Guest Editorial: Helping Young Learners Make Sense of Data—A 21st-Century Capability
Wed, Nov 21, 2018 11:55 PM Guest editorial: Helping young learners make sens
Knowing how to read, interpret, and see trends in graphs is a critical 21st-century capability; it is a skill that all learners use throughout their lives because it helps to judge whether a claim is supported by evidence" (Joseph, 2011). The ability to analyze data is also an essential aspect of scientific literacy and will be critical for young children as they grow in a world that is filled with information. According to this article, the teacher should provide students with opportunities for asking questions about scientific phenomena they encounter in their world to help them learn science. Asking questions can help students design ways to collect data to support their claims with evidence. Then they are more able to transfer the data into graphs and charts to better understand trends in the data.
Students may feel challenging when they complete the task of making and interpreting tables and graphs. As future educators, we should provide them with necessary support like modeling and giving suggestions. Scaffolding is one effective way that can be used to help students interpret the data, which provides prompts for science learning processes. However, we can not use scaffolding too often because students will think science is just filling the blanks. What we should do is to use appropriate ways and strategies to help our students develop the ability of reading, interpreting, and seeing trends in graphs.
How Much Popcorn Will Our Classroom Hold?
Wed, Nov 21, 2018 11:53 PM How much popcorn will our classroom hold?
This article illustrates a terrific integrated science and math exploration which was conducted with fifth-and sixth-grade students. The teacher started the lesson with a book called the Bear story to elicit the question: How many liters of popcorn do you think it would take to fill our classroom? Students brainstormed and developed their own plan to fill classroom by popcorn. They can find the volume of the classroom by carrying out their plan, and then they would share their measuring strategies and measuring results. A class discussion on the similarities and differences in plans, procedures, and the results would be taken at the end of the class. The students would have the opportunities to discuss their plan with others and learn advantages from others’ plans.
Students developed science-process skills like developing a plan, measurement, and collecting and interpreting data in the process of finding the classroom’s volume. Also, they learned how to applied mathematical process like determining an estimate, using benchmarks, and measuring in a meaningful way. Challenging upper elementary students to find the volume of their classroom creatively combines math and science would be a great way to develop their science learning abilities. As a future educator, I will often design effective activities to help my students understand and learn science concepts better.
Inquiry on Board
Wed, Nov 21, 2018 11:50 PM Inquiry on board
Helping students to identify variables is the key to learning science. An introduction of inquiry boards which include eight parts is shown in this article. The first step is to brainstorm, in which the teacher will describe a problem to students at the beginning, and then create baggie gardens to help students brainstorm variables. The second step is choosing variables. Students choose one variable to investigate, such as the effect of fertilizers on seeds. Then the students are supposed to using this inquiry board to frame the experimental questions. Students could frame their predictions with the help of the inquiry boards. Also, the setup experiment inquiry board can help students visualize the experiment and understand the need for a control or comparison. Recording observations, looking for patterns and graph of results, and answering questions are also useful for helping students identify variables in experiments.
Opportunities for using scientific inquiry and developing the ability to think and act should be provided for students at all grade levels and in every domain of science. As a future educator, I will use the inquiry board, which associated with the processes of inquiry, including asking questions, planning and conducting investigations, using appropriate tools and techniques, thinking critically and logically about the relationships between evidence and explanations, constructing and analyzing alternative explanations, and communicating scientific arguments to teach my students how to identify and use the variables.
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