The notorious letter e. I have a love/hate relationship with this activity. I love it's so simple. The materials are easy to obtain and put together for the kids to use. I love that the activity WORKS. The students actually learn to focus, move the specimen around and they clearly see the relationship between the slide position and the image orientation. They practice moving the slide up and down, left and right, until they get the hang of how it works. They're much better microscope users for having done this activity.
Letter e 100x
But I HATE this activity. It feels like the OLDEST lab in the book. There is nothing at all creative or interesting about it. Every time I do this lab with a class I think about how fun it could be to have a different activity to accomplish the same goals. But somehow I always rely on the old stand-by.
This is one reason I like blogging. It gets me to sit down and actually THINK THINGS THROUGH. Why exactly is it that this lab WORKS? What is it that makes me feel so discontent with it when it WORKS??
One thing we're trying to do is use our iPhones, etc. to take pictures of what we see in the microscope. Its harder than you might think. I took this picture myself today during 7th period. It looks pretty good, and almost captured the whole field. This skill definitely needs practice.
What activity do you hate to do because its so dull, but it really works, so you keep doing it anyway?