Sunday, May 3, 2015

Science Stations: mini labs to review for the state test

Every year around this time my students have to take the state science test.  It tests their knowledge of all the standards they have learned throughout the year.  Trying to refresh the students memories of topics we covered in the beginning of the year can be challenging.   In the past I have set up stations that have short answer questions for each topic that the students need to answer by going back into their textbook or notes.  This year I decided to make it more interactive.  I know that research shows students learn better by actually doing so I created some mini lab stations.  I took some of the various labs we did this year and converted them into mini labs that could be completed in 10-15 minutes.  For example, in the chemical reaction station, my students had to make observations of two reactants (baking soda solution and a vinegar solution with phenol red). Then they had to mix them and explain if a chemical reaction took place and explain how they knew.  They then had to determine which of the four choices showed the correct balanced equation for the experiment. Finally, they had to dip litmus paper in the product and explain if it was an acid or a base and give the properties.  The students loved doing this interactive science station review.  It took 1.5 block periods to complete, roughly 150 minutes.  As I was walking around and facilitating I kept hearing the students say, "Oh, I remember" or "Remember last time..."  I provided help cards with the information they would need like formulas and definitions they could use and the students would reference them and explain it to each other. You can get a glimpse of how I managed the stations and what they students were doing through this YouTube video Science Stations: Purpose and Management.

Although I used it as an end of year review activity you could use each station as a mini assessment / investigation throughout the year to assess their understanding of each topic.


To purchase this review science station activity or to see other activities please visit my store at TeacherPayTeachers: adventures in ISTEM