Posts Tagged ‘Lab Safety’


© Camille Wisbauer - istockphoto.com

     The title of this post is a shout out to Mike who uses great song lyric references – I’m not wild about the artist but the sentiment is appropriate.    This week, I focused on wait time and my use of it at various points in a lesson.   There is waiting for students to quiet down, waiting for students to formulate an answer, waiting until more students raise their hands, waiting for students to finish a quiz, waiting for the student who hasn’t volunteered yet today, waiting for…     Waiting is hard.

     In my planning, I identified specific points where I wanted to make sure that students had time to think about a question that pushed their understanding.   This is where I paid close attention to my use of wait time.  My patience and effectiveness definitely improved as I retaught the lessons to other sections.   Alicia posted a great trick – the song Happy Birthday is approximately 10 seconds long so you can use that to time yourself;  I did use it but it seemed like an eternity.   I also hurry the wait time if I feel time pressured or if part of the lesson doesn’t seem to hit the target.   Waiting is hard.    

     Monday, our science teaching class had a guest speaker on lab safety including liability issues.   My inquiry lesson included a lab involving bunsen burners, smoke, sparks, broken glass, and the strong smell of sulfur.    It was lots of fun and nobody got hurt.   Phew! 

     It was a good week though and things went reasonably well.  I learned a lot including the need to appropriately target instruction for middle school science students.   If you go too far outside their zone of proximal development, they shut down.   I’ve got a good plan for Monday and think that they will be ready for their Unit Test on Tuesday.


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