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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