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Earth and Space Science

Project-based Learning: Earth's Changing Surface

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Sabrina Rawlins Sabrina Rawlins 9440 Points

Creating a unit that will be used for project-based learning (PBL), but struggling with how I should go about launching this unit. Any ideas or launches you've tried that you felt are engaging? This unit is being created for 4th grade students with some having an identified as an ELL/ESL student.

Florence Laubenthal Gail Laubenthal 210 Points

I don't know if this will help you, but last year in my PK classroom I introduced rocks, fossils, and soils by first going on a teacher-lead fossil hunt. It truly transformed my classroom. If you go to my classroom blog and work your way through the posts that follow the introductory post you will see how it played out in my classroom...3 weeks of intense, inquiry-based learning opportunities. (you will have to move forward by date, as I posted as the activities took place).You could also read more about it on a recent post on the Early Years blog.Even though I work with PK children, I think that you might find some nuggets that you can apply to your older students.

Florence Laubenthal Gail Laubenthal 210 Points

I don't know if this will help you, but last year in my PK classroom I introduced rocks, fossils, and soils by first going on a teacher-lead fossil hunt. It truly transformed my classroom. If you go to my classroom blog and work your way through the posts that follow the introductory post you will see how it played out in my classroom...3 weeks of intense, inquiry-based learning opportunities. (you will have to move forward by date, as I posted as the activities took place).You could also read more about it on a recent post on the Early Years blog.Even though I work with PK children, I think that you might find some nuggets that you can apply to your older students.

Sabrina Rawlins Sabrina Rawlins 9440 Points

Thank you for your response. I checked out your blog and was truely impressed by the amount of inquiry. I find your blog to be very helpful.

Tina Harris Tina Harris 65805 Points

I guess there is a subtle difference between project-based learning and problem-based learning. I did a search in the learning center for both (there were more for the 2nd one) and found a couple articles that might be helpful. http://learningcenter.nsta.org/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/4/sc03_041_01_26 is on mapping earthquakes throughout the year (and it would be actually easy to add in volcano eruptions using VolcanoWorld for Kids at http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/oldroot/kids/index.html http://learningcenter.nsta.org/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/4/ss07_030_07_32 this is on a community project on rocks and minerals and how we use them and http://learningcenter.nsta.org/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/4/ss10_033_08_12 is a bit environmental/ a bit atmosphere and weather. There are probably more articles in the Learning Center. But perhaps this does not address your question? If not let us know and Please let us know how things turn out as Project-based learning is a popular topic!

Sabrina Rawlins Sabrina Rawlins 9440 Points

Thanks Tina! Project-based learning is very popular in our school corporation. We now have to elementary schools that are project-based with a 3rd one soon to start, but more as a neighboorhood project-based school. Project-based is essentially learning from a project rather than teaching all that is needed to know before starting a project. Have you ever seen the documentary Paperclips? It is a beautiful documentary about school children that have ventured in to a project-based student centered learning experience that was supposed to be for one year and ends up being a journey for many years. I highly recommend this to watch.

Adah Stock Adah Stock 101510 Points

Sabrina:
Have you had a chance to look at the following website?
http://www.lessonplanet.com/search?keywords=earth+science&me...de_ids-250
It is called Lesson Planet and it can be refined to grade, topic, etc.
Hope it helps.
Adah

Sabrina Rawlins Sabrina Rawlins 9440 Points

Thanks Adah, I looked at the site and it is very easy to use. They had some great lessons to use according to the common core standards.

Pamela Auburn Pamela Auburn 68585 Points

Advancing STEM with GIS http://www.esri.com/library/ebooks/advancing-stem-education-with-gis.pdf The ebook uses a series of case studies to describe why STEM education is critical and how GIS supports STEM learning through content, inquiry, and spatial thinking.

Sabrina Rawlins Sabrina Rawlins 9440 Points

Just reading the first few pages of the site you posted is very interesting. I will have to look further in to this GIS. I have never used this before and just might think about using it this year if I can get one or put in for a request to use it in later years. Thank so much.

Pamela Auburn Pamela Auburn 68585 Points

Sabrina, Most mobile devices had built in GIS thought not always accessible. I think there is a Iphone app or possible using google earth.

