The Early Years: Observing With Magnifiers
Sun, Dec 02, 2018 12:38 AM Article Review
This articles emphasizes the importance of letting students know that observing is necessary no matter in class or in daily life for teachers. Aimed at this, the teachers firstly need to set a good example. To be more specific, although in a classroom with many students, it may be too hard for teachers to tell each child that they teachers have noticed and heard individuals’ discovery, teachers can totally give some signals, such as a nod, thumb’s up, or “okay” gesture to silently talk with them, which is the direct result of teachers’ observation on students’ behavior. Meanwhile, during this process, the students’ behavior is based on their own observation. An instance is particularly taken to better explain this, which is that teachers are able to satisfy the communication need of those who hear the distant fire engine in the middle of roll call or see a fly during group instruction without disrupting the class proceed through silent signals mentioned above. Then, integrating this into science class, the article further puts forward that one indispensable tool to better make observation is the magnifier. In order to stress the function of this tool in learning science, a specific experiment and some creative uses are introduced, providing students, especially elementary children, with an opportunity to gain insight into magnifiers.
Regarding applications, to begin with, in fact it’s common for us to realize that magnifiers may generate a positive role in assisting children to see better and get the hang of the structure of diverse objects in the scientific field. However, this article also introduces the novel use in math class, like having students observe all different dates and try to find a coin that was made during their birth year. Such a creative method will indisputably stimulate their interest in learning relevant knowledge. That's what we future educators should apply to the classroom, especially when we teach all subjects to elementary students. Moreover, what cannot be neglected is our silent talk with students after observation explained above, since for the young generation, they are likely to imitate the behavior of those who have frequent contact with them, exactly including their teachers. So I will attach importance to my own model function, trying my best to help students link the good habit of observation to various classes and daily life.
The Early Years: Communicating About Collections
Sat, Dec 01, 2018 11:53 PM Article Review
This article begins with a recommendation that realizing children's hobby of collecting various things or information and encouraging them to work with a collection in a scientific way plays a positive role in their learning. Based on this, providing more opportunities to display a collection as well as describe where they are collected, or post the names of the different life stages of a beetle (larva, pupa, adult beetle) for these elementary students with great variation in developing literacy is emphasized. By giving the specific procedures about how students can complete a collection, where communicating and sharing results with others is an indispensable part, the article states that students' delight and pleasure in collecting will always be beneficial for them to better comprehend the scientific text.
In terms of applications, what inspires me most is that this article highlights the significance and necessity of always incorporating reading and writing into science activities. According to this, as a future educator, I will offer my elementary children some digital graphs or toy manipulatives when teaching a certain theme, letting them write down what they have known about this as well as discuss with other classmates so as to improve literacy skills. At the same time, I may not ignore the communication while students are asked to do their own collections. I believe that encouraging them to explain their personal thought, classification standard, and so on, as well as sharing these with others in class will make them better learn and understand relevant science knowledge and content. Besides, it’s a good way to learn from or help each other, which can also engage and motivate them to a large extent.
Perspectives: Examining the Learning Cycle
Sat, Dec 01, 2018 11:51 PM Article Review
This article firstly questions whether hands-on activities alone may exert an adverse impact on students’ science knowledge acquisition. Some scientists have found that students are likely to feel confused about exploring and discovering science ideas during the process of performing various hands-on activities, which also makes teachers frustrated since they fail to achieve the goal of conveying certain knowledge to children by designing these activities. Based on this, a learning cycle approach has been come up with, the aim of which is to help students better learn science. There are three specific phases of instruction: exploration, concept introduction, and concept application. According to the research, students will benefit after experiencing all these three stages. Meanwhile, with the participation of 5-E model, one popular contemporary learning cycle, including Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate, not only will teachers be able to assess student progress, but also students are more likely to rethink and foster a better understanding on knowledge and concepts. Besides, what cannot be ignored is that it may generate an optimal effect if concepts are introduced after experiences.
When it comes to my applications, firstly this article inspires me by letting me know this kind of learning cycle as well as having me master how to operate and give instruction in my future science classes. That is to say, I need to make sure that I guide students to carry out all three phases of the learning cycle in a correct order. Indisputably either the hands-on activities alone or abstract concepts are not enough in elementary school. Both of them are an indispensable part. To be more specific, if the textbook requires children to figure out whether the plant germinates or bloom first, I may take them out of the classroom to observe the growth of one kind of plant before directly introducing the concept to them. After the observation for a period of time, when students read the concept introduction, I believe they will have an experience to produce and make sense of the right idea, as well as better memorize this. Under this circumstance, they will be more likely to use these science ideas to solve new problems in the future. Moreover, I also reckon that it is a good way to engage and motivate elementary children by organizing colorful activities and practices.
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