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TE 804

Name: Matt Sheick

INQUIRY REPORT

Objective
B3.1C Recognize the equations for photosynthesis and respiration and identify the reactants and products for both. B1.1h Design and conduct a systematic scientific investigation that tests a hypothesis. Draw conclusions from data presented in charts or tables. Synthesized objective: Through a scientific investigation, students will draw conclusions from data to explain the role that carbon dioxide plays in photosynthesis.

Analysis
Establish a Problem/Engage Story of what happened: Students walked into class to a 3 minute long time-lapse video showing a plant growing. As the video came to an end, I replayed the video. Meanwhile, written on the board, was the Do Now activity for the day. Students complete Do Now activities in their notebooks. The Do Now for the day read, Explain how this plant is growing. Students were given about 5 minutes to complete their responses in their notebooks. Meanwhile, I took attendance for the hour and passed back some work from previous lessons. After the 5 minutes elapsed, I asked some students to share some ideas, reminding the class that they will not be judged on whether or not their ideas are right or wrong. The responses ranged from they took in nutrients from the soil, to their cells got bigger. Their responses informed how we would frame the Questions to be asked. Data analysis Embedded assessment activity: The embedded assessment activity was for students to record how they think plants grow. This question will serve to either reinforce a concept or provide the beginnings to a conceptual change event. This lesson served as an introduction to the unit on photosynthesis and respiration so the assessment just wanted to get at student ideas surrounding the topic of plant growth. Ideal response: There was no specific ideal response since this was basically just asking students to draw on prior knowledge from middle school to explain how plants grow. In an ideal world, a 9th grader would respond, This plant is growing because as it performs photosynthesis, it takes CO2 from the atmosphere and makes sugars. Some of that carbon becomes parts of the molecules, cells and tissues of the plant, allowing cell division to occur and the plant to grow. Summary of patterns in actual responses (use specific quotes from

students responses to back your claims): o Student responses varied in length, from very short statements to longer explanations. o Some students mentioned photosynthesis, but did not go any deeper than that. This could mean that they remember we were starting a photosynthesis and respiration unit (even though I did not say this in the week leading up to this lesson). It could also mean they know plants do photosynthesis and arent sure how that works our how they would grow. It is hard to gauge how much the student actually understands about photosynthesis based on responses such as these. Plants grow through a process called photosynthesis. Plants grow by photosynthesis. Plants grow through photosynthesis. o Some students described photosynthesis and offered up a little bit more of an explanation of what might be going on (may contain misconceptions). Plants grow because of the sunlight and the water give the plants the materials it needs to grow so then it goes through photosynthesis. A plant grow by photosethsis plant asorb sunlight and produce sugar by nutrients from water and soil. Plants grow by gowing through photosynthesis to give themselves food then they need to be water so they will not die. With those to things they grow they also need oxygen and give of carbon dioxide. o Other student responses were insightful with perhaps some misconceptions or undeveloped ideas but did not mention photosynthesis by name. The plant takes in water through the roots and pushes it up the plant. In return, the plant send air out. The plant takes in sunlight through the leaves and the air exits through the leaves. As this continues, the plant grows. Plants grow by the molecules in the seed combine with the molecules of the water. It starts to grow. Then the The plant needed food, water and sunlight so that it could grow from a seed to a plant. Observations from video or student interviews: I was not able to get any video due to the current policy in DPS, but I was able to conduct several student interviews. After the Do Now was assigned, students shared some of their responses. Many students that shared their responses were confident in the phrase photosynthesis, but when pushed deeper about what is going on with photosynthesis, the students didnt seem too sure about what was really going on.

