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Active Since: June 21, 2022
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Replies Created: 11

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Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Julie
    Participant
    A lot of our projects are inquiry-based.  In a class filled with differential learners, the purpose is to learn, not how capable they are of writing a report. (Writing reports come in handy later on... but, that is not what our focus is in class)  So..  I like to even the playing field.  My students are given the option to work in teams or with partners.  They give their reports as google slides, which everyone analysis at the end of the project.  Being able to analyze other students' work brings up lots of discussions and improvement of everyone's work!    I use rubrics to grade the entire project.  The rubrics is divided so that the reports is not the focal point of the project. The actual work on the project is what is graded the heaviest, with the report counting less on the scale.
  • Julie
    Participant
    I am looking at FeederWatch.  The program is designed to have students do bird counts at their winter feeding areas.  It was started in 2016 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  It is offered to Us & Canadian residents, for a cost of $18.00.  Although, they did offer grants for this program earlier in the year for schools.  Which we did sign up for! The database is accessible to anyone.  There are no restrictions.  Students can access the information. My students are going to use it to put more depth into their study of ornithology!  It will give them a focal point, a reason to start "inquiry" questions!  A desire to learn more once their interest is caught!  We have feeders placed outside of the front of our classroom.  Our classroom front is actually a series of sliding glass doors overlooking their gardens, a natural habit and the playground.  So the students will be able to observe in all types of weather and conditions.  From the Feeder Count we will see if they have any more inquiry questions and see where that takes us in the world of ornithology!
  • Julie
    Participant
    I have a very diverse classroom.  OK, somehow it has developed into a science center. The students seem to thrive in the unique indoor/outdoor environment.  The school (private)  added a separate building with outdoor immediate access so that we would quit disrupting the other classes as we transitioned between inside and outside "adventures".  (the disruption was everyone wanted to know what we had done or what we were doing) This being the case, my knowledge base is not that big to answer all the questions they have!  So,  I  use a lot of open ending questions in my classes, resources, books, pamphlets, internet access, and an ability to adjust our lesson plan for the student's needs. I Definitely  enjoy the answers they come up with!  The most difficult part about it is how to evaluate them through grades.  Which we all know is/can be a big priority.  So I am moved to grading with rubrics for the students who need that grade to keep them on task...  The students who are lacking interest in their natural world, now have that incentive if they need it.   (We all know those grade levels!)  The younger kids enjoy it so much that they have no idea it is a learning environment.  I am not a spectacular teacher...  but, I have an amazing outdoor/indoor environment to teach in!!!    I frequently have students who burst into tears or refuse to leave our class at the end of the semester.  We only have most students for 1 semester per year.  My favorite, break-my heart moment was a 1st grader who wouldn't even go to his Christmas Party!  He hung on to my door and cried??!!  Said if he walked out the door he wouldn't be back for an entire year and he would rather stay???  This is extremely hard on me!  I wish I could have them all year long.. but, it is just not possible. Yes, the end of the semester is very difficult for me!  Their tears and their heartfelt sadness at not having access to our incredible natural world is very hard to take!!  That is how important teaching this way is to the students!  It has such an impact on their lives when it can become a daily experience!  The results you can see in all ways including academically.  I always worry about that.. wondering if this style of teaching, since it is not mainstream, is adversely affecting the students for their "required education".  Then I started to see the results of the standardized tests that they took.  They are being affected but not adversely!!
  • Julie
    Participant
    I use Inaturalist, seek, & ebird in class. I am looking forward to adding the other citizen science programs that I have discovered during this course!   The students have no difficulty with the apps.  Of course, there can be technical difficulties with connectability occasionally. It was so successful using what phones and tablets that the students could bring with them that the school has purchased tablets for more exploration!   We had lots of luck with identifying various types of sea shells with the iseek app.  The students loved it, especially when they discovered they could take pictures of each other and get a list of classifications other than humans.  It put us all in laughter for a while.   The learning outcomes that I expect is to have the students have a thirst for more .
  • Julie
    Participant
    As an educator, it is our job to get students to wonder!  To notice what is going on around them.  To bring the joy and wonder of what is in our world so they can see it, touch it, explore it.  In a world when they are growing up with everything is just a click away....  to bring it forth and send it away... with just a click.   To give them the chance to sit and actually explore our world.  A chance to experience our world. I had a parent come up to me and thank me for introducing her child to bugs.  1st grader??  I didn't know what to say. What the mother was telling me was so foreign to anything that I know.  She said that her and her husband like to eat outside, but due to the 1st grader's response to bugs  they could not.  (screaming and running)  So, they did not eat outside??  The student did react to bugs adversely at first, but, she adjusted quickly to our program of insect observations.  She was right with the other students digging up the dirt and pushing over rocks, chasing down butterflies, and turning over leaves to find new insects.  My heart bleeds for this generation of students who are not able to experience the natural world.  It definitely is showing up in the students.  Hand them playdough, shaving cream or dirt and water to make mud and they hesitate about getting dirty.    I now have a selection of rubber boots and various types of clothes for students who fear the displeasure of their parents for not staying clean.  That way everyone is happy!
  • Julie
    Participant
    sound picture Lots of fun hearing stuff!  I do this activity with several of my classes.  The little ones we rotate their location 3 times, with 5 minutes at each station.  After each station we see how many things they could identify and then move to another station.  The more stations we go to the more sounds they notice.  This hearing activity is a great way to get kids to explore nature thru all of their senses.  One we all enjoy!
  • Julie
    Participant
    We are fortunate that we have an outside nature area. Using the Scientific Method and Citizen Science will give the students more direction in their outdoor inquiry.  I am really excited to implement this way of learning! I am looking forward to seeing what is put on the Wonder Board! While taking this course, I have started the process to implement a huge  Wonderboard, to make it the focal of our room.  I am looking forward to observing the conversations and seeing where the Inquiry Driven learning model takes our students!  Excited to see what and how the students develop from this!
  • Julie
    Participant
    Reflecting on the 3 teaching practices and how to model them in the classroom. Position youth as people with science:  Students will be in charge of their own projects.  Take ownership, make a difference in their environment. Attend to the unexpected: Have resources available for the students so they can inquire. Frame the work globally and locally: Using the Citizen Science Project students will be able to look at other local students' data and also globally.
  • Julie
    Participant
    I have not done any of the citizen science projects.  I intend to add them to various grade levels.  It will be great fun! Using the Lost Ladybug Citizen-Science project the students will use their love of ladybugs for inquiry then they learn scientific methods.
  • Julie
    Participant
    7th grade science students were given the topic of   "How do you prevent water erosion?"  The Texas Agricultural Ext. Office loaned us their Stream Trailer.  The trailer is designed to show water runoff. It is filled with a substrate and has pumps at one end of the trailer.  When the pumps are turned on they release water into the substrate.  The substrate washes down to the back of the trailer.    The student's goal was to engineer an area with a building that would not get washed away. Supplies could be brought from home or found in class. Students were allowed to test and retest their designs to prevent erosion. Level of inquiry,  "guided inquiry". The science practices that the students developed were: investigation inquiry, engineering, design, scientific investigation, and erosion. Modification for more inquiry-based investigation would be allowing the use of a different substrate.  By changing the substrate it would introduce a new variable to the process.  Bring up more questions and answers.
  • Julie
    Participant
    inquiry screenshot Inquiry gives a reason to learn, a reason to search for more answers.  Instead of memorizing data and facts that can be regurgitated at will.  It puts all the different types of learners on the same level.
    in reply to: Intro to Inquiry #905491
Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)