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New Teachers

Beyond the Classroom Applications

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Amra Milanovic Amra Milanovic 1710 Points

After a long day at school, students forget the skills they have learned or perhaps do not realize they are using them. How can we instill that inner motivation for Science where students can go out and investigate or observe phenomenon on their own? Would assigning them follow-up investigations at home be more conducive to learning? or would it seem as just more homework in their eyes?

Pamela Dupre Pamela Dupre 92364 Points

When students have questions about what we are studying, I ask them to find out the information and share it the next day. For example, we were studying earthquakes and our challenge was to build an earthquake proof structure. One student asked why there is snow on top of some volcanoes even when they are active. I asked them to write the question on the board. All students have a chance to find the answer and anyone who brings the answer written even on a scrap of paper, gets a prize. I keep a box with science stickers, bookmarks, pencils, etc. Then the students share what they learned. I also pay attention to things students are really interested in and ask them to be my co-teacher. I ask them to find out more information about that topic and share with the class through a powerpoint, a poster, pictures, etc. I give them a week to gather the information and they share it at the beginning of class for about 3 - 5 minutes. Once students start to see their peers "teaching" then they ask to do the same. It's never happened that the entire class wants to do this. Some want to create a poster but not speak and so we hang those up so people can see their research. It is not graded.

Jessica Clickner Jessica Clickner 795 Points

I am interested in how to go about this as well. I would like for my students to deepen their learning and involve their families.

Nicole Davidson Nicole Davidson 155 Points

I think it's important to remember that while our impacts might not be immediate (ie kids might forget the content the next day/immediately after the test) we are expanding their horizons and those nuggets are in there somewhere. The kids have to take science, so their commitment to the study only goes that far. One way to drive the point home might be to use current events, things they're going to hear about again and again for some time, because it will reach them without them having to seek it out and can be used in conversation. Anything relevant!

Nicholas Dzienny Nicholas Dzienny 175 Points

I think its important to give students some room to reflect on their own experiences, independent from what they learn in class. I would ask students to keep a journal in which they write down observations or questions about any random phenomena they see around them that might pique their interest. This way they are encouraged to explore on their own, and as a teacher, you can collect them periodically and get some insight into what really interests them.

Mary Bigelow Mary Bigelow 10265 Points

This is a good idea, Nicholas. Students learn to observe and note their surroundings, and teachers get insights into what and how students are thinking. Teachers can also model this -- "I saw something interesting this weekend..." "I wonder about..." "You know that I enjoy... Here's what I just learned..." Students see the process being used, and learn something about you, too.

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