Creating K-6 STEM Classrooms That Embrace Science Inquiry: Helping Students Think and Work Like Scientists - Exploring, Asking Questions, and Seeking Sense-Making of Scientific Phenomena
Science inquiry is a powerful process and learning environment that embraces exploration and sense-making, as students question phenomena and explore real world science/STEM. Inquiry is an “attitude” that seeks understanding and continually questions how our natural world works. Student achievement, engagement, and sense-making of phenomena, increase when students are taught in an instructional environment that embraces inquiry, where students are encouraged to ask questions, gather evidence, seek answers, and formulate explanations.
Speaker will discuss the many varied ways that inquiry manifests itself in the elementary STEM classroom, including ways to increase participation of ELL’s. She will actively engage participants, as she shares strategies and lesson ideas that promote inquiry, and as she demonstrates effective questioning, modeling how to guide students in their own questioning and explorations, as they gather data, formulate their explanations, and draw conclusions. Speaker will emphasize the importance of ‘testing’ the ‘known’, as well as the ‘unknown’, so students can validate their processes and thinking. Creating environments of inclusivity, collaboration, cooperation, and sharing of ideas will be emphasized. Participants will embrace the power that inquiry offers: content, strategies, process, engagement, and the desire to ask, answer, and understand scientific phenomena. This session will help teachers establish effective classroom practices, guiding students in understanding the ways scientists think and study our natural world, as teachers nurture students’ sustained curiosity and love of science/STEM. Handouts.
Takeaways: Attendees will learn how to create STEM classroom environments that fully embrace and create the inquiry process: emphasizing explorations, the formulation of questions to guide student inquiry and their understanding of scientific phenomena, the importance of collaborative sense-making and assuring the inclusivity of ALL students, the importance of assisting ELL’s with language accessibility, and the fulfillment of learner curiosity as part of the sense-making process and as a trajectory for guiding their continual learning.
Donna Knoell (Educational and Technology Consultant: Overland Park, KS)