I over planned for the 2 week unit. We are on the 4th week of working and still not done. A problem with attendance has been a main issue. Students have been out hunting, traveling for NYO, or traveling all of last week for our district dance festival. We keep pushing through anyway. Only one group is almost finished with their house and report. I will focus on them. One of the 3 has been absent the past 2 days so I will focus on the other 2. One is a 10th grader who is a female (1) the other is an 11th grader who is male (2). I will refer to them as 1 and 2 throughout my reflection.
*I color coded my data to see if I could find trends. Here are what the colors mean
Students first engaged in content through an assignment on Actively Learn. The title of the article was Heat, Temperature, and Thermal Energy Transfer. Students were to first read the article and then highlight 3 things they found interesting and use the notes feature to explain why, then highlight 3 vocab words they didn't know and copy the definition as a note, and finally respond to 6 questions at the end. They could resubmit answers as many times as they wanted for a higher grade. I would reply with feedback as shown below. This way student knew what to do to get a better grade. The feedback was given to students as quickly as I could read and type. This is part of the reason I really love to use Actively Learn. Feedback is in realtime and students don't have to wait until the next day to see where they are at. Students can make improvements right away. Most students want to make improvements if they don't get a proficient or advanced score. Only one student hates to do it.
Student 1 has a clear understanding of the concept while student 2 needed a bit more work. Student one receive a 10/10 for this question and a 48/60 overall on the assignment (80%). Student 2 received a proficient marking. His wording is a bit off but I think he was talking about how you heat increases because the particles motion increases. I don't think he meant to put heat twice in the sentence. He also knew that to measure thermal energy we use a thermometer which helps to know for the project. He got a 9/10 on this question and a 46/60 overall (77%)
Next students watched 4 short videos on EDpuzzle. They were all about heat, temperature and thermal energy. EDpuzzle allows teachers to embed questions in to videos from YouTube and other sites similar to YouTube. Students again get almost instant feedback. If the question is multiple choice students are shown the correct answer once they respond. If the question is short answer the teacher grades it as quickly as they can. Below is a table showing the 2 students scores on the videos. As you can see student 1 did not complete the Thermal Energy & Dye video. Sample responses from the 2nd video (Heat, Thermal Energy, and Temperature) are below.
Student 1 understands both concepts easily. She uses complete sentences and all wording is easily understandable. For the first question she understands that a smaller object cools down faster because there are less particles. In the second question she understands that thermal energy comes form heat and temperature tells us how hot or cold something is. She received a 100% on this video. Each video was worth 10 points so she got a 30/40 (75%).
Student 2 mostly got the 1st question but struggled on the 2nd question. Many students struggled throughout the unit to figure out the differences between temperature, heat, and thermal energy. So after the video we made a chart that clearly defined each of the terms. This student received a 5/10 on this video but received the same score at student 1 on all of the EDpuzzle videos 30/40 (75%)
3 Kahoot games were played right after the EDpuzzle assignment on the 3rd day of the unit during the last 25 minutes of class. Students were all engaged and loved playing as usual. The average score was close to 60% for the 3 games. During the 4th week on day 16 of the unit we replayed the Thermal Energy game. This game was identical to the one we had played in the first week. Unfortunately the internet connection was not great so I'm not sure the results are completely accurate. The average was close to the same as last time, but more students were missing the second time around. Out of the students who were present both times we played: 4 improved their score, 2 stayed the same, and 3 decreased their score. Most improved or stayed the same telling me that students were learning throughout the course of the unit. Below are student 1 and student 2's scores.
Student 1 increased her score by 3 points which was equal to a 21% gain the second time we played the Thermal Energy Kahoot! game. Student 1 missed only parts of class but never a whole day during the 4 weeks we have been working on the unit. Student 2 missed all of last week due to the dance festival in another village and his score stayed the same. It was hard for him, as for the other students, to figure out what was going on when they came back to class Monday. This game was played first thing Tuesday. I'm guessing he stayed the same because he has been out of class for so long.
Thermal House Project
For the about 2.5 weeks students have been researching and framing and insulating a model house out of a variety of materials (wood sticks, popsicle sticks, cotton balls, jeans, fabric, foil, duck tape, scotch tape, and hot glue). Students were to design a house that would let the least amount of thermal energy out. Here is a copy of the handout that led students through the research, planning, building, and data collection part of the project. Students are not complete with this yet but hopefully will be complete by the end of the week.