Assessment of efficacy of this stage (especially in terms of scaffolding and embedded assessment): This first stage really helped to assess where the students were as a group in

terms of photosynthesis. This insight into the prior knowledge helped shape my later lessons. Not a lot of scaffolding was done in this part of the inquiry cycle since this was the first step. I have scaffolded them throughout the year on how to complete a Do Now activity and therefore many of the students gave some insightful responses to the Do Now question, which served as the embedded assessment. Plan Describe how this stage affected later lessons: This stage was crucial because it allowed me to realize where the students were at the beginning of the unit. It allowed me to assess prior knowledge about the topic of photosynthesis and got the students thinking about on a deep level. This question set up the next activity in which we made a table stating what plants need/give off. Describe how you would adjust this activity next time you do it: In an attempt to increase student organization skills, we incorporated a science notebook system in which all student work is completed in a notebook. This is great for keeping things in one place, but not conducive to collecting and analyzing different bits of work. (Most analyzing occurred through student interactions, circling the room and after the notebook check a few days later). Questions Story of what happened: Coming out of the Do Now activity, students have provided many ideas about how plants grow. Several students have said the word photosynthesis, but when pushed about what actually goes on in photosynthesis or how it relates to plant growth, students seemed unsure. To begin to address this, I drew a simple table on the board (see figure 1 below) and asked students to copy the table in their notebooks. As a group, we began with What plants need and then moved to What plants give off. I did not filter the responses, only copied them down.

Figure 1. Classroom Brainstorm What do plants need? Food Water Sunlight Dirt Love Carbon dioxide Glucose Minerals Chlorophyll

What do plants give off? Oxygen Nutrients Carbon dioxide Pollen poison

Since carbon dioxide appeared in both sides of our table, this obviously led us to the question Do plants give off or consume carbon dioxide (CO2) during photosynthesis? Students then were given the last few minutes of the first lesson (and 20 minutes of the next) to come up with an experimental design to test whether carbon dioxide was

consumed or released. On the second day (before they began to work on their experimental design), I conducted a demo with diluted bromothymol blue indicator dye and had a student breathe into it with a straw. The solution slowly turned from a bright blue to green and then to yellow. Students quickly identified that the act of blowing CO2 into the solution was what was causing the change. Then, I gave students a list of available materials (flasks, BTB, straws, aquarium plants, water, etc) and gave them time to come up with an experiment. Data analysis Embedded assessment activity: The embedded assessment was that students had to have their designs approved by me before beginning to use the materials. Their plan had to be written in their notebooks before I gave them the ok to continue. Ideal response: An ideal response would look something like this: We plan to use 3 flasks. In flask #1 we will place water, x # of drops of BTB, and an aquarium plant. We will breathe into the BTB solution so that the color changes to yellow. We will place the plant in the sunlight. If the color changes back to blue during the experiment, we know that CO2 will be taken out of the solution and plants consume CO2 during photosynthesis. In flask #2, we will do the same thing, but put it in the darkness. We would expect that the solution would stay yellow because photosynthesis wouldnt be going on. To test whether or not the sunlight causes BTB to turn blue, we will place just water and BTB in flask #3 and place it in the sunlight. Summary of patterns in actual responses (use specific quotes from students responses to back your claims): The majority of this part of the lab was done verbally. Students were able to verbalize their plans in a way that made sense, but were probably anxious to start using the lab materials and so most students did not fully explain their plan. The sample student responses all show some element of the experiment that has been omitted. In the case of the first response, they do not account for the fact that maybe exposure to sunlight could cause BTB to turn color (this is a more advanced level of thinking). In the second student response, the overall idea is there, but they left out the BTB component in the third flask (by blowing into the second flask, they are implying that BTB is in there). In the third response, no mention of whether this one flask will be in light or dark. In groups like these, I may have just checked verbally that they had a decent plan in place. o Place the plant in the yellow solution and sit it under a light. When the plant is under the light, the solution would turn back blue. Now if the solution is already yellow and there is no light, I would expect the color to stay the same. [Drawing included] o Blow in the beaker and let it turn yellow then place plant into beaker. We going then blow in the second beaker and place it in the dark. The third beaker will not be blown into but will be placed in the sunlight. o Place the plant in the solution let it sit and see if it changes color.

Observations from video or student interviews: At the end of the first day (before the second day where students finished their plans and enacted their experiments) I pulled two students aside for a short interview. I asked them to describe to me what their experimental design was and specifically why they chose the three flasks that they did. One of the students deftly answered that the flask without a plant was to control for whether or not the sunlight was the cause of the BTB color change. The other student could tell me what they were planning to do in all three flasks but didnt seem clear about why they were omitting the plant from one of them. This was good to know because the second day I was sure to spend a little more time with that group and walk them through the procedure.

