This activity is a modification of 'Silent Sentences' by Paul Ginnis from his book 'The Teacher's Toolkit'. This class was quite hectic and the lack of free movement space in the lab hinders this activity, however, with strict marshaling, it worked. The numbers on the cells were a disadvantage, I did not realise they were numbered, however, the students thought if they ordered the numbers correctly this would be the correct sequence, this was not the case. As a result, students were focusing on the numbers rather than the cells and this reduced their learning in relation to being able to differentiate between plant and animal cells.
3. Each group placed their cut up cells and headings on one table.
4. Each group was re-assigned 10 random cards (8 rectangle and 2 small rectangle). The remainder of the cards stayed on the central bench.
5. The challenge was for each team to assemble one correct chart. The team members walk around the room in silence, they looked for a cell they might need and they trading in their cells for a new one.
6. The following rules were applied: (although we had three re-starts due to lack of rule application)
8. When a team has a set of finished cells and headings they stand as a group, put their hands in the air and say FINISHED in unison. If their sequence is incorrect, they were eliminated. If they did not finish in unison they were eliminated (to emphasis teamwork).
9. The activity continues until every team has a full correct chart. This activity works best when there is only one correct answer, the cell is either a plant cell or an animal cell.
1. All cut out cards are put back on to the main bench.
2. The students take out their scrapbook and pritt stick glue.
3. The first group to have all cards assorted and stuck into their scrapbook is the winner. I conducted this as a race, and it was manic. However, I made sure it was still in 'Silence', which definitely helped me to manage the movement and excitement.
I did not have enough time to formally debrief the activity with students. I think the next time i sue this I will ensure there is enough time for a debrief as I think this is valuable in two ways. Firstly, the eliminate misconceptions, errors and confusions and secondly, to reflect on the application of the key skills of the JCPA and in particular roles, group dynamics, collaboration and using your key skills to overcoming challenges and to complete the tasks through the activity.
I think this activity is valuable as it engages the students by heightening their mental processes because speaking is eliminated. The kinaesthetic and visual learners are in their element in this activity. These tasks require self-discipline and I think this is an area which really challenged my class today. They were trading in a forceful manner and grabbing cards instead of trading with manners. They improved in this area as the class progressed. This activity was a very valuable form of formative assessment. It allows for many interactions between students and between teachers and students. I think this activity would work well in a team teaching setting also.
1. A learning reflection - What did I learn today? (5 sentences, making reference to the key skills and the learning outcome: Investigating the structures of animal and plant cells)
2. Analyse your assorted chart, describe as many differences as you can between the plant and animal cells. Remember to organise and present your information clearly and concisely in a mode which you think is suitable.