This week we needed to post a reflection for each of the strategies that we studied (Identifying Similarities and Differences, Homework and Practice, and Generating and Testing Hypotheses). We also need to evaluate an online lesson and we needed to revise one of our units. This post will contain my reflection and links to my lesson evaluation and unit revision.
I can think of a time that I asked students to identify similarities and differences and I was pleased with the results. Why did it go well?
One example of when I have asked my students to identify similarities and differences is during our bonding unit. We create a ven diagram that identifies the similarities and differences between ionic and covalent bonding. I have found that this really helps students comprehend the two types of bonding and how they work. This is an important concept because the students must be able to identify the type of bonding in order to understand other concepts that they will learn throughout the rest of the year.
What is the purpose of asking students to complete homework?
The completion of homework was a hot topic of discussion at my school. A few years ago, there was a group of teachers and administrators that wanted to stop counting homework towards a student's overal grade. This was highly debated. The concept was that homework should be considered practice and it shouldn't negatively affect a student's grade if it is not completed. The counter argument was that if we do not require students to do homework, it won't be completed and they will not get the practice they need to succeed. I can understand both sides of the debate. I currently count homework as 5% of a students overal grade. This is a very small portion. My hope is that this will motivate students to complete their work, but it wont have a huge impact on the student's overall grade if it is not completed. This has worked well for me and I have had the majority of my students complete their work.
What kinds of technologies can I use to help students generate and test hypotheses?
I have been trying to implement more labs that utilize the vernier labquests. These are portable devices that can record, graph, and analyze a range of data based on the probes that they connect. The labquests provides tangible quantitative results that are typically accurate and reliable. These labs allows the students to see the science in action and accurately evaluate the results. This has been a great way to test a hypothesis and determine if we were right or wrong. This has really helped my students understand important and sometimes complicated science concepts.