Assessment of efficacy of this stage (especially in terms of scaffolding and embedded assessment): This stage of the inquiry cycle was a difficult one. Based on my circling through the room and the student interviews, it was apparent that students maybe needed more scaffolding in terms of experimental design procedures, setting up controls and so forth. This was addressed in my plan section below. Again, since their embedded assessment was basically a verbal check with me (although the instructions were also to write the procedure down) many students didnt record a lengthy experimental design. Plan Describe how this stage affected later lessons: Because I could tell that some of the students seemed a bit confused about why their flasks were set up the way they were, I stopped the planning toward the end of the second lesson and brought the group together. A whole-class discussion walked us through the three most common flasks and why that was important. I could see that a large number of students got it as we worked through this slowly as a group. Describe how you would adjust this activity next time you do it: The next time I do this activity I would give students a worksheet that would serve to scaffold them better through the process of experimental design. The worksheet/template would have pictures of three flasks on it in which students could record what was going into each one. There would also be a checklist where students would be able to select whether or not their flask was in the light or dark, if the BTB would be exposed to CO2 before putting the plant in, etc. This would help give some direction to the process of designing their experiments. On a logistical note, I would probably assign groups of students rather than letting them select their own groups. I have a few groups that are overly talkative about non-science related subjects. Evidence: Data and patterns Story of what happened: At the end of the second class period, students began assembling their experiments. They filled up the flasks with water from the sinks and I came around to the different groups with the dropper bottle of BTB and the aquarium plants as needed. Students put on safety glasses and blew into flasks that they had determined needed the CO2 gas in the solution. I verbally announced to the students that they were to label their flasks with not just their group names but also a letter or number to indicate to them what they did to that flask. Most all of the groups did a good job of this but one group forgot to label any of their flasks. After students had put stoppers on

all of their flasks, they put them on the cart at the front of the room. After class ended, I wheeled the cart to the greenhouse and put the flasks in front of the south facing windows along with a table lamp shining on them. The flasks that were to be placed in the darkness were covered with an upside down cardboard box. After 24 hours (the next class day) students went down to the greenhouse to make 24 hour observations. For the most part, not much change was observable. The rest of the class was spent working on the lab report for the lab, being sure to record the materials, procedure, and observation sections in their biology notebooks. On day 4, I had the cart ready with all of the flasks on it. Students collected their flasks and made 48 hour observations. For the most part, significant change could be observed and the flasks that we expected to do photosynthesis and turn the BTB back to blue did just that. This was great, especially since weve experienced a few experiments that didnt turn out so well this year. Students recorded their 24 hour and 48 hour observations in their biology notebooks. They were to use these observations to come up with a student explanation/decision about if CO2 is consumed or released during photosynthesis. Data analysis Embedded assessment activity: The embedded assessment was for the students to record materials, procedure and observations in their notebooks. Observations were made in individual groups, then discussed in a whole-class format (example: What did people observe about the flask with the plant and the yellow BTB in the light after 24 hours?) Students were reminded to record their observations in the biology notebooks. Ideal response: o 24 hour observations: In flask #1 (light, CO2/yellow BTB, plant) perhaps some slight change in color back toward blue, difficult to tell. In flask #2 (dark, CO2/yellow BTB, plant) there did not seem to be any observed color change. In flask #3 (no plant, CO2/yellow BTB) there was not any color change. o 48 hour observations: In flask #1 (light, CO2/yellow BTB, plant) there has been noticeable color change and it is much more blue than the other flasks. In flask #2 (dark, CO2/yellow BTB, plant) there seemed to be very very slight color change if any. In flask #3 (no plant, CO2/yellow BTB) there was not any color change. Summary of patterns in actual responses (use specific quotes from students responses to back your claims): Student responses varied in depth but most seemed to indicate whether or not a color change has occurred, some even include why the observations are seen (relating back to photosynthesis). o Flask 1 light, CO2, plant. Consumed CO2 because it coloration is green, proved it takes in CO2. Flask 2 dark, CO2, light. Stayed the same, proved that light does nothing and the plant has to be in it to take in CO2. Flask 3no CO2, plant, light. Stayed the same, without CO2 it does not give off carbon dioxide. o 24 hour. In the dark the BTB stay the same color (blue) with no plant,

