“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes”-Marcel Proust

So, what can we take away from this? One of our goals as educators is to see the right in all students “wrong” answer. Kind of like, for every bad event that happens, something good has to come out of it. Find the star in every student and let it shine! 

Some other things we will strive to see our classrooms:

  • student to student communication (remember, students are each others best resources)
  • connection of content to prior knowledge and the students out of school lives
  • movement
  • engagement
  • adequate wait time
  • meaningful (specific) praise
  • value of student input
  • eye contact (however, be careful with this because in some cultures it can be a sign of disrespect)
  • essential (overarching) question
  • safe/comfortable learning environment (both physically and intellectually)
  • enthusiasm
  • student ownership

We have our hands full with nurturing these qualities but with the great passion we all have to teach, it won’t be as high of a hill to reach as it looks.

Tips on establishing a community of learners:

  • Set the culture from the first day – begin with an activity that requires students to collaborate with each other
  • Continue to encourage student to student talk – if a student has a question and/or comment ask him/her to discuss it with another student

Some helpful points when working on inquiry labs:

  • have the available equipment limit their question to a specific content so things do not get too off base
  • Make sure students understand what a testable vs. non testable question is
  • Encourage organized data collection – if a particular group seems to be having trouble with proper organization have them look at another groups strategies or do a group review on the board with all students participating (building a graph together)

Encouraging meaningful demonstrations:

  • Begin with a POE worksheet (predict, observe, explain)
  • Explain the demonstration
  • Ask students what they have predicted will happen and why
  • Preform demo
  • Explain the demo again changing an aspect of the demo 
  • Ask them to once again, document their prediction and give reason for their predictions (to provoke them to reevaluate their thinking and challenge their thoughts)
  • Ask why students think certain phenomena is happening
  • Always have a warm-up (bell work) question at the beginning to go back to (again, to encourage them to challenge their thoughts)
  • Ask what the take away from the demo is (refer to warm-up question as the take away)

Here’s is another helpful quote (when teaching science) by the infamous Orlando Marrero – “Making thinking Visible”

And, do not forget these deadlines:

  • Science STARS unit plan is due Tuesday October 14
  • Sometime soon please reflect in your Blog – How you think people learn (your epistemology) and What that means about your teaching (the implications this has on your teaching)

This class was full of information that will benefit us when teaching in  a classroom. Always remember, we are here for the benefit of our students. We want to make learning science a fun and meaningful experience. We can not “force” all students to find the joy in the sciences but we can help to make it a more meaningful process.

And now, for the information we all are waiting for…who will be next week’s lucky contestant as the official 434 scribe…well let’s see…I thought of choosing Andrea but she’s not feeling so well (she needs time to recuperate), then I thought of Chris and the maybe Anne but their STARS group did a cool inquiry activity with explosions so I’ll let them off the hook. There were many others to choose from but my final decision is…the nerdy but noble physicist…can you guess?…narrowing down to 2 gentlemen…Mike “the thrust man” Barbero! Congratulations Mike! 

  

 

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