NMSA2010: Five Easy steps to a Balanced Science Program

Presented by The Leadership and Learning Center, Lynn Howard

MY THOUGHTS IN ALL CAPS…NOTES TAKEN FROM MY IPAD…WE’LL SEE HOW THIS GOES…

Science is some thing we should have kids do…not something we should teach to them…

There are NO Five easy steps…just got stuck with the title due to other publication titles

3 DAY presentation in 75 minutes…

Classroom Activity: Cooking oil and water in “baby soda bottles”…add drop of food coloring…piece of alkaseltzer dropped in…tiny lava lamp

Teachers are unprepared for teaching science in the classroom…textbooks have too many components…

Strengths Weaknesses and Challenges…survey for classroom or department use to determine focus areas

Step 1: Establishing an Effective Science Environment
How do we design and effectively teach science? Especially with no budget, water, classroom (teaching on a cart)…management, safety, effective labs. Decorate room with kids definition of the term science. Kids have a good idea of heat science is…they just don’t know how to do it.
Building Relationships: kids need to understand their role as scientists…Meet the Science Teacher activity…ABCD card for kids to respond to warmup MC questions…Who’s in the Lab: lab stations posted around the room, give kids numbers and have them move to lab station for discussions then return for full class discussion…equipment bingo…Video Tic Tac Toe…
Safety: responsible and safe…Flinn Scientific…safety quiz, safety contract, treatment of living organisms…
Lab Experience: national research council on why we don’t do labs…America’s Lab Report…discussion and self-reflection…designing an effective lab…student lab reports…

SO FAR THIS IS MOSTLY AN OVERVIEW OF STUFF IN THE BOOKS…NOT MUCH TO DIG INTO SO FAR…REMINDS ME OF DISCUSSION OF DANGERS OF A GENERAL OVERVIEW SESSION…

Step 2: Problem Solving
Problem solving is a lifelong skill…how do we solve problems…and evaluate answers to communicate with others…how do we incorporate process skills In our classrooms? Raisins in sprite described as “sewer lice injected with frog DNA” for observations…
Teachers talk to much…hush and let the kids do some work…
Select a problem solving task…is it related, understandable, capture interest, challenge scientific thinking, involve more than one standard, do I understand all the science involved?
What to look for in problem solving…
Creative Problem Solving challenges…cotton ball shooting device…given materials, 20 minutes to design then test them…transfer cotton ball between two cups using bernoulli’s principle
Discrepant Events…check on the safety since it was written prior to many regulations…fill cup with baby diaper absorbency chemical, pour in water and it’s absorbed

Step 3: Conceptual Understanding
How do you design good units…concepts not content…standards, vocabulary, literacy, problem solving, assessments…identify verbs in the standards, underline the content….skills (be able to do) concepts (be able to know)… Find vocab for unit, post, etc…cooperative learning…
Discuss non-fiction reading characteristics…POA…people, objects, and action…ask questions about people objects and action from an image before starting a unit…

Step 4: Mastery of Science Information
Terminology and Writing…Graphic Organizers…weekly science review…big ideas, content/concepts, vocab, science in the world, process skills, measurement/graphing…
Taxonomy based…knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation….what is a simple machine, describe how one works, how would you improve, which is most important…
Content based….six content areas, review from throughout year for warmup or exit ticket…
Writing…attitudinal, content, process…write every day about something…
Journals…
Vocabulary…I have, Who has? ELL concepts…prefix/suffix with their meanings…
Graphic Organizers…will be posted as soon as I can get them scanned/photographed…permission to post to blog…

Step 5: Common Formative Assessments
Not going to be discussed as it is a “lengthy conversation” in and of itself…INDICATION THAT THE SESSION NEEDS TO BE MORE FOCUSED ON LESS CONTENT…JUST LIKE STATE AND NATIONAL STANDARDS

Guidelines for School Leaders…framework for implementation…needs assessment…

SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD FRAMEWORK…WOULD HAVE ENJOYED THIS BEING MULTIPLE SESSIONS OR FOCUS ON A SINGLE ONE OF THE STEPS…KNOW THAT IS HARD FOR SOMEONE WHO IS FOCUSING ON PUSHING A PRODUCT…GOOD OPENING SESSION TO START THE BRAIN FILLING….

Code LG9

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