also the BTB stayed the same as well (yellow) While the yellow one with the plant absorb the CO2 with the BTB solution therefore turning the solution bluish. 48 hour. The beaker with the plant with the yellow BTB is now blue (sunlight) The beaker in the dark is still blue. o Observation 2/16. The plant in the dark was still yellow. The plant in the light is greenish/yellowish. The one with no plant still yellow did not change color. Observation 2/17. The plant in the dark was greenish/yellow. The plant in the light is blue. The one with no plant is greenish blues. Observations from video or student interviews: I was able to get a short conference/interview with a student between the 24 hour observation and the 48 hour observation. She seemed certain that based on the subtle change she observed in the solution with the plant under the light that CO2 must be consumed during photosynthesis. She said, I know that the solution is turning back blue, that means that the plant is taking in carbon dioxide, so it must use carbon dioxide. This was assuring, although the interview was with a student who tends to understand new concepts very quickly.

Assessment of efficacy of this stage (especially in terms of scaffolding and embedded assessment): This scaffolding was laid out in an organized fashion. Students were told when and how to make observations and what specifically to look for. In terms of embedded assessments, perhaps a good way to test student understanding at this point would have been a short exit slip rather than simply writing their observations in the biology notebooks. Plan Describe how this stage affected later lessons: This stage was followed immediately by the stage in which students made some explanation regarding the role of CO2 in photosynthesis. Describe how you would adjust this activity next time you do it: I would have liked to have gotten an exit slip as a form of embedded assessment between the 24 and 48 hour observations. The slip would ask them to make an inference about the role of CO2 in photosynthesis based on their observations that day.

Student Explanations Story of what happened: After the 48 hour observations, I instructed students to write a summary statement in their biology notebooks. On the board I wrote, In conclusion, the plants _____ CO2 during photosynthesis. I can say this because _____. Students were instructed to finish the blanks based on the information they gathered in their individual experiments. Students were then given about 7- 10 minutes to write their responses. Data analysis Embedded assessment activity: The embedded assessment activity was

to write down their summary statement at the end of their 48 hour observations. The student notebooks were later checked to ensure that this part of the assignment was completed. Ideal response: In conclusion, the plants consume CO2 during photosynthesis. I can say this because during my experiment, when the plant was exposed to the light, it was doing photosynthesis and it turned the solution back to blue, which means that CO2 left the solution. Since the flasks were stoppered, this must mean that CO2 is being used up and not just leaving the liquid. Summary of patterns in actual responses (use specific quotes from students responses to back your claims): All of the student responses indicated that the plants consumed, took in or used CO2 during photosynthesis. This makes sense because this was discussed as a whole group. The explanation of why they could say this (what they were basing their statements on, the evidence) was not always stated with a level of depth I was hoping for. Another pattern that I saw was students writing their own conclusion type statements. This would have been fine but most of these students either did not fully address the original question or seemed a little confused about what the results were telling them (specifically see the last response below). o In conclusion, the plants consumes CO2 during photosynthesis. I can say this because the experiment was the evidence. o In conclusion, plants consume CO2 in the light are evidence is flask 1. o My hypothesis was pretty much right because the plant in light turned blue, the plant in the dark stayed yellow and the one with no plant changed color a little for whatever reason we dont know. o The BTB will not change color if its in the dark but the yellow BTB will go to blue if it is under a light source. I learned that CO2 will not give off if a plant is in the dark but it will if its in the light. Observations from video or student interviews: An interview with one of the groups doing this stage indicated that they understood that CO2 is consumed during photosynthesis. They had more difficulty in pinpointing which flask provided the evidence that suggested CO2 was being consumed during photosynthesis. I followed this up with reminding them of the name photosynthesis and breaking it down into its meanings (photo-light, synthesis-make something). With this little nudge, they were able to make a connection that it was the light that was driving the consumption of CO2 by driving the photosynthesis reaction.

