Forum Role: Participant
Active Since: June 29, 2020
Topics Started: 0
Replies Created: 25

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Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 25 total)
  • Mark
    Participant
    maroberts64
    Students will complete their projects at their different levels of learning, but I think that it is important that they do their best work. A rubric would be helpful for the student to stay on track and guide them on all necessary components: procedure. materials, data, presentation, etc. I also think that it would be beneficial to include a peer conference and a teacher conference as part of the project, and for the teacher (or some resource) to be available if the student needs assistance during their project. I like the option of using a video for presentation for students who may struggle with writing but shine on camera. Allowing students choices in presenting their information is a great way to keep students engaged to the product of their project.
  • Mark
    Participant
    maroberts64
    I would say that some of my challenges with inquiry-based activities are how to measure the learning process and ensure students are learning for themselves when they are part of a small group, rather than letting others take over and do the work. I can see that a whole project rubric is as valuable as the final product rubric, to help guide students through each step of the process and to help me, as a teacher, assess each student. Clearly defined instructions established through discovery and discussion will also help me guide these activities. I need to break it all into smaller bites, and go one step at a time to ensure that all students are able to grow in the experience. I agree with Amy that time is a factor, so tying in Math and ELA will help, but we also run on a curriculum map, so we lose some flexibility with teaching. This is my first year in a Florida 2nd grade classroom, so I'll have to see how I can work this in. I may try to start a Science club this year, and/or use our virtual platform to involve students more.
  • Mark
    Participant
    maroberts64
    https://www.cocorahs.org/ I've always been interested in weather observations and patterns, so I chose to look to CoCoRaHS, which is the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network. I knew that citizen scientists can submit precipitation data, but it was interesting to see that we can also submit thunder data. Data is available to anyone through the website, by location and selectable time periods, through data tables and map data points. With only a rain gauge, it would be easy to check precipitation every day and graph that data on a line graph for comparison throughout the year. We could also submit the data through CoCoRaHS and compare data to other locations. Thunder reports are by morning, afternoon, evening, and night, so this would be simple tally mark data, and a great, simple data collection project to use as an introduction to citizen science. We could use this data to see what time of the year receives the most rain, and possibly if there is a time of the day when rain is more likely.
  • Mark
    Participant
    maroberts64
    When we have discussions about certain things, I like to answer students questions with my own questions, to have them think deeper about what they are wondering. "What do you think?" "How can we figure that out?" "Great observation! Does anyone else have thoughts on that?" Giving students plenty of time to observe and discover will naturally bring up questions and/or discussions that we can explore together. Writing down questions as they arise gives us something to look back at and discuss as we make plans to further explore a topic. Making sure students have tools to observe such as rulers and magnifying glasses helps them in their documentation and makes their experience stick. Then we can form some good questions, learn together, and make a plan for further projects.
  • Mark
    Participant
    maroberts64
    PS - I earned my bronze insect badge on Seek with this observation :)
  • Mark
    Participant
    maroberts64
    When we lived in Ohio farm country, we put up a few different feeders. It was so fun to watch and see our visitors while we sat on the porch with our coffee! We definitely miss that.
  • Mark
    Participant
    maroberts64
    This sounds like a great activity! I would definitely have to have a camera handy for identification. It would also be cool to try this inside with a webcam on a plant.
  • Mark
    Participant
    maroberts64
    I signed up for the MLMP (Monarch Larva Monitoring Project), since we have a couple milkweed plants in our patio garden. It takes a little bit of time to set up your site(s) and to navigate through to figure out what to do. One of the observations asks for temperature in the shade but we do not have an outside thermometer, so I used my WeatherBug. Another activity asks for rainfall, so I skipped that activity for now. I did find five live eggs on our plants, which I recorded. We did not have larvae, but I did see that it asks for instars (stages) of any larvae, which I promptly Googled. Besides fumbling through navigation, the project is pretty easy and flexible to your time schedule. One of the activities calls for collecting larvae or eggs and bringing them inside to observe for survivability. In Ohio, we mail ordered painted lady caterpillars to raise and release...I find that bringing native eggs in to observe to be much more connecting to our environment, and more relevant to our practices. I also think that this project would open up more questions from students about monarchs, milkweeds, and their surrounding environment. I would expect students to become more interested in the relationship between insects and plants, and become better observers of things that they might not normally pay any attention to. I would also expect students to try and catch monarchs in the act of laying eggs, and for them to expand this experience to other insects and animals with other plants. While looking at our plants, we saw a Gulf Fritillary (thank you to my Seek app) on our passion flower, ergo and therefore called the passion butterfly! Questions and observations lead to more questions. So, even though this is a patio garden, I can see where it would be easy to experience real science, asking questions, making observations, and creating experiments. To wrap up my wordy post, I could see students documenting data, size, drawing or taking pictures, writing and presenting. We're (teachers) learning along with them, but it definitely is important that we set up our project for success with the right tools and preparation, and that we guide our students to keep them on track.passion butterfly
  • Mark
    Participant
    maroberts64
    I agree with your idea of creating a class culture where questioning guides instruction. Students learn that their voice is an important part of the learning process, and they learn to develop those observation and investigation skills through practice. :)
  • Mark
    Participant
    maroberts64
    I like your observation that it is hard for us as adults to not share our knowledge right away! Holding back allows students to make observations and try to figure things out, while we provide tools along the way. I am guilty and will work to improve on this task!
