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Science is the content learned to enhance the thinking process in students. Finding out how a student has benefited from an experiment or instruction can be tricky. In the article "One Mode is Not for all." by Susan Jane Britsch, she suggests the idea of having students utilize a journal. "We observe each child's classroom science instruction and then reflected on the child's "journaling" of the science experience."(Britsch 26). From previous experiences in classrooms, having student write hypothesis, observing the materials instruction, or simply answering a question are all ways to show the teacher the students understanding. Even students who are disabled or might require additional help can verbally express their thoughts and have a teacher jot down their ideas. If the child is able to use vocabulary terms or give an relatable explanation identifying the key points, then a teacher knows they have succeeded in some way.
1900 Activity Points
I began journaling with my students about 10 years ago. We used them to include some samples of items we discovered on the school grounds, and even to write/draw images of events like a freak snowstorm. (We live in the south, it rarely snows.) I used little plastic bags that extra buttons come in and small jewelry bags from craft stores. They saved the polymers we made in science. As we progressed through the year, I would scaffold questions to go back to previous concepts and the class would zip through their journals to be the first to find it. I think it encourages students to be in charge of their own learning. Sometimes, I would allow them to use their journal to answer test questions. If they failed to record information or didn't record correctly, they were able to make that change without me fussing.
85619 Activity Points
I had students who would often ask if they could draw a diagram instead of a written response. When I asked them to explain the drawing, it was clear that they understood the concept. Their diagrams served as graphic organizers for their thinking. So as Pam noted, diagrams, charts, tables, maps, sketches, drawings, etc. can be essential parts of journals.
7765 Activity Points
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