If you clicked looking for more Punnett square worksheets and practice you’ve come to the right place! In my seventh grade classroom I teach a wide variety of ability levels, and Punnett squares are one of my favorite parts of our curriculum. I strongly believe that EVERY child not only has the ability to master a monohybrid cross, but also the right. But if you’re like me you’re probably in this situation nearly daily: what do I do with the kids who “get it” in 3.7 seconds while I work with the kids who take 5 class periods?
I finally may have cracked it within this unit at least. Because my standards only require that all students master monohybrid crosses, and the fact that many of my students are capable of much, much more than that, I decided to make the entire unit self paced.
In a whole group setting, I taught the basic vocabulary (homozygous, heterozygous, genotype, phenotype, etc.), and after a day or two of practice we took a quiz. Students who passed the quiz were then given a video and worksheet for Incomplete Dominance and codominance, and directed to teach themselves. When they felt they had mastered it, they took an online quiz and had to show me their score. Then they were allowed to move on to sex linked. Meanwhile, I worked in small groups with my strugglers.
Here’s how the spreadsheet looked:
The payoff was huge. Those slightly slower kids who have a hard time keeping up finally got the attention they crave! I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for the glow on their faces when things clicked.
The middle and high students somewhat naturally grouped themselves by ability and started working through their skills methodically. Video, worksheet, quiz. Video, worksheet, quiz. Until the fastest group had finished everything all the way up to pedigrees.
What now!? you may ask. Well, I tasked this super speedy, super smart group of 4 kids to an extra special project: make the test. I’ve been taught that for kids to really put in effort, their work must have an audience. What better audience than all of your peers?
I taught the test making group about low, medium, and high questions. I set them up on Google Forms so they could all edit the test simultaneously.
I instructed the group to make each skill a separate section. For differentiation, I only allowed each student to take the test up the the sections they had already mastered. Since only the first section was really required by the standards, I thought this to be a fair form of differentiated assessment.
The feedback I got from students was wonderful. Most of them loved coming to class and working on their assignments without the boring whole group notes that they’re used to in most middle school classes. I was completely free to help out however I was needed, and in some instances I even assigned quick working students to be my helpers.
I’d like to continue to try and find ways to serve every student while being only one person. What have you tried with differentiation that worked for you in middle school?
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