  • Mark
    Participant
    maroberts64
    I love that Science is a subject so open to questions, observations, and discovery. When we have hatched eggs in an incubator in the past, I would try to get different colors and sizes of eggs to bring up questions. Adding a turkey egg also encourages discussion. Once a student found a robin egg on the ground, so we added it to the incubator and discussed many questions about that. I think modeling questions and discussions is the best catalyst for observations and wonder. It allows everyone to think about the topic and contribute their curiosity. The "I Wonder" board and journaling helps to keep the questions alive as topics to address as students learn and observe more. When students are encouraged to ask questions without worrying about "right" and "wrong" actions, they are allowed to do what comes naturally to them. Then we can discuss ways to figure out how to answer their curiosities.
  • Mark
    Participant
    maroberts64
    You are very knowledgeable about what you hear! This would be a great activity for trying to note sounds and try to figure out what birds you are actually hearing. Then start showing birds and their sounds, followed by revisits to the listening activity to see what birds they could identify :)
  • Mark
    Participant
    maroberts64
    I like your idea of noting how far away sounds are by the size of your pictures! Adding feelings to the mix is interesting, also - there are definitely sounds that freak me out or give me serenity...I don't know it I could classify all sounds, though, in feelings. Great ideas!
  • Mark
    Participant
    maroberts64
    I live in an apartment complex, and it is fairly quiet. I mostly heard crows talking to each other, along with a few other birds here and there. A big thing that I noticed happened when the neighbors outside air conditioner unit stopped (ours was also off during the first part of my sound map activity), was how much difference the background noise made to listening to my environment! Which made me think about noise pollution that exists around us every day. with air conditioners not running, I could hear faint sounds of traffic and construction machinery, and birds that were further away. With and without air conditioning, I noticed a couple high flying aircraft flying by, sounds of the lawn maintenance crew around the complex with their various devices, and the noisy crows from all areas. I definitely think having students close their eyes and just record what they are hearing without talking about it during the observation time helps with observation skills. I also like the idea of noting distance (close or far away) of the sounds they hear. I would have students discuss what they heard afterwards, and then follow up with other activities such as observing with smell only, or touch only. soundmap
  • Mark
    Participant
    maroberts64
    I can see that student involvement in observation and collecting data creates questions by students. When they are able to pursue activities to answer these questions through investigations, they 1) are more invested in the project, 2)gain confidence as a student and a scientist, and 3)become leaders and peer teachers. This process is flexible, with the ability to start and progress as teachers and students become more familiar and confident with their citizen science project. Knowing that makes this venture a little less scary, and modeling the citizen science learning process along with the students will help everyone to become more successful!
  • Mark
    Participant
    maroberts64
    I totally agree, and I think students struggle to be creative because they are used to giving a specific answer to a specific question. The skills gained through becoming student scientists will help in all subjects because they are more confident in their abilities. :)
  • Mark
    Participant
    maroberts64
    Reflection:
    • Positioning Youth as People Who Do Science - This helps students to build upon their natural curiosity to become scientists. It's a way of learning that builds intrinsic value to observe, show data, and share conclusions with their community.
    • Attend to the Unexpected - Teachers need to take the unexpected and use them as teachable moments, not hurdles but rather slight detours that address related topics. Young scientists should understand that this is part of the process.
    • Frame the Work Locally and Globally - Having students work framed in their community gives them a purpose beyond the grade. They are scientists providing information for the good of their school, neighborhood, or world. Learning that they can make a difference in the world is a valuable lesson to learn early.
  • Mark
    Participant
    maroberts64
    I feel that all of these practices are important to model, but my primary practice to model would be Positioning Youth as People Who Do Science. Teaching students to be scientists who gain the confidence to observe, question, collect data, and come to conclusions to share with others - these are all skills that can be used and grown throughout a lifetime. Students have the curiosity and can come up with the questions. Once they wear the hat of a scientist, it will never come off. Nurtured, it will continue to grow, giving students the power of their own learning.
  • Mark
    Participant
    maroberts64
    That sounds like a great opportunity in your schoolyard! Jealous!
  • Mark
    Participant
    maroberts64
    I like your idea of an after-school club - I've thought about that myself, to give more time to students who want to be involved with a project like that. There are restrictions in the classroom to work around (not impossible, just more difficult), but a Science club is definitely on my radar :)
Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 25 total)