Lab Book and Reports

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Last Monday was our second day of co-op.  My job there is to teach seven students Apologia Physical Science.  So far I enjoy teaching this subject. 🙂  We meet each Monday for one and half hours.

I had the students prepare their science notebook, read part of the first module, and do one lab before the first day of school.   I noticed from their lab reports they did not know how to write up a proper lab.  Even though, I gave them a form from to fill out.  I should have made this a priority the first day.  Next year I will know better.

I did some research and found a cute poster with The Scientific Method on it.  I am not having the students write a formal lab book this year, but they do need to know how it is done.

First they need a good Composition book.  It should be college ruled and sewn.  There are several reasons why your students should use a composition book and why they should write labs.  Here is a good article on that subject.

Lab Book Set Up

The first page of any Lab Book should have your Name, Address, Phone Number, Class, and Year.  This is just in case you loose your science book and honest people will know where to return it.

The second page and a few pages more, is your Table of Content.  This is where you will write the title of your lab and the page number.

Next comes the lab pages.  They all should be numbered.

Lab Write-up:

A write-up should contain:

  • Name:  First and last
  • Date
  • Experiment # and Title
  • Objective
  • Materials
  • Method/Procedure
  • Results
  • Drawings/charts
  • Conclusion/What you have learned

You can find lab sheets, to fill out, at  Donna

Scientific Methog:

The Scientific Method – Is written steps used by sciencetist to prove or disprove their work. The formal lab-write up is as follows:

1.  Purpose:  What do you want to learn?  Why are you doing this lab?

2.  Research – Learn everything you can about the subject.

3.  Hypothesis – predict what is going to happen.  The Hypothesis is written in a complete sentence.  It is given in an If….then type sentance.  Ex.  If I touch an open flame, then I will get burned.  Don’t try this experiment. 😀

4.  Experiment – Procedure,  what did you do?  Observe what is happening

5.  Analysis/Results –  Collect any data you observed from the experiment.

6.  Conclusion –  written on a second sheet.  What did you learn?

For more information on how to write a lab report go to here  .

We are unable to use the composition books in our class, because the students do some of the labs in class and some at home.  I can’t keep the books, while they are doing labs at home.  Instead, I bought each of the students a folder.  We placed the first page, Table of Contents and copies of lab forms from Donna Youngs site in there.   The students hand in their write-ups and put them in the lab folder, when they are graded and returned.

15 responses to “Lab Book and Reports

  1. This is very informative and I’ll be marking this in my Google Reader for future reference. If I blog about our science lessons may I refer to this entry of your blog in my blog?

    I wish my son could be taking this class from you. 😀

  2. Elaine, I wish he was in my class too. 🙂 Although you may not, I am emailing the parents/students at least twice a week. LOL Getting ready to send out notes for the second half of module 2. I didn’t go over it because of the holiday Monday, so got to do it in email. Plus there is an exam every other week. Grades are lowered by one grade, if turned in late. 😀 Still want to join?

  3. If I lived near you….Yes.

    Due to the distance and cost of getting him there…NO.


  4. Sounds like you have a good class going. I think it sounds great! I wish that our co-op teachers were more strict. My oldest is taking Apologia General Science from another homeschool mom. I am anxious to see how she does it.

  5. Hi Michelle-
    I have a question about your co-op. I had planned on using the 2nd edition of the text, and purchased it to teach from. I just found out some moms have the 1st edition. AHHH! Did you have this dilemna in your co-op setting and if so, did it work to have two different editions?
    Thanks for your help and encouragement!

    Hi Christina, Book 1 & 2 can not be used in the same classroom. Book 2 has more experiments and pages numbers change. I required all students to use 2nd edition and one girl got the wrong book. We had a problem within the first five pages. It was a small one, but she had to go out and get the second book. HTH

  6. Hi Christina, Book 1 & 2 can not be used in the same classroom. Book 2 has more experiments and pages numbers change. I required all students to use 2nd edition and one girl got the wrong book. We had a problem within the first five pages. It was a small one, but she had to go out and get the second book. HTH]]>

  7. Hi, Do you do the on your own questions, study guide questions as well in the lab book? or in a separate notebook?

    Hi Rachelle. Thanks for visiting my blog. I had the students do all the On Your Own Questions and the Study Guide Questions in one notebook and the labs were done in a different notebook.

  8. This information is so helpful, I can’t thank you enough!

    You’re welcome!

  9. Do you have .pdfs of the Module Summaries that I can print out? I HATE to write in the books, but I would like my son to do these….I can’t seem to find them anywhere in Apologia, or on the yahoo groups….HELP!


    • No, I’m sorry. The only place I know of that has the module summaries are in the book. You could print them out for your personal use. You can also email Apologia from their website. I have done that and got a quick response. They may be able to help you.

  10. Christina, I am struggling to grade the Physical Science labs. Do you use a rubric and if so could you share it? I am using the requirements in the textbook of having my child list Data/Observations, and what they did and what they learned. I have decided to forego the Scientific Method because my science loving child is starting to hate science because of the writing involved in lab reports. Do you deal with any of that in your COOP?
    Thanks, Julie

    • HI Julie, I use Donna Youngs 12-16 Lab WU for grading the labs. Yes, I do deal with students hating to do the involved lab write ups. We go over it a lot and finally they give up and start doing their work. Some will type it out, which makes it easier for them. If they still complain about it, I just tell the “Welcome to High School! Now get to work.” LOL Do what works best for your child. There are some examples on the Apologia website on how to write a lab, that might work better for you.

      Hope that helps.

      Blessings, Michelle

  11. This has been helpful. I only grade the study guide and tests. We have the cd rom which corrects the questions in each section( not test or study g. Qu). I don’t grade the lab book, I don’t feel qualified. I dont know what he should have wrote better. Same reason I don’t like writing composition.

  12. Michelle, do you require your students to include an objective, materials, and procedure section on all of their lab write ups? I’m having trouble figuring out the difference between what the students should include in their lab notebooks vs. what they should include in a formal lab report.

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