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Interaction with Force, Mass, and Motion | Posted in Physical Science

In my physics classroom, we use both hands-on activities and pHet simulations.  The hands-on activities provide concrete experience with the phenomena that my students are studying.  The computer simulations help them further explore those concrete experience by looking at the phenomena a different way.  For example, when study projectiles, I have students build mini-catapults and test how they work.  They observe and describe how motion projectile motion looks. Then they follow up that activity with the pHet simulation in which they can more easily control variables so they can test the different factors that contribute to projectile motion.

Ruth Hutson

Inquiry-Based Learning in Elementary School | Posted in Elementary Science

I believe that inquiry based learning is also extremely beneficial for students especially at the lower elementary grades. Like mentioned by others, this type of learning helps the students think for themselves. There are also different types of inquiry based learning, depending on how much direction you would like to give the students. If you are going to completely hand over the reins to the students this is called an open inquiry. In this inquiry the students will be in charge of coming up with a question/problem, procedure, and results/ analysis. This would be a great way to get the students to think creatively and problem solve. However, for the younger students it could be hard for them to come up with everything on their own. So, for this age group I would recommend a structured inquiry. For this, you as the teacher would come up with the question/problem, and the procedure for everyone to do. Then the students would have to analyze and reason as to why these things occurred. In my science methods class we did an experiment called "dancing raisins for our structured inquiry. We were given the question of, "Why do raisins, when added to a cup of sparkling water float to the top of the cup?" We were also given the procedure of putting five raisins in two cups with the same amount of liquid, one with sparkling water and one with regular water. Then it was our job to analyze why it was that the raisins floated in the sparkling water. I think that this would be a great idea of a structured inquiry for younger elementary grades. You can structure it, but still gets them thinking!

Kennedy Carber

NSTA National Conference in LA | Posted in Northrop Grumman Foundation Teachers Academy 2017

Hi Fellows- We will be meeting in just two weeks! I have enjoyed reading the introductions each of you have posted as it gives me faces with names- thank you! Attached is a short PowerPoint you can view that covers some helpful information as you get ready to travel to LA. Please review this at your earliest convenience. If you have any questions after viewing please post them here in the forum and I will reply in a timely manner. Warm Regards- Wendy

Wendy Binder

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