I hate worksheet type classwork but I have some really nice data sets for ecology. Today we looked at the classic Hare/Lynx data and I had the class graph the data set and work together to answer questions about which animal exerts control over the other or, it is both? I then threw in a primary produce (clover) and asked how they would plot a third line for it. They had to consider the lag time for each species in terms of population impact from each limiting factor.
In 7th period our web capability went down so I went to a similar data base of wolf/deer interactions, I like this data set because it shows population fluctuations for a controlled island ecosystem and takes into account predation, starvation and offspring.
Tomorrow is the first quiz in honors and I do quizzes this way:
- All questions are un-numbered but have the learning objective at the top of each section. Then there are parts to the question below the learning objective.
- The questions are data driven. Analysis comes from situations, graphs and tables.
- All questions are short answer.
- At the end of the quiz period, kids turn in their answer sheets and pick up a rubric and self-assessment.
- They then look at the rubric and score their own mastery on the self-assessment. Below each mastery scale table, they comment on “What I could do better”. This feedback is really important for their reflection and my understanding of their answer choice.
- They then turn it all in.
- I will score each quiz, offering written feedback in areas they did not master.
- I do this for around 100 honors kids and 23 AP kids. It is a lot of work. But, in my experience the feedback is helpful in determining where the student has to close the gap to mastery. From there, they can reassess.
In AP biology we started our evolution domain today. It began with a brief introduction to pre-Darwinian contributions and general idea about natural selection. I then showed the HHMI short film called The Making of a Theory which is very well done. They have a fact or fiction sheet they work on before the film and then after to compare ideas.
I will follow this up Wednesday with more intro information on natural selection and its principles. By then the students will have worked with the Grant finch data and see the short film The Beak of the Finch and we can use that to drive the discussion.
Today I came across this and thought Google has a great perspective. I just wish I could convince colleagues and our system of the same sentiment.