Saturday, April 9, 2011

CED 525 - Week 5

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.


  1. Carl,
    I too feel the same way about homework. I think it shouldn't be a make it or break it deal, but students should still get some credit for it to keep them motivated to do the work. I count homework at 15%. I weigh quizzes and tests much heavier and I see those as the true judgment of how well the students grasp the material. I think as education moves forward in the future, you are going to see more people going this route. I have already gone to a couple conferences this year where the speaker was saying the same thing.

  2. In my accounting class I treat homework very differently than my other classes. Accounting is a class where if a student has one number wrong, it can throw off many other numbers. When homework is assigned, the next day, students return to class and I put the answers to the homework on the board for them to check their work. I simply check to see if they did their homework and follow up with the students to make sure they don't have any questions. This makes the students much more responsible for knowing the material and if they copied from someone else just to get the points for homework I can always tell on the tests, which weigh much more heavily on their grade.

  3. I think you are right Carl. Homework needs some value to show the students that it is important, but they should not have their grades decided by it. I was also curious about how you use hypothesis. Since I know you are a science teacher, this is obviously an important part of you curriculum. Do you have the students predict the results, then check it on the labquests? That would seem to be a good way to demonstrate a key part of the scientific method.