Lab Day Lesson

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to...

  • Describe difficulties they were having with the assignment on previous days

  • Explain the requirements of the project on which they are working

  • List questions they have about the current project

Materials/Preparation

  • Current project specification

  • Examples of necessary concepts or techniques

  • Prior to each lab day, have a sense of students' difficulties with the current project so you will know what to address in the review portion of the lesson

    • Observe student progress throughout lab time and note common issues or misconceptions

    • Be aware of students who are more behind than most of the class

    • The exit ticket (see below) will help with gathering this information

Pacing Guide

Duration

Description

5 minutes

Welcome, attendance, bell work, announcements

10-15 minutes

Review of trouble spots, concepts, misconceptions, etc.

30-35 minutes

In-class lab time

5 minutes

Exit ticket

Instructor's Notes

  1. Review

    • Discuss and review areas in which a number of students are having trouble (or are expected to have trouble) with the current project

      • Using previous days exit tickets, questions from students, instructor awareness of trouble points in the project, and/or any other resources to determine what needs covering

      • Avoid lecturing or directly giving solutions; instead, present the problem and ask leading questions to help guide students to the solution

        • e.g. (from Project 1: "It looks like a lot of us are having difficulty making all our sprites move at the same time that the words change. Is there something we learned about that can trigger scripts in a bunch of sprites all at once?"

      • If some students appear to be further along, utilize them to help explain the tricky concepts to their classmates

    • Use this time as an opportunity to remind students of upcoming checkpoints, recent labs or activities that may be applicable to the project, and/or how far along they should be by the end of the day

  2. Lab time

    • Allow students to work on the current project at their own pace

    • Provide a mechanism for students to ask questions of course staff as needed

      • Simply having students raise hands often does not work well, as it can be hard to keep track of in what order hands were raised; consider a queue of some kind where students write their names when they have a question

    • When there are no current questions, circulate and observe progress, stepping in if students appear stuck but are not asking for help

    • Be sure to meerkat and not spend more than a minute or two with any single student at a time

  3. Exit ticket

    • Before students leave, have them answer the following questions on a small piece of paper:

      1. What was the last thing you accomplished on the project today?

      2. What is the first thing you will work on tomorrow?

      3. Do you have any questions about the project you would like answered? If so, what are they?

      4. Are there any topics or concepts that would help with the project that you would like reviewed? If so, what are they?

    • These answers will help you plan your review time for the next lab day

Accommodations/Differentiation

  • Students who are consistently ahead and finish early can be encouraged to add extra features to their project for possible extra credit.

    • Beware of students who claim to be ahead or finished but are actually trying to avoid work. When in doubt, ask a student to demonstrate their project.

  • Students who are consistently behind should get extra attention during lab time. If they continue to be behind, try to find a before- or after-school opportunity to provide extra assistance.

    • Students who are struggling significantly can be offered late turn-in, reduced requirements, or other "deals." All students should submit work for ALL projects, even if it has to be simplifed or late.