Assessment of efficacy of this stage (especially in terms of scaffolding and embedded assessment): The way that I laid out the summary statement on the board, having students copy down that sentence but filling in the blanks provided a high level of scaffolding for this stage in the inquiry cycle. I never explicitly followed up with most of

the groups or the whole class about why this was however. This was an error on my part during this stage of the inquiry cycle. Overall, the stage was somewhat effective. The purpose was having students draw a conclusion based on data that they gathered. However, based on the student work, there are indications that maybe they didnt process the deeper meanings of the experiment the way I thought they did. This informed my next step as seen in the plan below. Plan Describe how this stage affected later lessons: According to student responses to the summary statement activity, many of the students had a hard time articulating how they knew that CO2 was consumed during photosynthesis. I had one of the students who had a solid understanding explain to the class how she came to that conclusion. I reiterated this in different language and based on student expressions and body language, it seemed that they understood. Describe how you would adjust this activity next time you do it: The next time I do this activity I will be sure to collect embedded assessment after each stage of the cycle. As stated earlier, I wanted to try to increase student organization by using the biology notebook, but for the purpose of embedded formative assessment during the cycle, it made it harder for me to be able to understand student thinking. Another thing I would adjust is after students complete their summary statement in their notebooks, to conduct a pair/share out session where the whole class is discussing the results. I had one group share out to the rest, but I would have spent much more time on this step. We all knew that CO2 was being consumed during photosynthesis but the students were having difficulty pointing out specific parts of the experiment that lead them to that conclusion. Explicitly working through that as a class would have been beneficial. I think I would have seen better responses in the notebooks had we done this. I also should have given students an opportunity to revise their summary statements after hearing some other students (and my own) reasoning. Theories or models Story of what happened: Students were instructed to consult their textbooks and look up and write down the general equation for photosynthesis. The goal was to provide them with the scientific model or theory. While students were doing this, I was setting up the technology equipment to show a short powerpoint slideshow to reinforce some key ideas. I especially wanted to reinforce the fact that yes, CO2 was consumed, but also that they purpose of photosynthesis was not to supply us with oxygen but to make sugars for the plant. Here, during the powerpoint, I revisited the original problem of how plants grow by looking through the lens of photosynthesis. This will be covered in more detail in the next lesson regarding gain of mass in plants (growing) and how that mass comes mostly from the C in CO2. After students looked up the general equation, they were to answer

the question of why do plants do photosynthesis. This was done in their notebooks. Notebooks were then collected from students to be analyzed in greater detail by me for this assignment. The assignment to allow students to communicate their learning was then given. They were to create a mini board that included the question, hypothesis, materials, procedure, observations and conclusion. This would serve as their communication. Data analysis Embedded assessment activity: The embedded assessment activity was to 1) write down the general equation for photosynthesis from the textbook and 2) write down an answer to the question of why do plants do photosynthesis? The embedded assessment was to be written in their notebooks which were then collected by me to be analyzed for the sake of this assignment. Ideal response: CO2 + H2O + sunlight O2 and C6H12O6 (glucose) Plants do photosynthesis to create sugars (glucose) which is used as a food source for the plant. Summary of patterns in actual responses (use specific quotes from students responses to back your claims): All but one student wrote down the correct equation for photosynthesis either in molecular formula form or in words. A couple of the students forgot to include sunlight as a necessary component. Most students also stated in their responses that the purpose of photosynthesis was to produce food or nutrients (?) for the plant. Im not sure what nutrients they were referring to. Despite explicitly stating that the purpose of photosynthesis was NOT to produce oxygen for us, some students included that in their answers. This is a difficult conceptual change to initiate since students have learned for so long that plants give us oxygen. See student answers below. o General summary for photosynthesis is water + carbon dioxide + sun glucose and oxygen. To help plants produce food, nutrient. o Carbon dioxide + water + sunlight oxygen +glucose. The process of photosynthesis is to feed itself (the plant) and for us to use oxygen it produces. o The purpose of photosynthesis is to give off oxygen Observations from video or student interviews: This lesson occurred right before the weekend and I did not have a chance to conduct a student interview based on this stage of the inquiry cycle. I did check in with student groups while they were looking up the definition of photosynthesis. Some of the students that I spoke with told me that the purpose of photosynthesis was to give us oxygen. I then made the analogy that oxygen for a plant was a waste product, kind of like how we make waste. They thought that this was funny and I thought it probably stuck with those students as they tend to enjoy bathroom humor.

