Purpose of Lesson:
The purpose of this lesson is to use the class data from the assessment and set up one last learning opportunity for kids. The reflection of this section gives more information about this.
Major Strategies to Watch for:
1) Grouping and review opportunity- The just in time work for the kids that did not show proficiency.
2) Extension work- creative work for students that showed proficiency on the standards.
Learning Goal: Transfer the concept of adaptations to a new environment.
Opening Question: Let's say a new species of mammal was discovered in the Arctic. What type of adaptations would you guess it would have? Why?
Students record their opening question on their learning goal sheet and are ready to start class 3 min after the bell has rung. I reward students who get started early with ROCK STAR SCIENTIST tickets.
Venus Flytraps: Jaws of Death is a great video that shows a very dramatic adaptation in a plant. I like to show this on the day when students will be making their "Creative Creatures" because it sparks a lot of interest and inspires creative thinking.
Based on the data, the major problem in the test from yesterday had to do with this question.
Biologists studied a population of lizards. They found that small lizards had trouble defending their territories and that large lizards were more likely than small or medium lizards to be preyed upon by owls. Which of the following graphs represents the most likely distribution for body size in this lizard population?
Explain your thinking.
Today I start my introduction by working through this question and opening up my thinking to the students. As I move through my instruction, I try to watch for students having ah-ha moments. If I see that I let them process out loud what they are thinking. A video of this is below.
At the end of the instruction, I give a new similar assessment question to see if thinking as has changed. In this situation the new question is:
Based on my evaluation of my data I have two distinct issues to handle in class today. I have one question that very few students got correct. I chose to address that in the introduction of the class with universal instruction (see above section). I also have a group of students in each class that need some individual work.
First, I move students to new seats. I move the group of students with learning issues to my back table so that we can work as an intervention group. Then I reseat my other students so that they are working with new people. I generally simply reseat randomly. In my classroom every table is numbered so it is very easy to simply renumber the kids and have them move.
First, I get the majority of students working on their extension task. They will be independent and will need little of my attention. There is more on this task in the next section.
Then I start my intervention group. My first step with the group is to simply ask some questions and see what the think behind certain answers was. Many times there is one core misconception that is affecting most of the answers. By correcting that misconceptions, the students can then tackle the other problems.
Other times, students are simply struggling with the procedure of how to work through the problems, in that situation I become a coach and carefully probe to find where the student feels the most comfortable and then using questioning, prompting, and cueing to move the student forward.
I give all the students in this group the chance to retake the test in a week.
Students that have already shown proficiency or advancement on the standards now have a chance to play and extend their learning. This "Creative Creature" activity is a great way to let students be creative, have fun, and still apply some of the important lessons of the unit. Since this is an extension task I let the students be very self sufficient learners. They have a lot of freedom to explore and extend on their own. The basic requirements of the tasks are;
• Create your own creature that might be living on Earth right now and just be undiscovered. Use the poster paper to draw the organism in its environment.
• Label six adaptations, noting how it helped the animal survive in its environment.
• Write paragraph about the animal, where it lives, how it survives, and what adaptations allowed it to be successful or unsuccessful (physical and behavioral).
Closing Statement: Today we invented our on creatures with specialized adaptations.
Closing Question: What types of needs did you consider when you invented your creature?
Closure depends greatly on timing and is not as easy to plan in advance as opening. You can find more information about how I manage closure here.