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ARTIFACT SET TWO
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Standard: Accomplished teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects
Standard Accomplished teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.
School goal: Teachers will increase student engagement and improve student achievement by focusing on instructional practice.
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Never be daunted by the science that precedes you, and never assume that what you discover is already known. What you discover may be new. What will distinguish you as a true scientist is your powers of observation. Keep careful records, watch and observe with patience and intensity. Let your mind travel freely on a river of questions and when one touches your soul, pursue it, follow where it goes and let others share in what you learn- we are expecting great things from you! (Author unknown)


A couple of Science Olympiad team winners and the AP Bio class bonding with the pigs!

ARTIFACT 2A: Biology Ecocolumn Project

Rationale: The artifacts in this set are typical of the hands on inquiries that I engage my students in for each unit of study. I feel they show that I apply the principles of scientific research and provide appropriate scaffolding for my students to experience experiential learning as they develop their own understanding of the underlying concepts. Students learn best by doing and the majority of their grades come from the work they do in the lab, not out of a book.
The Ecocolumn project is an artifact that could fit into any of the proposition categories. I introduce this on the first day of school. They create groups and begin brainstorming their ideas about how to build their columns, what to put in it, what variable they will test, etc. They have to collect plants and animals and design 3 interactive ecosystems using a minimum of three 3-liter bottles which is duplicated in 2 columns, keeping one set for control and the other for an environmental issue they want to investigate like the effect of carwash from the driveway onto the lawn and draining to the garden. It is a very integrated project involving group work, individual responsibility, choice, computer technology, research, journaling and lab report writing, drawing, data collections and analysis, oral presentation and self evaluation. They have to do what scientists do- design and carry out an experiment in a cooperative lab team and report on their findi
ECOCOLUMN PROJECT Descriptor
|Ecocolumnmovie.mp4
|Analysis Rubric
Group skills Rubric.pdf
(the movie clip takes time to load-you may wish to choose first and allow to load while you read on or view other artifacts)
GroupEvaluation sample : compiled, anonymously submitted feedback from group members based on above group skills rubric


(insert 3 pictures of ecocolumns)

Standard: Accomplished teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.
School goal: Teachers (need rest of sentence)




The Ecocolumns
Reflection: This has been a great way to start the year and the students are really invested in their experiment because it is entirely designed by them- it is a project rich in both content and process and very student centered. They apply many science skills without having to do tedious exercises to learn them out of context. This sets the tone for all our group and lab work where I provide the scaffolding as needed and allow them to explore. It also allows them to contribute to the group by taking on aspects best fitting their own learning styles. There are frequent check-in points which help me manage the progress of the quite varied projects- like reading the journal entries weekly to see how a group is doing, write back suggestions or ask leading questions and, if necessary, step in to get them back on track or deal with a group dynamic issue.
Management of the entire month long project resulted in the need to design scoring forms to keep track of progress and posted charts as well as scaffolding to help them along the way. For example, when it was time to write an analysis they needed to have models to learn from to understand what was expected and what made a good vs. poor analysis. The quality of their analyses improved greatly after we did that exercise. Students can do the work we set before them as long as we are clear about what we expect and provide the exemplars to guide them. Finally the group evaluation asks them to evaluate how well they contributed to the group and they can use the compiled results from their fellow members giving them constructive feedback for improvement as they move on to the next collaborative project. Even though they are studying Biology, there are some lifelong skills, which they can work on and carry away with them like working with others, which can help them succeed no matter what path they may take.

ARTIFACT 2B: AP Biology Project

Rationale: There is a significant difference in expectations between the Sophomore Biology and Senior AP Biology classes. At the sophomore level I provide formats and discuss/show lots of examples and the basic setup and conduct daily monitoring, yet still have them design, use observation, collect and analyze data, report out, research and work collaboratively- all essential skills of a good scientist. So while I expect them to think for themselves there is still a certain amount of scaffolding. At the AP level I provide minimal help, giving them the problem, the equipment if needed, a few parameters, some probing questions and feedback, but then I step aside and let them work out the problem and decide for themselves the best way to conduct their research. The following project is included here because it shows that I am aware of the cognitive development of students and how I modify based on readiness- this sort of project would overwhelm the sophomore classes as they are still learning how to DO science whereas the Seniors need to have less hand- holding. I liken it to the eagle who creates the conditions that push the eaglet to leave the comfort of the nest- it is time to work truly independently.
We are fortunate at Yarmouth to have our own table top windtunnel and this is the project they start the year with, setting the tone for all their investigations. The leaf data table is a sample of student work and the qualitative document was one that the students came up with after discussing what they wanted to do, to which I added a few suggestions, and then they emailed individual results to each other. The most recent group came up with a table format they all agreed to use and sent their personal data to each other so it could be compiled individually by each one using their own design. This has become a truly collaborative project with me acting as just another member of the team as there are no "right" answers and each year's class approaches it from different angles.

Wind tunnel lab- Descriptor
leaf data
| Qualitative Data

Reflection
When given the challenge to be in complete charge of the research and experimentation with very little guidance, the Seniors are at first hesitant but very quickly get into it and become engrossed in the experiment. Leaders emerge and different ones take on aspects that intrigue them, everyone contributing to the overall project with their strengths. It has been gratifying to watch them function as a science team and the products, especially the depth of the analyses, have shown their growth in comprehension and being able to follow through to valid conclusions. The skills they gain, from doing both qualitative and quantitative research to working cohesively as a team and doing problem solving, figuring out their own strategies, and yet also working independently as needed are skills that will be applicable as they move from high school and, for the majority of them, into the medical field. For me, it has been a lesson in stepping back and letting them go through the experience and make their mistakes and flounder without giving into the instinct to give them the answers- a lesson I have learned to carry on to other activities in all my classes.

Artifact 3

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