Class on Monday was refreshing and great! We finally got to put a name to a face (Welcome Dan D.!) and put a face to a voice (Welcome Sharon!). It was great to finally be able to have (almost everyone) in the same space, but we missed our other links to our puzzle (Chelsea and Daniel). Here is an update of what we did! This is a picture of the objectives that were listed on the board when we entered the classroom.




When we entered the classroom, we were asked to write on the whiteboard strategies we used to understand the readings and make sense of it all. We all gave input in a chart form so all of us could relate to each others strategies. Here is a picture of the whiteboard with all of the input.

After that opening activity, we all got in a circle and had a brief discussion that was based on this question: What experience did you have in high school (whether as a teacher or as a student) that has shaped your teaching philosophy? It was very intuitive and interesting to hear all of the stories people had, some had stories that positively affected their teaching and others had not so positive experiences that made them want to teach better.

From there we had a brief discussion about the readings that we did and how we used the strategies on the board to help us understand as well as other strategies. An idea that stuck out was the idea of space; having a space that is free from distractions and is conducive to learning. Another strategy that a couple people used was taking time in between reading the article and reflecting on the article. This gave some of our classmates the ability to let the article “bounce around” in their heads (thanks Dan D. for that visual) and then have the time to reflect on their thoughts.13.-Strive-for-Excellence

After discussing the readings, we reflected on our blogging by using the pluses and arrows method. This method is somewhat of a t-chart visual with a column of pluses or positive aspects of our blogging and another column of arrows or aspects of our blogging that we can spend more time on. I found that I personally had a bunch more arrows than I did pluses. I am a firm believer that we can always better ourselves, and that “Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude”.



From there we split up into groups, a group of scholars and a group of preservice teachers. The preservice teachers discussed their own preparation for their science STARS push-in’s into classrooms this week (which I am SO excited to hear about!!). The scholars discussed more in detail the article from Gutierrez and Vossoughi. We discussed many aspects of the text, from what the name of the article means (“Lifting Off…”: seeing in a different way and looking at a situation from a different perspective) to a section of the appendix that explains a ethnography outline. This was extremely helpful for the scholars and I as a guide for our ethnographies we will be completing on the students in the STARS program.

slide2-nIMG_0555After our break, we completed a “Myths of Science Quiz” with a partner and then shared out our answers on the board to compare with the rest of the class. The original true and false questions and the collaborative answers are to the left.


In the last part of class, we all got to see a glimpse of what the preservice teachers are going to use as a push-in technique to convince students of East High School that they want to be a part of Science STARS. Dan demonstrated how we make our own energy to blow up a balloon as well as showing a chemical reaction that can also blow up a balloon. Sharon gave her take on “The Price is Right” Nutrition Edition by having us guess the amount of sugar in grams and calories in different foods. Christa gave us a matching game where we raced to get as many correct combinations of color and uses for each mineral given. And finally we heard Daniel’s idea of having students dig into a pot of soil to find what was in soil and what effect it could have on the soil and plants. They were all great ideas that really involved the students and I’m looking forward to seeing how well they all went!

            In my last remarks for the day, I would like to add a link to a video. In a world where teachers continue to be questioned and ridiculed, here is just a small example of how much we can change one person’s life. And if we can change one person’s life, we can change the world.