I’m not going to lie, I have a pretty awesome lab room. My first year teaching at a start-up charter school meant I was teaching science in a regular classroom with groups on desks pushed together. At my school now, I have a classroom with a SMARTboard that I mainly use for math and homeroom. I have a great lab room across the hallway with great tables and tons of cabinets, closets, and two sinks. We use the lab a lot– even if it is just small intro activities. Science is always in the lab unless we are using the SMARTboard.
Each group of 4 students, form a group and have different roles. The groups stay the same for each trimester. The four roles that we use are: materials manager, facilitator, reporter and recorder. At the beginning of the trimester, each group decides on a team name and assigns each group member to a job. The students work together to decorate their poster and hang it up. It serves as a good reminder to them that they are a group and I can easily check and make sure that each student is participating. Click on the picture below for a free download of the poster.