A-B-C, Easy as (Level) 1-2-3

It’s already mid-October, fall is in swing, as every coffee shop has something pumpkin spiced. Family showcase was in a few short days and Collaborative Conversations a few short weeks away. There was a lot to do, but not before Ryan gave us non-vector folk some physics schooling.

Ramps With Ryan

Ramps With Ryan

The snack array/dinner for some of us is starting to follow a trend.

Is it snack? Is it dinner? It is both?

Is it snack? Is it dinner? It is both?

If there isn’t hummus, grape tomatoes, grapes, and oreos, it might as well not be a GRS snack/dinner. I don’t know why those became the staples, but it’s one of the more nutritionally balanced sets of food in during the week so it is always welcome. Hooray vitamins!

The first thing we did in prep for the family showcase was answer some tough questions, namely “What could your least performing student (in this case, STARS) show that they know?” This was where some of the potential gaps in understanding there were in our STARS groups, but at the same time it gave us a benchmark: at the very least, what did we want our STARS to take away from their time and effort?

We then revisited our ice water activity from last week, remembering the differences between what, how, and why, as well as the seen and unseen phenomena that are occurring. This was the basis of the 1-2-3 responses that we wanted our STARS to generate. They could tell us what their group found, how this result happens, and why the result happens (as in, what are the unseen things that occur that lead to the results you found). By working towards the level three explanations we can also uncover misconceptions STARS may have about the unseen. To steal a potential misconception from Team Green, a misconception may be that because someone learned that photosynthesis only requires CO2, water, and light energy to make its own food that plants only would need those things. Constructing these responses allows these misconceptions to come out and be addressed if necessary. The level 1-2-3 explanations are ripe with modeling possibilities as well. As the STARS team progresses through their work, they can add on to previously existing models. At the very beginning, a STAR could create a model that simply shows what they can see is happening, but over time, they can add onto it, using their model to explain the unseen forces behind a observable phenomena.

With that level of practically and importance, we got to work reading a few level 1-2-3 responses from the EDE 477 class (thanks, EDE 477). They were of mixed degrees of usefulness, but there was a common trend based on the ones that I got: The what section is very short, the how section is a bit longer, and the why is just a pile of content and reminded me of the “brain dump” section of the WLP. Reading these was an excellent model of how we should go about constructing these. We were so ready, so in the zone, so cranking away at our work… that we kinda sorta put the other parts of class (discussion of readings, discussion of 5 practices, the video review) on the back burner for next time.

Pictured: The brief interlude between intense work and intense work

Pictured: The brief interlude between intense work and intense work

To finish class, we reenacted the scene from the Wizard of Oz in which the Wizard gives everyone a gift symbolic of their desire for a brain and a heart and what have you. We each got something to use at the family showcase.

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And Ryan and I got some headphones.

And that about wraps up the week. Good luck to everyone. See you again real soon.

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We’re Reached Critical Sass

Ah Friday. Time to learn, and apparently turn the sass-o-meter to 11. Right from the get go it was full of light-hearted whimsy and heaping spoonfuls of the aforementioned sass. It still boggles my mind that two months ago, we were all complete strangers. Below was the agenda for the day, which we  got through and got through really well despite the energy overload of Friday. We didn’t get to work time but we won’t mention that.

AGENDA!

AGENDA!

First thing we did was a quick debrief on what we thought were some good practices used by the freedom school.

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(I missed one, sorry about that…)

As a general note, Andrea, Michael and JoAnn, will post times when they are available this week for any help with anything camp-related, so look for that on Blackboard. A friendly reminder: goals are the big final step. Objectives are the little steps that get you to the goal. Activities are the thing you do to build the steps to get to the big goal. It takes me a few tries to get it too.

Next we discussed the Barton and Yang (2000) reading and our Critical Commentaries. This reading hit home for a lot of us. We felt horribly for Miguel, who was a driven scientific mind but he did not fit the system and the system and as Ceb pointed out, said no to the point they discourage and denied him form even taking science classes. Ryan and Jill agreed on the notion that while there should be increased access for all students outside of the culture of power, the culture of power should also be expanded. Next in the discussion was the solutions that we could employ to help the future Miguel’s we would encounter. One idea was to do an artifact day where the students bring in something that represents their passion and with that knowledge tailor the learning to fit rather than resist their passions. Along those lines we should embrace their culture into the academic world. One of Miguel’s dilemmas was that the formal notion of schooling ran counter to what he identified himself with, so helping students associate both as one and the same is a big step. Lastly we can always use the connections we make, both through Warner and beyond, to come and show that scientists are in fact real people and not just some unattainable goal in a lab coat.

