Blogging about Blogging (and other things)

Summer A. Where do I even start?

These six weeks have been the fastest of my life and I’m torn whether that was good or bad.  Probably both.  Good in that I’m looking forward to my first weekend with no immediate deadlines hanging over my head but bad in that we’re six weeks closer to graduation and I am already obsessed with our cohort.  I never expected to be thrown into such a diverse group but still feel so connected with all of you and I can already feel myself dreading graduation.  Good thing we all have to keep in touch with Warner, hopefully that will spill over into our friendships outside of school.

Blogging has been surprisingly therapeutic for me.  At first it definitely wasn’t that way.  I really struggled figuring out what I was going to write and it ended up stressing me out for the latter part of every week; but, now the weekends are my favorite part of the week, not because of the obvious, but because I get to read everyone’s blogs and learn a little more about each of you.  Also, I can’t imagine I’m the only one that loves reading comments on their own blog about the similarities we share.  Blogging, as I’ve said in my “Science, Science everywhere!” post, has definitely made me more aware of how much of my life is surrounded by science which will hopefully help me to scaffold my own authentic inquiry in my future classroom!

I also think blogging has really facilitate me breaking out of my shell.  I’m sure at this point very few of you will believe me but, in that pre-class homework we had to do one of my two questions in the “3-2-1” exercise was how I would have my voice heard because the blogs gave the impression that everyone in GRS was very outgoing while I’ve always considered myself pretty shy. So, now that I’m out of my shell I don’t plan on going back in.  I feel as though being pushed to engage and contribute in class has definitely made me get more out of it than I would have otherwise.  Good food for thought in the future.

On that thread I decided to organize my favorite of my implications conclusion from class, which I took liberties and have entitled “Future Work” in my notebook, here.  First, so that I have a consolidated list and second, so (hopefully) you guys can help to add whatever I may have forgotten.

“Future Work”

“Making Thinking Visible” Making lists of big ideas help to solidify concepts during open discussion as opposed to letting ideas “float away”
Fishbowl Desks like |_|Facilitates better discussionEasier to demonstrate things in the middle
Everyday things as Science things Introducing students to something that doesn’t feel science-y to them and then showing the science to them can make a foreign idea (science) more relatable 
Bring science into the classroom Bringing authentic inquiry into the classroom can help to overcome obstacles with getting students out of the classroom to experience scienceLake water for platingLake plants for microscope slides

Bring experts into talk

Museum Walk & Talk Class wide discussion/critique of projects can provide positive reinforcement, provide possible pit-falls to look out for (if critiquing a plan)
Reading Over Shoulders Use pieces of what each student wrote to guide conversation at quiet points
Debate Kids love to argue! Form teams and debate (make it a class project perhaps)
Scaffold Vocab Scaffolding complex/new words can help to not discourage a studentLearning vocal and concepts concurrently is overwhelming!
The Elusive Sweet Spot All kids struggle to learn; there exists a “sweet spot” where content is challenging enough to engage a student but not so challenge that it discourages them (Vygotsky’s “Zone of Proximal Development”)
“Pass-Read-Steal-Talk” Have students answer the same questions on a paper and pass around the circle, steal the ideas you want and pass againConversation at the end to compare understandings and take-aways

It’s incredible the amount of practices we’ve been introduced to and I can’t wait to see even more.  Clearly we’re entering an uphill battle but I have a feeling the view from the top is going to be extraordinary.

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