Students got a participation grade based on reflections they completed 2-3 times each week ( I forgot to pass them out some days). They were to answer the following questions:
Students were given 5 points for completing the reflection, 3 points for their response on number 1 and 2 points for response on 2. One the first question I was looking for a detailed response. This is why student 2 got a 10 and student 1 got a 9. On question 2 they got 1 point for saying yes or no and another point for giving a reason. I looked at question 3 to determine if the grade was fair. For the most part students were accurate and I gave them the grade they thought they should get.
For the daily reflection I averaged their scores on each individual reflection. Next I multiplied by 10 for a score out of 100.Student 1 received an 87% on the reflection and student 2 received a 93%. Both received some of the top scores because this group really worked together and stayed on task each day. This is one of the main reasons this group is the only group almost finished with their report
All students worked really well when building the house. I only had one student on one day choose not to work. I think this happened because she didn't know what to do. She is very quiet and frequently works by herself. I think being in a group was hard for her. After that one day I focused on helping her find her place and she seemed to work.
The problems have come over the last 3 days. Students collected data on the house and after that want to be done. They don't want to do the report. I can relate as it is the least fun part of any lab in science class. This is why I added the video portion. I thought students might have more fun this way. Here is the report made by student 1 and 2. It is not quite finished.
Here is the rubric I will be using to grade the reports. Students were given this at the beginning of the 3rd week, as the first group was getting ready to test. This group is not finished yet so I hate to assign a grade. They have a great start but are still missing many major components such as the hypothesis and question. They also are working on the data table to add in as well. If I had to assign a grade according to the rubric. Right now they would earn 24 points out of 100. This is a very low score and I am confident they will do the necessary work to complete their report and ear a passing score.
If I were to do this again...
I would split up the report sections. I would make them record the question, hypothesis and introduction before building. Then after they finished building I would make them write the procedure. Next they would collect data and then finish the report. This way the report would be broken up and not all at once. They would also have checkpoints that would hopefully keep them motivated to get the report finished.
I would also like to be sure students complete each part before moving on to the next. I did not make sure students completed the beginning work on actively learn and EDpuzzle. I started to get crunched for time and wanted all student to be a part of the project.
Another thing I might try next time is setting up a calendar ahead of time so students can see how long they have. It probably would not have worked this time due to unforeseen absences but might help student manage time better in the future. Some groups are working at the pace of a snail and others are sprinting to the finish. When I set a deadline for ordering supplies students worked with what they had. Only one group complained.
I believe this unit was very effective in reaching all students. Even the students who missed the content were able to step in and give ideas to their groups. I think this was the biggest advantage to the design thinking concept. If students have any background with the project then they are able to contribute and learn from others. I think they even learned some of the stuff other students learned in the lesson. I even saw students help other groups and give them ideas. The class had a very positive atmosphere with each group helping each other not just their own group. In the end, every group build a different house. The class is starting to see which materials were best based on the temperatures they got. Some groups are even going around asking other groups what they got for their temperatures. Students are asking questions of each other and not just me. They are problem solving as they run into challenges. I only wish I could do projects like this all of the time.
I think they are still confused about the foil and this was evident today. Some students think foil is an insulator because they used it in their house, and they are believing that they only used insulators. We paused today, on day 16, to discuss this and I think students understood. They know it gets hot. I explained to them they use it because it gets hot fast, but then they used other stuff around it to keep the heat from the foil in. They all realized this to be true because some touched the foil and realized how much hotter it got than the rest of the stuff.
We played another Kahoot game yesterday which revealed some supporting data, and I wanted to share. Students averaged 74% correct the first time we played and the 2nd time the average went up to 81%. Student 1 and 2 showed the same results as last time. Student 1 increased her score and student 2 stayed the same. Again I think student 2 missed a lot and is still trying to catch up.
Students are still working to finish their reports. No group has fully finished yet. 2 students are working on a written report and are almost finished. I wanted to share what that looks like, since I have an example of the video. On this report the students would receive a 74/100. I will also factor in a final reflection when they are completely finished. They would get 5/5 points for organization, 2/5 for language/grammar, 4/10 for sources (they are not finished with this part), 5/5 for the question, 10/10 for the hypothesis, 20/25 for the introduction/research (It lacks depth, the students did not connect the ideas but just copied responses from their notes), 4/5 for procedure (they are missing the quantities of each of the items they used), 10/15 for data/observations (their description is just a restatement of the table and doesn't explain the table), and 10/20 for the conclusion (they did not give much for what they learned).