Science Sampler: The use of stations to develop inquiry skills and content for rock houndsby: William R. Veal and Anna T. Chandler

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Teaching the rock cycle can overwhelm even the most enthusiastic rock hound. As middle school science teachers, we constantly struggle with an appropriate balance between Earth system content and experiential activities. The authors have found that stations can be successfully employed to teach rock cycle content while reinforcing development of inquiry skills. Using stations, teachers are able to implement the abundance of available activities that incorporate content, standards, and inquiry skills.

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Reviews (3)
  • on Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:55 AM

This article describes a four day activity that helps students develop inquiry skills using nine rock stations. Students work in cooperative groups to answer the questions provided at each station. Students decide what they need to do to answer the questions. Each station is named, inquiry skills are labeled, and some description is provided. The article talks more about the benefits of stations. I would have preferred more information about the materials provided at each station. A rock rubric is also included in the article. Since I favor station work because it gives students an opportunity to move around the room, this article seems like a solid way to have students learn in student-centered activities what might be considered a boring topic.

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

  • on Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:34 AM

This is an excellent article describing how to develop and set up stations to incorporate inquiry and hands-on experiences for students. One could use this article’s information to set up his/her own set of stations. Included is a step by step process that describes how to create different stations, how to determine the different types of activities to include, resources to investigate and tips and strategies for a successful set of station activities. An in-depth description of a set of nine stations to teach the rock cycle is presented describing each station’s activity and its inquiry skill(s). It concludes with an example of a rubric for one type of student assessment.

Kathy Sparrow  (Delray Beach, FL)
Kathy Sparrow (Delray Beach, FL)

  • on Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:09 PM

This well developed set of inquiry stations is definitely a diamond! If you are a pro or a novice at the utilization of learning centers, you will want to take a look at these detailed plans that include education/content standards, extension ideas, inquiry skills, examples and rubrics! Easily "tweaked" for your personal needs.

Alyce D  (Peyton, CO)
Alyce D (Peyton, CO)

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