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Gardening at school with young children | Posted in Early Childhood
I feel that the idea of a classroom garden throughout the whole school year is a great idea. You can do different plants throughout the seasons that change. I think this is a good thing to do in your classroom because it let's students learn the proper necessities of plants and how to care for them. And they are very pretty!! A lot of schools don't have access to any sort of garden in their backyard and this can be a good idea.
Teaching for Conceptual Understanding in Science | Posted in Professional Development
Currently, I am entering my 4th year of teaching 7th and 8th grade science. I’ve always felt that the traditional lecture format my department employs is not the most effective way to reach my students. I’ve added numerous lab activities in an attempt to promote deeper understanding. However, it wasn’t until I stumbled across this thread and read about conceptual understanding that I felt like this is the method that I should have been using all along. The shift to NGSS blends perfectly with this style of instruction and learning. I agree with Joyce in regards to covering the curriculum. We tend to sacrifice depth of learning in favor of squeezing everything in before the next round of state testing begins.
I have read and reviewed many of the resources provided in your book “Teaching for Conceptual Understanding in Science.” I felt the different instructional strategies listed in chapter 8 were extremely beneficial. I’m left with a few lingering questions though. Based on what I’ve read, teachers need to administer some sort of probe or pre-assessment to gauge students’ misconceptions or prior knowledge before planning instruction. Are these probes supposed to take the entire class period? If not, then how do you plan the day based on information you are gathering in a 15-20 minute time span? Using the conceptual thinking model how are teachers providing instruction for concepts that are completely unfamiliar to students?
classroom management during experiments | Posted in Early Childhood
I am student teaching in a second-grade classroom and one things that works great for me is explaining the expectations EVERY time the students will begin an experiment. Even if they have done it 100 times before this helps them refresh their memory and they have set expectations about how they are to treat our materials, what voice level to use, etc. Once the expectations are set the students can begin their experiment. Another strategy I have seen is giving each table a yellow,red, and green cup (stacked). You explain to the students that if they are stuck on any part of the experiment and they have no idea what to do that they are to put the red cup on top. This tells the teacher to go over to help them. If the students place a yellow cup on top it states that they are struggling, but figuring it out, and a green cup means they understand and have no questions. I found that this best works 3-5 grade better than younger ones. This helps from having every student yell across the classroom when they need help.
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