I don't really have much of an answer, but as I watched a bunch of worn-out, chatty students dive into a DNA origami project that involved coloring nucleotides (one student deemed it "color-by-chemical") I knew it was a universal trait. I've never seen such a happy group of students--these are brilliant ninth graders, their work could pass for senior work most of the time--but, they're kids, and they love to color. Some of them even came to study hall today just to finish (we're supposed to finish in class on Friday. But they get to choose their afternoon activity, and they chose to come color and fold paper--it warms my heart.)
Meanwhile, I passed the time during their test knitting up the second in a pair of socks. My love of knitting is keeping me sane during test days. I want to keep my eyes on them so that they aren't tempted to let their eyes "wander," but I'm just not cut out to stare students down for four hours a day two days in a row.
I also dove into yet another project requiring tedious cutting and pasting. I love finding new classroom activities that require massive amounts of prep. This is a DNA sequencing activity, requiring many segments of "code" all cut to different lengths. Tedious yes, but there's really nothing else I'd rather be doing while monitoring a study hall.
|Cutting the strips and gluing or taping them into one continuous sequence.|
|Laminated "sequence" ...enough for 6 groups.|
It does all of these things for me. What's it do for you?