Assessment of efficacy of this stage (especially in terms of scaffolding and embedded assessment): Looking at student responses, many of them still hold the misconception that photosynthesis exists in order to give off oxygen for us to breathe. This will be addressed in the next lesson as we look at the process of photosynthesis in more detail (and then at respiration, where they will learn oxygen is an electron acceptor in the electron transport chain). Clearly, some scaffolding was missing between knowing the formula for photosynthesis and understanding that the point is to produce sugar for the plant. I think that this was more of an extension to this inquiry cycle, rather than the focus so I did not address this misconception in any more detail during this inquiry cycle. The following lessons focused much more heavily on the actual light dependent and independent reactions and students will be given a greater opportunity then to understand the role of glucose in photosynthesis. Plan Describe how this stage affected later lessons: I altered the next assignments to focus more heavily on the fact that oxygen was not the purpose of photosynthesis but rather the glucose. To do this, I plan to have students imagine themselves a plant (after learning about the two types of reactions). Students will then decide what product is important for them, and which one they can get rid of (as waste). This role-play activity should help students clarify for themselves the purpose of photosynthesis. Describe how you would adjust this activity next time you do it: The next time I do this activity, I would have students use the netbooks to look up the equations for photosynthesis. In some previous assignments, students have difficulty in determining what is a credible online source and what is not. Obviously, I would need to provide some scaffolding as to what types of sites students should be looking at to find this science information. Also, in science, it is easy to think of this material as being confined to one book or classroom. By seeing that there is a lot more information out there, it will enhance the importance of this topic to the students.

Communication Story of what happened: Students were given an assignment to make a miniboard representation of their lab. Since different groups had slightly different flasks, not all of the students would be making the same exact miniboard. The rules were that the miniboard must include at least 2 colors, and complete the following categories as discussed during the experiment: question, hypothesis, materials, procedure, observations and summary/conclusion. Students were given over the weekend (plus a day) to do this assignment. Data analysis Embedded assessment activity: The miniboard itself would serve as the embedded assessment. In an ideal world, these would be displayed around the classroom or hallway to increase student engagement and make them feel more

involved in the learning environment. However, because 2 other teachers teach in the same room and 2 other subjects are taught, the situation does not allow us to post decorations about the room. The students will be assessed on how well they completed the required categories. For instance, points were lost if students wrote a hypothesis as an I think statement rather than a testable statement. Ideal response: I did not create an ideal miniboard since I wanted students to get really creative with the presentation (there are a number of creative students and I wanted them to feel like this could be an outlet for that creativity). An ideal response would be neat, have multiple colors, show a diagrammatic representation of their procedure, clearly list their observations in complete sentences, and clearly state their conclusion, including how they know CO2 is being consumed (relating it back to the original question). For details about how each of these sections should be answered, see the previous Ideal response categories in this report. Summary of patterns in actual responses (use specific quotes from students responses to back your claims): It was not uncommon to see students complete all of the sections that were required, but did not relate their conclusion back to the original problem. This is so important! Ive attached two typical miniboards as photo images but one of the conclusion reads Conclusion: Plants consume CO2 due to data/observations. The student was not explicit about which data or observations suggested a consumption of carbon dioxide.

Observations from video or student interviews: I asked some students about what they thought of the miniboard activity. The two young men that I asked did not seem excited about completing the miniboard and didnt feel that they were learning anything by doing the miniboard. They seemed to think that it was just rewriting the stuff that was in their notebooks. I said that this was a good point, but that scientists do this all of the time to help communicate their research in an organized manner. I had one of the students get out his notebook and we looked at how his notes and lab report were all intertwined and he has somewhat sloppy handwriting. I said that by taking the time to do a miniboard, an outsider can have an idea of what the experiment was about and showed without looking through a messy biology notebook. They seemed to agree with this logic and both of those students turned in their miniboards on time.