Check you phones, check your phones

Check you phones, check your phones, we’re on break so check yo phones

After a short break (where the sass level took a dip, oddly enough) we went right into each group’s APK findings. Some common trends among our varied styles and topics were:

-The campers have a fairly solid knowledge base, so there is not as high of a need to scaffold as we thought

-They always went to be right, which is good, but sometimes can hinder open-ended discourse

-Discussion is a must, they love to verbally share ideas

-Skepticism is aplenty, which means they care

Speaking of the campers, camp is really soon… Which means what seemed so far away has now become just around the corner. The photos and names are on Blackboard, so get familiar with the name-to-face connection. And as Michael and Andrea pinter out, if you are unsure about names and/or pronunciations, ask until you get it right. Which also means get it right. We also got our camp group assignments, which was met with 45 seconds or so of silence. But we’re all one big happy family so of course the silence was followed by some joking about captains and such.

A few things we touched on before our reflections:

-We got the NCATE and Warner lesson plans, the Warner one being at a significantly higher level, and one which we will “suck” at. That’s okay because this is our first one and we’ll only get better at these.

-Objectives, goals and activities are going to change as camp goes on. That’s okay too! We’re gonna (sort of) have time to fix things day to day,

-Consider the culture of low expectation the campers may come from during the school year. In the time we have, we do what we can to reverse that. Through our APK’s we know that the campers are energized and thoughtful and eager and ready to go. Therefore, so do we.

Captured: A moment of silence in 486.

Captured: A moment of silence in 486.

I leave you with this little gem. Hopefully we don’t have this mindset but its still british humor at its finest and its moderately relevant to our class.

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Alanna, I choose you as the next bloggerina.

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We see CC’s

With today coming to an end, we have two classes left of Summer A. Holy cow, does time fly or what?

In seminar we were not on the same page in terms of location…

 

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Couches or…

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Swivel chairs!

 

We were on the same page reading over the NGSS and Framework K-12. We first perused the sites individually and then with our specific projects in mind. There is a lot of text on these sites, and some of them can get really, really, really, really repetitive… But it is a helpful resource for when we will be designing our own lessons. So read up everyone!

Snack as officially hit critical mass. When everyone goes all out for snack, it all accumulates, especially the Oreos Warner Biscuits. Those are everywhere. If I am in this class and I don’t see a pack of Warner Biscuits, I will question all of reality.

I was't kidding.

I was’t kidding.

Today’s Topic of the Day was the messiness of science. There were two main interpretations of the word “messy”: One was how data has a tendency to not support or disprove your hypothesis as cleanly as we would like, and then there was literal messiness. If you’re gonna get real, you’re gonna have to get a bit messy.

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Our do now seemed simple, but required us to synthesize everything we have learned so far. We defined “science” and “literacy” in the old sense and in the new sense (old being before this class, new being now). We also defined “scientific literacy.” By now we all definitely have a solid answer and one that is very different from what we started with.

With our CC’s (Collaborative Conversations) coming up really soon, we spent a good chunk of our class time practicing our dry runs. A few of us thought that our presentations were going to be very scientific and be an explanation of our hypothesis and our data. Turns out, it’s not going to be too much about the nitty gritty. It is better to be broad and engaging, using props, pictures, and any other method to get the group engaged in what you have to say. We’re going to have the floor for six minutes, so we have to keep them hooked. The three minutes for clarifying question will be the audience’s time to ask us about the specifics.

The four big points: 1. Be interactive. 2. Be broad first then specific later. 3. Make the audience ponder some question. 4. Be invested, be emotional about your work.

Ya got 6 miuntes, make them count!

Ya got 6 minutes, make them count!

In teacher time, we were taken to school on logistics for our final paper. In no particular order:

1. We have to label figures correctly. This means using (Fig.1) right after the sentence that references the figure, then putting that figure right under or over it (at the very least, put it very close to that sentence.

2. Remember to support the claims that are made in the paper by citing the proper resources.

3. Write in a formal tone. This means no contractions. Do not use contractions. See how I am not using contractions.

4. Keep the verb tenses consistent.

 

One big push until the end. We can do it! Let’s go to Seneca Park Zoo and drop some scientific inquiry on the masses. Ok? OK!

And next up for the blog posts is… actually, I’m not sure. I was the last one. Seriously, where did the time go?!

 

 

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