I'm a graduate student in the early childhood education MAT program at UMBC. I'm a Sherman Scholar looking for ways to engage elementary students in dynamic STEM activities. I'm interested in making connections for students in urban settings with the natural world.
Life Science: What Makes Things Grow?
Lesson ideas and knowledge resources for teachers of life science in the elementary science classroom
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Life Science in the Early Elementary Classroom: Butterfly Life Cycle
Lesson ideas with literature connections to teaching butterfly life cycle
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Wed, Jun 24, 2020 11:11 AM in What are your favorite ways to assess students in the science classroom?
I've used Google Plickers! Thanks for making the connection to formative assessments.
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Wed, Jun 24, 2020 11:08 AM in Connecting with Backyard Nature
I wanted to create something dynamic to share with my students before visiting the bird feeders situated behind the school. I created a set of "I Wonder" digital flashcards using google slides. I used royalty-free images of common birds in our area to make my slides (from pixabay.com). The students were engaged as I introduced each card with an "I Wonder" slide, then the image...
Fri, Dec 06, 2019 8:40 PM in What are your favorite ways to assess students in the science classroom?
A Formative Assessment Probe can be used as you teach a lesson to determine where your students are in terms of understanding.
A Justified List Probe is one format you could use for this type of assessment. For example, a Solar System lesson could include a formative probe for "Understanding the Characteristics of Gaseous Planets." You provide a list of characterists and studen...
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Fri, Dec 06, 2019 2:56 PM Great examples of formative assessments
Formative assessments are important to use in teaching science - both to extend student learning and deepen knowledge in a particular subject area. In this article, Keeley introduces a probe called a "Justified List" to gauge student understanding and identify misconceptions about what seeds need to grow. In this type of probe, students select items from a list (i.e. air, food, sunlight, warmth, etc.) that fit the rule (what seeds need) and check corresponding boxes. They then justify their reasoning for selecting particular items (younger children will do this orally). Another type of probe Keeley presents is the Formative Assessment Classroom Technique (FACT). Students agree or disagree with filled-in statements, i.e. "Seeds need darkness to sprout" - agree or disagree? Older elementary students can handle a "depends on" option. Formative probes are intended to occur during the teaching stage (rather than a summative assessment which occurs at the end). The purpose is to extend learning by thoughtfully guiding your next steps of instruction with your students.
Fri, Dec 06, 2019 2:06 PM Great ideas for assessments supporting an inquiry mindset in children
This article explores the subject,"What do Plants Need," by taking the children outdoors to experience the needs of plants with the guidance of field study guides (aka classroom volunteers). We can expand thinking beyond "What does a plant need to grow" to "How much sunlight (for example) does a plant need to grow" Adding the words "How much" leads to more critical thinking in our young scientists. The article includes a "How much sunlight" chart for various plants that can be used as a formative assessment. The authors share a strategy for a summative assessment as well: "I used to think _______, but now I think ______." Assessments such as these lead students toward an inquiry mindset. Allowing children to discover knowledge through hands-on investigations supports deep understanding.
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