Paul Meyer Paul Meyer 660 Points

GIS is a great resource for more than just the Science crowd.... Social Sciences, Literacy (Be sure to check out Google Lit Trips someday!), all good stuff!

ESRI (the ArcGIS folks) have a free ArcGIS app for iPhone and 'Droid. It's got numerous layers you can download as part of the freebie. If you've got an ESRI account, I believe there's even more available.

http://resources.arcgis.com/content/iphone/application

Google Earth "mobile" is available iPhone, iPad, 'Droid, etc... It's not as robust as the desktop/laptop/netbook version, but still gets the job done. Kids love to see where they are in real-time! I found GE "mobile" and the ESRI ArcGIS iPhone app both great resources to keep up on info on the High Park Fire since a number of our students' family's have been affected.

http://www.google.com/mobile/earth/

Enjoy!

Tina Harris Tina Harris 65805 Points

August is Connected Educators Month (see http://learningcenter.nsta.org/events/cem.aspx for more information) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education

While I was looking over the information, I noticed that on Friday, August 3rd there is a free webinar on Project-Based learning. For more information on this and other free online programs being offered in honor of Connected Educator Month see http://connectededucators.org/cem/

Pamela Auburn Pamela Auburn 68585 Points

Berkeley Earth has just released analysis of land-surface temperature records going back 250 years, about 100 years further than previous studies. The analysis shows that global warming is real, and the best explanation of the temperature trend is a combination of volcanoes and CO2. http://berkeleyearth.org/

Linda Cook Linda Cook 540 Points

Sabrina, To help you with a project launch, I need to know a bit more about your project. What is your driving question? What standards to you plan to address through the project? A great website for project ideas is the Buck Institute for Education. You can search for project ideas by grade level and subject area. Perhaps some of these ideas will help with your launch. Linda

Sherilynn Chang Sherilynn Chang 1220 Points

I'm right there with Linda! One of the best ways to start planning for your project is to get on www.bie.org and print up all of the planning sheets to know what is your driving question, what standards you'll cover, what is your project timeline, are there community experts that you will need to contact in order to have them come in and teach special lessons, what formative and summative assessments you want to keep track of and what their product or project will be and how they will present it. I just realized perhaps you've done all of this already? Regardless, there are sample projects on there as well as on http://wvde.state.wv.us/teach21/pbl.html Best of luck to you! You're inspiring me to create a project as well!

Hi Sabrina and thread posters and readers, You might also want to look at some of the service learning projects by http://www.kidsconsortium.org/" target="_blank">Kids Consortium. There is a free guide to http://www.kidsconsortium.org/stem_service_learningguide.php" target="_blank">Integrating Scientific Practices and Service-Learning: Engaging Students in STEM You need to sign up with a form but guide is FREE ! [i]This guide, a supplement to the more comprehensive KIDS As Planners: A Guide to Strengthening Students, Schools and Communities through Service-Learning, is designed to help you integrate service-learning into STEM content areas and make use of Curriculum Topic Study (CTS), a valuable means of ensuring that STEM projects are developmentally appropriate and aligned with science standards. Examples in this guide, based on the experience of more than a dozen classrooms, help illustrate how to plan and structure a STEM/service-learning project and how these projects benefit students, schools and communities.[/i]

Tom Baker Thomas Baker 105 Points

ArcGIS Online is a great tool for PBL and Esri now offers it free to schools through ConnectEd at http://connected.esri.com.  GeoInquiries and other activities use this web-based GIS to help teach content in Earth science too.  

George Mehler George Mehler 1360 Points

Hey Sabrina,  I have some resources that might help you. Here is a link to a playlist of YouTube demonstrations about the changing earth. These are a great way to incorporate hands on activities that the students will find engaging. These are part of a larger YouTube Channel called FunScienceDemos which is home to hundreds of videos that are all common core aligned and easy to incorporate into your lessons. Check out the YouTube Channel and subscribe as we regularly release new videos.  More on the Changing Earth! https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLat8Jejmdx1s0mhRkFG6VRIghi3CDr5r0 Best,  Dr. George Mehler, Ed.D., Temple University

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