[personal profile] singerinthedark
Tomorrow's lesson for my College Prep Biology Class:

In 35 minutes, you must create a small-scale project that shows your understanding of transcription. Your project may be a presentation, a poem, a poster, a picture of a tattoo, a skit… Anything you can create in 35 min.

The rules:
1. You may work in groups of 1-3.
2. You must illustrate or explain the following concepts:
a. RNA is different from DNA in structure and function
b. RNA is similar to DNA
c. Base Pair rules
d. The process of transcription
e. RNA polymerase’s role in making RNA
3. You must be able to explain how your project relates to transcription.
4. You must work on your project for the entire 35 min.
5. You will present your project at the end of class.
6. YOUR PROJECT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT. It just needs to follow rules 1-5.

I plan on using the warm-up activity as way to brainstorm ideas and allow students to choose their groups with people who are like-minded. As an additional motivator, I'm considering bringing in some sort of treat to award to the project that was most creative - perhaps letting the students vote on it.

It will be quick, fun, and fast, providing I can sell it to the students correctly. I'm presenting this idea 5th period, which starts at 1:05. Any last-minute feedback?

Date: 2010-04-13 05:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kelsied.livejournal.com
How long does the class last? If you get a lot of enthusiastic students, it may take longer to present than you think it will. I might consider making this a 2-3 day project: Work on it Day 1, present Day 2 (and Day 3 if needed).

Date: 2010-04-13 01:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] battymaiden.livejournal.com
Three days is more time than I have for this topic, unfortunately. I have to finish transcription AND translation this week in order to get started on evolution and review prior to STAR testing... (Did I mention how much I hate standardized testing?)

To answer your question, class is 55 minutes. Warmup will be 10 minutes, which means that presentations will have to extend into tomorrow, if not start tomorrow - I'm certain of that.

Unfortunately with this class I have to give them a solid, almost too short time-limit or I don't get ANY work back. If I wanted really quality projects, I'd give them a month and make it an out-of-class assignment. On the other hand, if I make it a long-term-project, I'll only get a few back - this class has an abysmal rate for turning in homework...

I dunno. This could be a total disaster with this particular class, and I may change my mind sometime today and come up with something different.

Date: 2010-04-13 06:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whalejudge.livejournal.com
Looks good to me. Though Kelsied has a point about time. Go get'em.

Date: 2010-04-13 06:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sylphbranching.livejournal.com
I'll echo the concern: Will 35 minutes give them enough time to get in groups, brainstorm and warm up, do the work, then have all groups present and explain? I could see some students loving the time pressure and others getting frustrated because they want to be creative but feel stuck. The warm up activity is a good idea and should help with the stuck-ness problem, though.

Also I'd suggest bringing multiple types of art supplies if you don't have them already--maybe yarn and glue and pens, and random things like paper clips, etc.
Have a great time!

Date: 2010-04-13 01:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] battymaiden.livejournal.com
The whole class is 55 minutes, and I honestly plan for most presentations (except for maybe one or two) to be pushed to tomorrow.

Unless a miracle happens, presentation will zoom by in less than 20 minutes - this particular group of students don't really go all-out on assignments and do as little work as possible.

I expect some groups will get really stuck or some of them "stuck" - I have a lot of kids who are really bright, but lazy in that they want me to feed them the answers to everything. I expect a LOT of literal interpretations of the topic, but as always, I remain hopeful that this will be the project that will fire these students up.

Date: 2010-04-13 03:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sylphbranching.livejournal.com
Sounds like a good plan :) And for a group of students that does as little work as possible it's probably a good project, because they aren't forced to go in depth but they do have to apply themselves and get creative.

Date: 2010-04-15 08:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kelsied.livejournal.com
It occurred to me after, so this may be something to file away for later. But when I train projects like this with adults, I budget the time for several "sections" and give each adult a different section to teach back. That way, we can cover multiple topics in an interactive style. They learn one topic well (their own), and the other topics are more interesting than if I just stood up front and lectured... and if they overlook something, I can always point it out after their presentation, or ask them a question that draws that point out.

So in future, if you need to cover four or five topics over three days, you could still use the three days for development and presentation, provided you selected the topics broadly enough.



August 2010


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