After posting my last blog about rethinking the Science Fair, I decided to get brave and ask for some online interest in collaborating on an "Experiment Swap" on several of the Schoology groups I've joined.
The exciting part is that I am now in contact with five different teachers around the United States and Canada who are all interested in trying to do this in some way!
To get the ball rolling, we will need to nail down a few things:
1) A dependable form of technology that will allow our classes to interact. Ideally, I'd like the students to be able to comment on and reply to the work of other students. (A Schoology course or group? A Google doc or site?)
2) A lesson plan or experiment (or series of experiments) that would work between two different classes, and perhaps even two different grade levels.
3) A way to offer constructive peer feedback between students. Perhaps a checklist or rubric?
For new projects like this, perhaps the best place to start is with the end in mind. It's 4:30pm here in my classroom, and my brain is pretty much fried, but here's what I envision my students getting out of a project like this...
As a result of this collaboration activity, I would like students to be able to:
a. Recognize the importance of and hone their skills in writing a clearly written procedure
b. Understand and verbalize the importance of multiple trials in an experiment
c. Critically analyze another student lab report and give feedback about sources of error
d. See how science is a cyclical process of experimentation and revision which is dependent on many scientists validating the work of others.
Now to craft the collaboration so that my students (and perhaps other students around the continent) can actually master these objectives!!