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Do you use some of these to replace lecturing or in addition to? I guess I’m trying to picture what a typical 3-4 week unit would look like using Pivot labs as the introduction/”flipped” concept.
Through our Pivotal Teachers series, hopefully, you’re able to see how we use Pivot Interactives in the classroom. But, I wanted to take a moment to showcase how I have used the Intermolecular Forces and Surface Tension activity to start my IMFs unit.
Some things to note:
Day 1: (10 minutes) Introduce Part One of the Pivot on intermolecular forces and surface tension. Have the students make observations. Goal: why are the stretch values different? (They're different substances.) What about different substances give them different properties? (Not looking for amazing answers here. This is our “Big Idea.”) Once you have done this, release students to work on Sections 2-3 with a partner using the Co-Lab feature. While the students are working, I’m circulating through the room asking questions about the IMFs as they learn them. Think of it like a “check for understanding.” If you want to get REALLY prescribed, have two to three questions primed that you ask EVERY partner group. Things like:
Check off the students name if they get it right and put an x next to their name if they get it wrong. Now you have quick and easy formative data!
Day 2: First part 3 (15 minutes-ish). Complete part 4 independently. You’ll need to separate this section out and assign it separately for students to have their own activity. This will be reviewed live in class the next day and treated as a quiz.
Day 3: Project the answers to Part 4 in Grade by Question mode with "grade anonymously" checked. Grade these with the students present. Discuss the common misconceptions that you see. Make a list of misconceptions and corrections on the board for the students to serve as their notes.
Day 4: Split the students based on their scores on the Part 4:
Day 5: Gallery walk the infographics from the successes. Have the students key in on the information about melting point. Split the students into small groups (2-4, size pending):
Day 6: Use their procedures to test the melting points of the four solids. (They all melt under 100 C, so... for that set up: place a uniform sample (about 3 g) of each solid in a test tube that rests in a bath of warm. Watch the samples as they are heated in the water bath. Use the temp of the water bath to estimate the melting point. Heat it slowly on med-low until all four samples melt.) Use their observations to justify their predictions.
Day 7: Review IMFs with some review activity of your choosing. Help students finish the lab.
Notice that I don't use Pivot for everything. It's about 1/3 of my overall unit. I still do in person labs, though I could use a Pivot Activity as my lab notebook just to make grading easier. Some of these activities lend themselves better to offline interactives. Some are best online. There reason is a host of different reasons why you may want to do online or in-person.
In this lesson, I'm using the activity to pave the learning pathway. It replaced my lecture and served to provide the bulk of the material. My job is to fix the "potholes." I go through and correct mistakes along the way. That's it. I let students learn and explore and discover as much on their own as I can, while guiding them to a full understanding.
Interested in more examples on integrating Pivot Interactives in your classroom? Read how Biology Teacher, David Madden (of Madden Science), uses Pivot Interactives to support hands-on learning with microscopy!