First-Grade Record Keepersby: Theodora Pinou, Hope A. Flanigan, and Marjorie S. Drucker

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Developing good record-keeping habits is essential for organizing, processing, and communicating experimental results objectively. Therefore, the authors designed an interactive method of teaching first graders to record, organize, and interpret data as they studied the life cycle of the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum). In their curricular sequence, students recorded the water temperature, date, and number of salamander eggs that hatched. Additionally, students illustrated the salamander’s developmental stages over time in a personal journal and learned how to organize data on bar graphs. In this article, they describe their experiences to inspire you to try similar units with your young scientists

  • Elementary
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Reviews (2)
  • on Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:19 PM

First graders engage in scientific practices of observing and recording of data to explore the life cycle of salamanders. They learned to maintain the larvae’s environment in terms of temperature and water supply. They read trade books to find out more about the organism and recorded their data through images they drew in their journals. They even explored simple graphs to record information. In short, they became classroom scientists.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:31 PM

Nice activity that involves monitoring temperature and determining its effect on the hatching of salamander eggs. The associated activities include creating a pictograph and reading trade books related to metamorphosis. Teachers wishing to conduct this activity are best to partner up with a knowledgeable naturalist. This activity is limited to the range of the spotted salamander, but could possibly be replicated with local amphibian species.

Patricia  (Pottstown, PA)
Patricia (Pottstown, PA)

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