The book Chemistry on a Budget contains inexpensive chemistry labs that are useful with easy to obtain materials.
There are two versions of each lab, one with a ten-question conclusion and one with directions for a full lab report. This way the teacher has the option! Each lab is two pages to allow for one two-sided handout.
A 5-Star Customer Review of Chemistry on a Budget at amazon.com states:
“[S]traight forward, to the point, using household chemicals…this is the lab book for you.
I teach high school chemistry and this is exactly what [I] was looking for. Labs included simple household chemicals that could be easily found. Nice format, easy to follow along procedures, and touches on every topic of our chemistry curriculum.”
You can buy this lab book for $23 at amazon.com or lulu.com. It will take 1-2 weeks to get to you -- Order Now. It’s a great resource!
*Some of you have already purchased my lab book – be sure to check out Page 141 !
Lab reports can be a challenge to grade as you want to be consistent with that evaluation. A useful aid for grading those lab reports is to use a Grading Rubric.
“Rubrics are scoring tools that explicitly represent the performance expectations for an assignment or piece of work. A rubric divides the assigned work into component parts and provides clear descriptions of the characteristics of the work associated with each component at varying levels of mastery. Rubrics can be used for a wide array of assignments: papers, projects, oral presentations, artistic performances, group projects, etc. Rubrics can be used as scoring or grading guides, to provide formative feedback to support and guide ongoing learning efforts.”
“Rubrics can be used for any assignment in a course, or for any way in which you ask students to demonstrate what they've learned.”
“Rubrics help instructors:
- Provide students with feedback that is clear, directed and focused on ways to improve learning.
- Demystify assignment expectations so students can focus on the work instead of guessing ‘what the teacher wants.’
- Adapt your approach to teaching aspects of a course based on thematic gaps in student learning that are easily identified by reviewing rubrics across a class.
- Develop consistency in how you evaluate student learning across students and throughout a class.
- Reduce time spent on grading; Increase time spent on teaching.
- Focus their efforts on completing assignments in line with clearly set expectations.
- Self and Peer-reflect on their learning, making informed changes to achieve the desired learning level.”
“Rubrics are typically created as a grid that describes several levels of quality for each aspect of the assignment that the faculty member plans to evaluate.”
“Analytic rubrics describe work on each criterion separately. Holistic rubrics describe the work by applying all the criteria at the same time and enabling an overall judgment about the quality of the work. The top panel of Figure 1.2 defines analytic and holistic rubrics and lists advantages and disadvantages for each.
For most classroom purposes, analytic rubrics are best. Focusing on the criteria one at a time is better for instruction and better for formative assessment because students can see what aspects of their work need what kind of attention. Focusing on the criteria one at a time is good for any summative assessment (grading) that will also be used to make decisions about the future—for example, decisions about how to follow up on a unit or decisions about how to teach something next year.”
Here is an example of a rubric for essays. You may wish to use this guideline when grading essay portions of Tests:
Many forms presented below use a 4-point system for each part graded, and the various parts would be added up. You can then calculate a percentage of that result (for example 13/15 = 87%) – if desired, that easily becomes an A, B, etc. It also give you, the teacher, feedback about what concepts were not being completed by the majority of the class, what needs to be revisited or clarified, and what concepts/unique parts of that Lab need emphasis in the future.
Here is a general rubric form for science reports that may be useful:
Here is another example specific to Laboratory Reports:
You may wish to use this as a teaching tool when discussion with your class your expectations for Laboratory Reports.
Here is a basic (blank) rubric you can edit for the specific assignment:
This website provides five free rubric making tools:
I found rubrics useful for grading Lab Reports. My version would list requirements specific to that Lab along with point values for each section.
I used the same basic form and individualized it to each assignment; also, I’d hand that copy out with that lab for easy student reference.
Here is a form of a rubric I designed for my class. I used the same form and simply edited it for each assignment to include specific requirements:
Lab Title: ____________________________________________
Date Due: ____________________________________________
Date Received: ________________________________________
Report Section Maximum Points Points Earned
Title, Purpose, Materials
Data (in chart form)
Discussion & Conclusion
Total Points Earned
What I liked about grading laboratory reports with rubrics is that it took away the question “Why didn’t I do well on my lab report?” It also made it easier to meet with the student about the report and evaluate how to improve their grades in the future. When meeting with the student about the lab, I required that they bring the rubric and the lab being discussed – no lab and rubric, no meeting.
I also would meet with students at their request about the draft report, advise about how to improve it and help with mathematical work. Those students who took advantage of that option always had As or Bs on their reports.
*This Blog contains several entries that would be helpful to your chemistry classroom. Check out the Topic List to help you to find past Blog entries.
Also, Write To Me about your successes, challenges, or questions in the Chemistry Classroom.
Remember, buying a copy of the lab book Chemistry on a Budget can be very useful to your Chemistry classroom with labs and class article ideas.
Have a great weekend!