I just happen to drop in on Cynthia Godwin conducting a follow-up to the poky little eyeball lab. How fortuitous! Her students had previously learned all about the eyeball through slicing, prodding, poking, and studying it–just as Paula’s students had. Now they were moving from the cow’s eyeball to their very own peepers! The classroom was arranged so that students could rotate through vision tests and demonstrations. Photopupillary reflex, Accomodation, Astigmistism, and Color Vision were some of the tests the students experienced.
Cynthia provided initial instructions and a quick demonstration at the beginning of the period. Students then sprang from their seats, eager to start the lab. I attribute this enthusiasm to the fabulous Mrs. Godwin. Her prep work has turned student into scientist. They were curious and ready to test out the theories they had discussed. Her students already understood how the eye functions because of their reading, diagramming, and actual hands-on discovery and manipulation of a cow’s eyeball, but now they were experiencing the functions with their own two eyes…literally. Students were able to understand scientific concepts on a deeper level as they questioned, predicted, and tested out their own theories. These labs are just the thing Writing 7 is all about–short, sustained research projects in which students can explore questions and then demonstrate understanding of the subject. Writing 7 just so happens to be a semester 2 Anchor Standard! Imagine a student not only discovering he is color blind during the lab, but also being able to understand the physiology behind it…that is pretty powerful learning. Thank you for allowing me to observe a bit, Cynthia. I always love hearing you talk about science…your face lights up and reveals the joy your subject matter brings you. That kind of delight is simply contagious. I leave inspired by our discussions and curious to learn more…and it is obvious your students feel the same!