Teacher Spotlight: Michelle Marinangel

  • Name: Michelle Marinangel
  • District: Grapevine-Colleyville ISD
  • Grade/Subject: 8th/ ASPIRE Pre-AP Biology
  • Twitter Handle: @MsMarinangel (My account is currently locked with no tweets – it is on my list to contact twitter to get this issue resolved)

Q: How and when did you first learn about ADI?

A: I am a first year teacher. I learned about the ADI process and format from Wendy my science coach this year. We had a whole day together to chat about steps in the process and plan our first ADI of the year.

Q: What do you like most about ADI (face to face or at a distance)?

A: I enjoy the opportunity for students to truly become scientists. These situations include truly inquiring and designing on their own with the resources and information at hand. They learn to take risks and that it is okay to not get it right. They can always learn something from their choices along the way to answer our question.

Q: How many ADI do you do in a typical year?

A: This was my first ADI. I believe we typically aim to have students complete 2-3 each year in class.

Q: What did you find most surprising or unexpected about ADI at a distance (virtual or hybrid)?

A: Because this was also my first ADI and first year teaching, I do not have anything much to compare to. I can say the students whether in-person or at home were engaged with their groups in the enzyme experiment. We found creative ways to still complete each stage of the ADI in our unique learning environment this year. That was the ultimate work and challenge!

Q: What did you find most challenging about doing ADI at a distance (virtual or hybrid)? How did you overcome that challenge?

A: One of the most challenging parts of this way adapting each step and completing more behind-the-scenes preparation and work to make each step as smooth and effective as possible. We used Flipgrid to complete our gallery walks, Canvas peer review capabilities to do peer review reports, and WebEx breakout rooms in order to collaborate during the first 4 steps and the group lab experience.

Q: What ADI investigation is your favorite to use at a distance?

A: This was my fist ADI, but I do think it worked very well for distance learning. The materials and packets were able to be picked up by families for students to complete the investigation at home.

Q: What positive shifts have you seen in your own practice and with kids?

A: Seeing these students rise to such a challenge while completing an ADI lab, brings me back to my favorite part of science. The unstructured opportunity to design your own experiment in order to answer a question. As a previous informal science educator at a variety of zoos, aquariums, and nature centers, this is my favorite type of learning as both a teacher and student. This is also the heart of a scientist, making observations and working to answer those questions that stem from them. It always reminds me of the underlying foundation of discovery and unanswered questions that await any student that pursues a career in science. Many career fields have scientists even if that word or one similar is absent from their title, as it overlaps with every discipline. We are teaching the students not how to learn information, but how to discover sound data and scientific information that has yet to be determined. This is significantly important as a cornerstone of innovation and discovery within society and to face issues found in our world. For these students, I am very proud of their work to not only learn the science concepts demonstrated through the lab, but also improve their skills in scientific inquiry and writing. Each opportunity we provide for them allows these skills to grow and shape the way students approach science and its applications to potential careers and their own lives.

Q: What advice do you have for other teachers as they are starting out?

A: The ADI process can be challenging for students. Therefore, it is always a challenge for teachers in both implementation and design in order set students for this self-directed process. Leading students to an answer while also ensuring their own inquiry and experiment design is followed to get there is always a challenge. At the end of the day, it is important that as a teacher you do your best to accomplish this goal. However, the whole point of the scientific inquiry process, is that is a cycle. Meaning that its system is designed to learn from risk and failure. Coming back to the question and trying again is part of the formula for success. Not answering the question or having a flawed design is okay, and I am glad the ADI process allows for the potential opportunity for student groups to try again and ensure their learning of the scientific concepts and process of redesign in the ADI steps.