I am a relatively new teacher (5 yrs.) in a rural school district and have
fewer students per class but teach all of the high school science classes.
I, too, find myself grading close to 80 lab notebooks per week.
Generally, the first few weeks of class I focus on the proper procedures for
using a lab notebook (i.e. dates on every page, pages numbered sequentially,
no scribble outs, write-overs, whiteout, proper correction techniques,
etc.). The labs during the first few weeks of class cover measurements,
significant digits, types of observations, and graphing skills, making them
easy to scan for the aforementioned items. Also I try to stagger the due
dates so that I do not have all 80 notebooks turned in on the same day.
During the rest of the year, I focus mainly on data collection and analysis
of the data. This information is worth 25 of the 40 points available. I do
not grade every measurement or observation, but look for several important
pieces of data, to make sure the students understand the concepts of the
lab. I give the students several (1-10) scenarios or problems to solve
using the data they have collected, then I look at how they use their data
to solve the given scenarios or problems. These are what I concentrate on,
although I still expect them to follow the given format, use proper graphing
techniques etc. (the 15 remaining points of every lab).
Last year was the first year I tried lab notebooks in each class. At first,
all I could invision was a mountain of grading. However, I found it made my
grading more consistent, it really does take less time to grade (all the
information is organized), it kept all the the students' lab work organized
and in one area (something studnets struggled with the previous four years),
and it allows students to use previously collected data and analysis to
solve future laboratory problems. Occasionally, I forget to stagger the
collection dates and it may take a week to get all 80 graded.
This is probably what you are already doing, but I am also tyring to
assess/compare my own laboratory grading techniques with veteran teachers
like you. Let me know if you find any new ideas.
From: "Rose, Diane" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 06:45:31 -0400
Subject: [Channel-talkchemistry] Chemistry lab reports-request for
> As a veteran teacher with plnty of experience with
> developing my students ability to analyze and evaluate, I
> am trying to break out of the formal lab report format as
> my time to grade 80 labs per week has decreased. Anyone
> using a format that is adaptable to various texts and
> levels of ability that is beyond cookie cutter labs?
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Received on Fri Aug 24 10:50:53 2007