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
… and Grafitti Board!
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!