The effects of incorporating organization in notebooks to synthesize knowledge in a high school chemistry class

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science


The lack of organization in a science notebook makes it difficult for students to put multiple science concepts together in a chemistry class. This research study looked at how incorporating organization in notebooks through reflections on activities, group conversations, class discourse, summaries of labs, and creating a graphical organizer will impact their class conversation, self-regulation, and assessment scores. Three classes were studied over a full unit on bonding in a suburban chemistry class. Two classes were given a treatment of daily organizational support towards making a graphical organizer while the comparison group was given the same time without the guided questions or organizational support. A weekly survey of students' feelings on their understanding was given. The survey showed that overall students felt the graphical organizer was helpful. The comparison group found it overwhelming to complete without the guidance that the treatment received. The time each group took showed a significant difference in their ability to answer beginning of class questions. The treatment group showed a significant growth in their ability to make a graphical organizer. The students showed self-regulation by not completing different class assignments and assessments. The class discourse was very limited by both groups due to the class being online on Zoom. The treatment group showed a positive gain in supporting students in organizing a reflection notebook in their chemistry class because it forced them to do discourse.




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