Assessment of efficacy of this stage (especially in terms of scaffolding and embedded assessment): I think there is a certain amount of truth to what the boys were saying about the miniboards just being a rewrite of the lab notes. Since I didnt have them turn in any formal lab write up, I felt like this wasnt too much to ask. But I realized that in terms of embedded assessment, this may only be testing how neat and artistic students are, and that real understanding will be assessed later during the chapter test. Previous scaffolding on the topic of miniboards has occurred throughout the semester as this is a common assignment used to have students organize and communicate some sort of scientific idea/concept. Plan Describe how this stage affected later lessons: Unfortunately, due to logistics, we couldnt really do much with the miniboards after they were turned in. This stage was really just a chance for the students to communicate to me that they

understood the lab experiment well enough to design and construct a miniboard representation of their learning. After this was collected, we dove in deeper to the workings of photosynthesis, but this lab was referred to throughout the unit. Describe how you would adjust this activity next time you do it: The next time I would assign the miniboard but I would make explicit in the directions that the conclusion needs to relate back to the question and the hypothesis. I would even scaffold the conclusion section much the same as I did the summary statement during the student explanation section above, witch a fill in the blank format.

Lessons Learned
Strategies for teaching with inquiry One important lesson that I learned about teaching from inquiry is the timing of the lesson. Both from this inquiry cycle and from our PLC groups or other discussion with peers, many times we have great inquiry cycles but try to implement them either after some modeling has already occurred (which serves to defeat the purpose) or too early before students have any prior knowledge about key concepts needed for that activity. For instance, for this inquiry cycle, if this was incorporated before students had had much scaffolding with miniboards, I would have needed to spend much more time on that or had them do something else for the communication stage. In other inquiry cycles that peers have implemented, they may require students to have some knowledge of natural selection (specifically the idea of differential reproductive success). If the students dont have that prior knowledge, the level to which they will reach with a given inquiry activity might be limited. As I continue to do inquiry lessons both this school year and in my own classroom, Ill be sure to carefully think about precisely when the inquiry activity will fall. Scaffolding One key theme seemed to reveal itself to me throughout this process and that is scaffold, scaffold, scaffold. Just when I think Ive done enough to scaffold the class to the next step, student responses or a string of silly questions will prove to me that I did not scaffold them completely. It is often difficult, when faced with a topic you know inside and out (like photosynthesis) to decide how best guide students through a journey of learning. I suppose this is true with any subject and any teacher. For instance, in hindsight, the students needed more scaffolding on creating miniboards, specifically being sure to relate the conclusion to the question and hypothesis at the beginning of the experiment. To scaffold this, I could hand out a sample lab report or miniboard in which a student did exactly that and another hand out showing a student who did not make that connection. Allowing students to examine examples of good work and not so good work is a form of scaffolding that I think can be really powerful. We do the same thing for our own selves when it comes time to look at sample resumes or cover letters right? As I incorporate more inquiry based activities, I will remind myself to think very carefully about the degree to which an activity is scaffolded.

Embedded Assessment Although a biology notebook system might help some students stay more organized by keeping all of their materials in one place, it makes it much more difficult to analyze student progress at pivotal moments in the teaching cycle. One lesson that I learned is that as silly as Do Nows and exit slips seem to high school students, they can be really powerful measuring tools to asses students at key points. Some of the embedded assessments in this inquiry cycle could have been better had they been in the form of an exit slip or pop quiz question that students then hand in to me. Also, I think focusing the embedded assessments (especially when approaching a concept from inquiry) on the deeper how and why level thinking is really crucial to more fully gauge student understanding. For instance, in this inquiry cycle, as part of my scientific model stage, students were to find and write down the general summary equation for photosynthesis. This is a what level question that requires a short, what level response. The next part of the question was a bit deeper, but the overall assessment was weakened by the presence of that what question.