Module 12

We have a ‘no-class’ week during this module and this module contains a crayfish dissection.  After much deliberation

— dissection in class/at home
— have them work through the module at home & test as scheduled?

For crying out loud, this is a homeschool class.  We are here to learn, not to check of boxes … Test – Check …

Nope, lets have some out-of-the box hands-on learning.  Instead of a regular test, the students will create a model of a crayfish.  If this works as well as the edible cell, they will learn, have fun and get to be creative.

While I was searching the internet for ideas, I came across a web-site with some great illustrations: http://www.uwlax.edu/Biology/Zoo-lab/Lab-8–Arthropods/

We did the dissection in class and it was so much more fun than the worm.  The students were more comfortable dissecting and I had them take pictures instead of make drawings.  Many of the crayfish were in mutilated both intentionally and unintentionally.  At the end of the class I jokingly announced that many of them should take “surgeon” off of their future career list because surgeons do not rip apart bodies or have their specimens fight with each other.

On the lab reports, they included the labeled pictures with their lab report.  I am quite pleased with the outcome of this and will do it for future dissections as well — they seem to have learned so much more.

— update on the crayfish model —

Only a few of the students followed the directions and got a good grade but all of the students were able to identify the parts of a crayfish which was the object of this assignment.  Many of the students did not include the system on the label so I am letting them resubmit the assignment for a better grade (but not full credit).

For the remainder of the module, I gave the class a “Pop-Presentation”.  I had anticipated this being a class grade but had 2 students absent so I gave the students Extra Credit instead.  The directions were:
1.  Select a topic from the rest of the chapter — each topic was about 1/2 to 1 page in the textbook and I wrote their choices on the white board.
2.  Spend 15 minutes, right now – in class, preparing a 2 minute presentation on the topic.
3.   At the end, the Presenter will ask a question about the content of their presentation (example: “does an insect have arms?”) that everyone in the class had to answer, in writing.  The students were told that “If the audience does not know the answer to the question then you have not done a good job with the presentation.”

At the end of 15 minutes, each student got out a piece of paper to write their answers on and the presentations began.

Everyone did a great job with the “Pop-Presentation” and only a few of the questions were really hard or too broad to answer.  In the future, I will give them written directions and read them aloud – not allowing questions until the end — because this was a new concept, they were asking so many questions while I was attempting to give directions.

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