Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:09 PM
Excellent Read - "Let's Invent!"
This article (Let's Invent!) is a very informative piece that discusses the implementation of engineering practices in the science classroom. Specifically, it focuses on having students identify problems and design solutions using a limited amount of materials. One aspect of this idea that I really enjoy is that it allows students the opportunity to research and take interest in issues within their community. One of the suggestions in the article was to provide your students with the local newspaper and have them highlight local issues that can be solved by engineering design. I think this is an excellent way to get the students motivated and connected to the science at hand. The second aspect I liked was the suggestion to use the "Grab Bag Inventing" activity. This type of activity asks the students to design a solution to a problem using limited materials found in a prepared grab bag. I love this idea because it incorporates creativity, innovation and collaboration. I also think it is important that the article mentions practicing these engineering skills often. If implemented correctly, this strategy will be used time and time again to help students learn about and refine their engineering skills. I gave this article a 5 star rating because there wasn't anything I disliked about it in particular. My only suggestion would be for the article to include a sample lesson plan with the "Grab Bag Inventing" activity embedded. This would help me visualize a way to incorporate this kind of an activity into my student teaching plans. However, the article was wonderful overall. I highly recommend reading it and trying to incorporate these techniques into your own classroom. It truly encourages a new level of interest in the field of science - a level of interest student's may never be exposed to otherwise!
Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:23 PM
A Modern Approach to Old Cell Discoveries
At first glance, I was a little surprised by the title of the article because it isn't often that we hear about using outdated resources in the science classroom. However, digging deeper into the article reveals that utilizing old science films can provide a new learning dimension for high school students. The article describes the benefits of using the 1929 film "The Living Cell: A Silent Teaching Film" to teach students about cell biology. I appreciate that this article promotes the increased use of video and multimedia to replace the average, run-of-the-mill textbook. I also like that the article invites teachers to play the short film and then allow students to discuss the topics as a class (cell parts and functions, cell division, etc). However, I believe the article should have put more of an emphasis on the idea that the students need to critique/evaluate the video as well. It is very important for students watching outdated science films to evaluate how accurate the information is, and to also decide what new knowledge the scientific community has developed since the time period of the film. This type of in-depth analysis can add a new dimension to learning, allowing students to elaborate on what they already know. Elaboration is an essential step in the 5E-Learning cycle, and this would be a great activity to work into a high school biology lesson. In addition, there are many other films out there that can be used for each different subject in high school science. Overall, I think this article has a great message and promotes an innovative idea for science lessons at the high school level.