Test Solution Project (#5 of 5)

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Students will design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.

Big Idea

Natural resources are precious and finite. It is important for students to be aware of environmental issues in their own backyard and imagine feasible solutions to problems that threaten them.

Learner Goals

Note: I recommend that you first check out this resource in order to get the most out of this lesson!

In high school I took several drafting classes and, for a while, I had hoped to become an architect. With respect to planning instruction and teaching, I feel that I can still live out the detailed approach to building something intricate and complex even though the product is a lesson rather than a certain "built environment".

The lesson-planning document that I uploaded to this section is a comprehensive overview of how I approach lesson planning. This template includes the "Big Three" aspects of the NGSS standards: Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, and Science Practices. Of course, there are many other worthy learning goals, skills, instructional strategies, and assessments that can be integrated into a class session. I don't feel compelled to check every box but, rather, use it as a guide to consider various options and tailor the lesson in light of these.

With regard to this particular lesson...

Students will propose two different strategies for improving the condition of an environmental problem in Washington State (both wildlife and human inhabitants) and explain methods used to test (evaluate) how well either solution might work.

I hope you get some value from my work!

Anticipatory Set ("Hook")

10 minutes

Link to Day #4...


SMART Goal Setting (Tracker)Based on peer feedback from the PQP session the day before, students will determine the rework or enhancements to be done today and document it in the SMART Goal Tracker.


5-3-1 Reflection: Reflecting on the experience of the PQP peer evaluation process (Day #3), students provide input on the perceived value of the evaluation strategy.

-A 5 score indicates that students rated their experience as "highly valuable" and helped to make very meaningful improvements to their work.

-A 3 score indicates that students rated their experience as "valuable" and helped to make  meaningful improvements to their work.

-A 1 score indicates that students rated their experience as "not valuable" and provided no specific, measurable, or reasonable feedback with which to make meaningful improvements to their work.

(Anecdotally, all students surveyed indicated either 3s or 5s with most rating the experience as a 5.)

Cool beans.

Instructional Input/Student Activities

45 minutes

Teaching Challenge: How do I support students to persevere and grapple with complex tasks?

Teaching Challenge: How do I develop routines and procedures to support students to work independently in the science classroom?

Image courtesy of: https://orig13.deviantart.net/61e0/f/2012/203/7/2/team_work_by_rusrick-d587lln.jpg

Revise and Submit Final Product (The project is the shark and little fishes are the team members)

In this space of time, students are working to complete their individual contributions, including formatting, spell-checking, and refining the aesthetics of their work. In collaboration with the team editor, a time frame ought to be established to hand over work to him or her. For example, a given team might agree to get all individual work to the editor with 20 minutes left in class, leaving about 30 minutes for individual last-touches.

In this regard, the Editor is formally on the hot seat now to integrate the work of each of the other three members. Technically. In truth, each member lends his or her insight on the final touches, spelling and grammer checks, and the overall aesthetic of the work*.

*Note: If you read the entire last sentence and did not judge me (even privately) I applaud you! I wouldn't have been so gracious! Yes, grammar is very important (even for scientifically minded folks)!

Lastly, students are prompted to submit their completed SMART Goal Tracker forms.

Closure: What did we learn? Where do we go from here?

5 minutes

Student Project Feedback Form: Now the tables get turned. From students evaluating students (such as on Day #3), students will now evaluate the nature and form of the Test Solution Project and, by extension, their illustrious teacher. That's me in this case. =]

What I am really hoping to uncover is whether students really bought into the spirit and process of the Test Solution Project as I intended.

The questions are grounded in the various Teaching Challenges peppered throughout this project and any valuable insights I might be able to glean from this year's group that will help me revise the project for future students.