Lab 12 questions; Our Grading Challenges & Tips

  • Lab 12 questions; Our Grading Challenges & Tips

    Posted by Heather on May 23, 2022 at 4:46 pm

    I logged on here as we’re a bit confused with how to proceed with Lab Exercise 12. I feel the verbiage used to describe how to fill in Data Table 1 lacks direction and it isn’t at all clear where to fill in some of the info, mentioning it should be “right next to” TACAGA already entered, but leaving enough room for 12 nucleotides after the 6 entered and before the ATC already entered. Ummmm? I was anticipating a list where TACAGA was a the top/front and ATC was at the bottom/end, however, that’s not what I encountered on the Data Table at all. There’s no space between TACAGA and ATC, they are one line and run into one another as if a single unit, with some potential writing space below them. Perhaps others will look at this from a different perspective and find it elementary, but I’m unsure how to guide my student as it is confusing to me.

    I understand that the above paragraph will read like Greek to anyone currently staring at the Lab 12 materials, but I want to make the publisher aware of the concerns. I was hoping to find support and help here, but as there are hardly any posts, I see that isn’t likely.

    I had been creating a grading rubric for the Labs as I find the Teacher’s Manual sorely lacking for correcting assignments, but I’m finding this to be incredibly challenging as the labs leave enough room for variety in student’s answers so the Teacher Manual doesn’t even make an attempt to show an example of what a correct answer COULD be. For example, I completely understand in the Microscope Lab, that answers will vary as students may have different models of microscopes. However, at least there were formulas included to tell you how to arrive at the correct answers, so a teacher could come alongside or after a student and check their work. However, Lab 12 has zero answer key or suggestions for Data Table 1 at all. None. I had really hoped I’d found a biology where I could assist/grade/supervise rather than be full-in hands-on teaching, but I’m finding we cannot move forward unless I read and digest all of the material in the chapter on DNA.

    When I contacted customer support about something else, I think I remember them saying they’d be going over the Teacher’s Manual/answer key to increase ease of use. There is much work to be done there. For example, where there are answers not included because they will be subjective, it would be much more efficient to at least type out the question so the teacher doing the grading would not have to go hunt down the student’s textbook to read the question prior to grading the student’s answer. I had been recommending this biology to others, but the farther into the year we get, the less I feel I can do so. I feel the content is good, the idea of accessible labs being done at home is superb, but the execution of making any type of grading teacher-friendly is below what I would expect from a high-school-credit-worthy homeschool curriculum with video instruction.

    As far as grading the chapter tests, I’ve learned I need to sit and compare the answer key to the student’s text of test questions and select which questions we will skip (typically ones that aren’t subjective/experience/perspective based, but have zero answer in my answer key). I also assign points to questions based on whether they are simple answers with 1 part such as a definition, or if they ask for an explanation, or have multiple parts. For example, if it asks you to make a statement/stance and explain why or why not, I’d assign 2 points. If it asks you to list 4 different items, I make it 4 points. If you are to compare and contrast 2 items, I make it 2 points, etc. Many (most) of the “essay” questions we’ve found can be answered sufficiently with 1-2 sentences.

    Samantha replied 5 months, 3 weeks ago 3 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • Heather

    May 24, 2022 at 1:58 pm

    Heads-up, we also discovered that the supplies in the DNA model kit don’t adequately match up with the materials needed per the instructions. My son made a DNA single strand with colors green, red, red, gray, blue, blue, and the kit did not contain enough complimentary colors to complete the other strand. Our kit does contain 3 white (a color not mentioned in the lab instructions) short connectors, so we resorted to using a marker to color one of them red and one blue to be able to make the second complementary strand. I have very little idea how to fill out data table 1 yet, but we are at least assembling the DNA model. I have been looking in the textbook and still am at a loss.

  • Lydia

    August 3, 2022 at 12:31 pm

    We are having the exact same problem with Lab 12, so I guess we’ll just make our own chart or “ad lib” this one. I agree about wanting all the answers to all the test questions included in the answer key; I ended up just deleting questions on the tests for which the answers were not included, since I have not been following along with the material myself enough to know what the answers should be.

    • Lydia

      August 3, 2022 at 1:11 pm

      Followup: we made our own chart with room to add the extra nucleotides. Here’s a picture of it.

  • Heather

    August 4, 2022 at 2:13 pm

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Samantha

    April 1, 2023 at 8:22 am

    Hi, Heather!

    Populating the DNA Structure and Protein Translation Lab table in Lab 12 on page 107 of the Lab Manual involves base pairing. Once the student moves to the DNA codons section (a codon is a series of 3 bases), the lab activity is based on several more nucleotides that are not present. They are “made up” by each student and then used to construct the student’s own custom molecules before adding them to the table. This is why there is no answer key for the table; the data will vary for each student.

    Most of the instructions for this lab activity are given in Procedures D, E, and F.

    I pray this information proves useful to your student in completing the table.

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