Sun May 25, 2014 3:56 PM
Benefits of Pre-Assessment
Teachers often have difficulty thinking of ideas to help them understand the prior knowledge their students have about a subject. In the article Whats the Matter with Teaching Children About Matter by Amy Palmeri, Amanda Cole, and Sarah DeLisle published in the Science and Children Journal in the December 2008 edition describes different techniques to figure out your students prior knowledge through the subject of matter. In the activity the authors had students participate they began by creating a hands-on activity pre-assessment that would grasp students’ interest. Having students participate in a pre-assessment helps the teacher figure out where to start on the subject they are about to teach. The authors then built on the students’ knowledge by having them make observations and learn new definitions of why the different objects given to them were in fact different. The next step the authors took was to have the students participate in an activity that used the materials they first observed and had them add solutions to them to physically and chemically change. At the end of the activity the authors had students observe how they materials changed and how their first observations were either correct or misconstrued. I believe assessing a child’s prior knowledge is key before teaching any subject. You can pre-asses children through having them try and perform the end result that you want them to accomplish in a fun and interesting way such as the authors depicted. The key point that I believe the authors are portraying is to always assess prior knowledge but to also always connect their prior knowledge to their mastered knowledge at the end of their activity. I would recommend this article to all teachers who want to grasp an understanding of how pre-assessment improves the overall end results that students have.
Sun May 25, 2014 3:09 PM
Children's Literature and the Moon
Teachers often have difficulties explaining the phases of the moon properly to their students in the classroom. In the article The Moon in Children’s Literature, by Kathy Trundle and Thomas H. Troland written in Science and Children’s Journal October 2005, the authors portrays that children’s literature often depicts incorrect information about the phases of the moon but states different ways to address this problem. One way the authors advise teachers to teach children properly about the moon is to still continue to use the misconstrued literature but have children compare their own findings about the moon to the literatures findings. Another way the others advised teachers was to have them select non-fiction books that depict the correct phases of the moon. However, the authors enforce the idea of having the students always make their own observations records whether reading a fiction or non-fiction book about the moon. I believe these are great options when trying to have students understands that they must make their own observations and not always take the books information as the truth. One thing I believe the authors did not include was to have students create their own comparison and contrast between their own findings of both non-fictional and fictional moon books. This would allow critical thinking to develop for the students. I would recommend this article to all elementary science teachers who are trying to find ways to portray the concept of the moon properly through the usage of books in the classroom.
Sun May 25, 2014 3:08 PM
How scaffolding help students with inquiry stages
Teachers are always trying to find ways to develop students’ skills in the science curriculum. In the article Inquiry Takes Time by Juliet Baxter, Angie Ruzicka, and Sharon Blackwell from the September 2011 Science and Children Journal, depicts the use of three different levels of inquiry that were used to develop students’ observational skills, understanding of the nature of science and inquiry processes over one year. In the article the authors discuss starting the school year off by having students only participate in structured inquiry where students are searching for an answer to a question already given to them by the teacher. Once students have proven they can accomplish answering prescribed questions they then move on to guided inquiry. During the guided inquiry stage students investigate questions using a method they have designed. According to the authors this stage helps students thinking light bulbs turn on. The last stage the students were involved in was the open inquiry stage where they had to create questions based on their ideas of what might happen to the seeds they planted foam cups with soil. The authors believe having students go through these three stages of inquiry correlates with state standards and helps them better their science skills. I believe that these stages do in fact help students’ growth development in science. By using this scaffolding technique to help students in the beginning of the year pose scientific questions and then throughout the year let the students complete the task individually helps the students science skills grow. I would recommend this article to all future elementary schools teachers that are looking for ways to help their students become more developed in posing scientific questions independently.