  I should’ve checked the models for completeness for using them.  This type of quality control check when I prepped the lab would’ve smoothed out the lab process for the students and me.

As I further reflected on the lab experience, I think that I can improve this lab by spending a little more time building prior knowledge or scaffolding the activity before releasing students to perform the modeling activity in small groups.  I was really surprised by the confusion among some of my students when they began working on the models. My initial frustration led me to self-reflect and ask myself whether I had adequately prepared students for the independent work. Given the struggles among a few groups, I had not.  I could improve the lab experience by spending more time modeling how to create a molecule, using the think aloud strategy.

Overall, the lab was a success since students were ultimately able to perform the modeling tasks and draw the correct concepts. However, the process of self-reflection allows me to refine and adjust the lab experience for future students.

  The Value of Self-Reflection
  Adjustments to Practice: The Value of Self-Reflection
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Photosynthesis, Part 1-Modeling Photosynthesis

Unit 1: Unit 1- Organization and Relationships
Lesson 9 of 23

Objective: Students will model the process of photosynthesis in order to visualize how photosynthetic organisms use sunlight to combine inorganic molecules to form energy storing organic molecules and release oxygen that is vital to most living things.

Big Idea: It's cool to be able to make your own food.

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