I saw this on Monday’s episode of The Big Bang Theory and it made me laugh so much I had to share:
Archive for October, 2009
Happy Earth Science Week 2009!!!
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I heard this fabulous lecture by Amanda Gunning at Teachers College last night on Introducing a Topic. Lots of creative ways to get kids involved from the start!
Introducing a New Topic: Outside-In (showing students new information)
Show a video clip
- The example below would be a great video to introduce static electricity. Another favorite is this video to introduce a wave unit using cell phones:
Have the students read something relevant
- I love the idea of using literature in science class – this could range from current events in the newspaper to science fiction novels. A good way to introduce genetic engineering would be The Last Book In The Universe.
Read to the students
- A suggestion for middle school would be Science Verse by Jon Scieszka & Lane Smith.
Do an demonstration
- Demonstrations are often the easy way out for science teachers, so only use one if it’s relevant and you can explain it.
Play a song
- This can be a really fun way to get things started! I love the Sound of Friction by Antoni “Ton” Chan at AllTooFlat.com (also the author of Mathematical Pi and The Milk Song). Or The Atoms Family.
Show a piece of art or photo
- NASA’s image of the day gallery is brilliant! Several other websites have great science photography galleries as well.
Ways to Introduce a Topic: Inside-Out (using what students already know)
Find out what they know
- List – write out all of the students’ responses to a question and narrow down later
- Think-Pair-Share – create a list from the pair’s brainstorm
- KWL chart – know/want to know/have learned
- ABC – students fill in key ideas, one for each letter of the alphabet
- Pass the chalk/pen – everyone has to use the chalk/pen and write something on the board, can be paired with ABC
Ask them to think about a scenario, idea, experience, or problem
Say there was a swimming pool with a shallow end of 3 ft. and a deep end of 8 ft. Point A is in the shallow end and point B is in the deep end, both at a depth of 2 ft. Which point experiences more water pressure?
- Using the situation above, have students Think-Pair-Share to develop an answer. The correct answer is that they both experience the same water pressure because they are at the same depth. Common misconceptions include: “A experiences more pressure because of the ground underneath it” and “B experiences more pressure because of all the water underneath it.”
Have them draw something (think-draw-share)
- You might ask students to draw what happens to a ball when it is thrown horizontally.
Ask a question
- Always make sure it’s open ended!
Take a poll
- In a Mechanics Unit, you could ask which will drop first, a textbook or a coin? This can easily turn into a exciting classroom activity where students try to observe, measure, and calculate the answer for themselves.
- Independent Student Observations
- Share life experiences (briefly!) –> For a discussion on Newton’s 3rd Law: “Have you ever stubbed your toe? Why do you hurt and not the door/corner?”
Example: Introducing The Moon
- Myths –> werewolfs, people to crazy things on a full moon, man in the moon
- History –> Galileo
- What is the Moon? What is it made of? –> cheese?!
- Where did the Moon come from?
- Readings –> Goodnight Moon, Hey Diddle Diddle, Sonnet of the Moon by Charles Best
- Lunar landing –> was it staged or did it really happen? what were the social and political events leading up to it?
- Student observations –> keep of Moon Log of observations of the sky each night
- Find pictures of what people have imagined they see in the moon –> introduce different cultures