Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:30 PM
This article was very informative. As a student teacher I was curious about the pros and cons of keeping live animals in the classroom. I have also never had a teacher keep one during my K-12 education and was curious why. Some of the obvious cons come to mind, like allergies and risk of danger to the students, staff, and animal, but things like weekend and holiday care are things that never crossed my mind. It may be a better idea to bring the animal in during the applicable units to avoid the weekend and holiday trips to school to care for the animal.
Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:14 PM
Great Template for Inquiry Projects
In the conclusion the authors rightly point out that a large issue with open-inquiry questions is that students often struggle to carry out their own research projects when given a blank slate. This approach would help alleviate that stress on teachers by first narrowing the scope of inquiry, having the students identify the variables, how they can test them, identifying a research question and designing an experiment. One thing to be vigilant of when having students conduct experiments you have not first done yourself is safety. The authors do mention briefly to discuss the safety guidelines with the students prior to them conducting the experiment, but I would suggest adding a question to the Open-inquiry question template in Figure 2 under The Experiment section, something like: Reflecting upon our safety contract, what safety equipment will you need and what safety rules will apply when you conduct your experiment (write this as if you are presenting it to someone not in our class, so don’t say “rule 25” instead say “eye goggles will be needed because we are heating glassware”)?
Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:47 PM
Great Class Projects
These articles paint a great picture for educators on how they can bring citizen science into the classroom. “21st-Century Citizen Science” provides teachers with ideas for engaging students in projects that span large geographic regions and a continuum to work on, from raising students’ global awareness to global contribution in which students can share what they’ve learned with others. “Citizen Science In Your Own Backyard” has a great number of activities for educators, mainly those during a summer camp setting, but easily modified for the regular school year. “Citizen Scientists: Investigating Science in the Community” highlights a number of options teachers can take to embellish their teaching and examples to spark creativity. “Communities, Cameras, and Conservation” provides an example of a citizen science project done by a class in Colorado that used trail cameras to monitor mountain lions and other wildlife in their community. Lastly, “Project Citizen” provides educators with a template they can use for their citizen science project; having students create a list of issues and then selecting one to research and present. Overall these are all great articles to read and will help you create a project that spans a couple weeks or one that lasts an entire school year.