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…………………………………………………






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

Oreo Flavor of the Day:  Single Stuffed




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