Student Feedback – Challenges

As the quarter wraps up, I asked students to complete a brief reflection that will be shared with their parents during upcoming conferences. Typically, I end units/quarters up with surveys through Google Drive. Unfortunately, current internet connectivity has left this great tool a bit unreliable. I’m still hoping to find a way to get more in-depth feedback from students. Here’s a start!

Feedback questions:

  1. Describe an activity or series of activities that you enjoyed in science this term. As you describe the activity, please explain what made this enjoyable.
  1. Describe work that has been challenging for you. Please describe both the work itself and explain why it was challenging.
  1. How can Mr. Frank help you with your challenges?
  1. How can your parents help you with your challenges?
  1. What is your primary science goal for the rest of the semester?
  1. What are three things you will do to achieve this goal?

Student responses & observations:

Q1: Throughout the quarter, students have so far had two large experiences. The first was the creation of an ecosystem column that we’ve returned to a few times to collect data. The second was a series of investigations designed to collect evidence to support the claim that Yeast is a living organism. Some of the investigations were observational in nature and some were designed by students. At the end, there was quite a bit of processing to pull together evidence. I found it interesting to note the distinction between students who found each project enjoyable. Typically, students who have been more engaged found the yeast investigations more enjoyable whereas more passive students generally wrote that they enjoyed the ecosystem column more and several wrote because it was more crafty.

Q2: Challenges – student responses:

  • Writing the yeast lab summary was a bit challenging because I was not used to the style and format of writing like a scientist. I often had to reread what I wrote and make it third person instead of the first person perspective.
  • I think was has been most challenging for me is writing scientifically. Because when writing my science report, I took a long time to try to make it good and I still thought it could use some improvement. I think scientific writing is hard for me because sometimes I have trouble writing my exact thoughts into words and making it sound OK.
  • I think the challenging parts are recording observations.
  • I thought working in a group of people who don’t really don’t work was challenging because sometimes when we really need to do something they might just be messing around doing other things.
  • I am used to writing in first person, so it’s kind of hard to change it.
  • Sometimes, when you ask questions what you are asking isn’t very clear.
  • I don’t understand some instructions and some words, so I can’t do good work in that activity.
  • Sometimes, what is the most challenging thing for me is distractions.
  • Writing the science report about yeast was challenging, because I’m not used to putting evidence in my writing, or using science words.
  • I was afraid to make a mistake.
  • I know group work is vital for us but sometimes it gets a little frustrating.

Q3: Help with Challenges – student responses:

  • I think if a group is having trouble, he should come over and give us some clues without giving the answer away.
  • Have more practices sheets with answer keys.
  • Let us get more used to the style of writing.
  • Give us some reading assignments to read from the textbook to see how other people write.
  • Explain experiments a bit more because I sometimes don’t know what the experiment is about.
  • Give me an example of a good report.
  • Give us reviews.
  • It has been challenging to identify the dependent variable. It makes me confused every time.
  • Speak a little slower.
  • I realize that I need to overcome my problem with working with others.

Q3: Parent help with Challenges – student responses:

  • I think it is really great that parents help. My dad asks me every day what I did in science today.
  • Practice with me if I’m confused and do homework with me.
  • I can talk to my parents about what I did in science everyday, and they can ask me questions about the experience to make me think more about it.
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