7.1.1.2 Inquiry

Grade: 
7
Subject:
Science
Strand:
Nature of Science & Engineering
Substrand:
The Practice of Science
Standard 7.1.1.2

Scientific inquiry uses multiple interrelated processes to investigate questions and propose explanations about the natural world.

Benchmark: 7.1.1.2.1 Investigation Methods

Generate and refine a variety of scientific questions and match them with appropriate methods of investigation, such as field studies, controlled experiments, reviews of existing work and development of models.

Benchmark: 7.1.1.2.2 Controlled Experiments

Plan and conduct a controlled experiment to test a hypothesis about a relationship between two variables, ensuring that one variable is systematically manipulated, the other is measured and recorded, and any other variables are kept the same (controlled).

For example: The effect of various factors on the production of carbon dioxide by plants.

Benchmark: 7.1.1.2.3 Scientific Conclusions

Generate a scientific conclusion from an investigation, clearly distinguishing between results (evidence) and conclusions (explanation).

Benchmark: 7.1.1.2.4 Evaluating Explanations

Evaluate explanations proposed by others by examining and comparing evidence, identifying faulty reasoning, and suggesting alternative explanations.

Overview

Standard in Lay Terms 

Science generates questions and searches for appropriate methods of investigation to explain the natural world.

Big Ideas and Essential Understandings 

Science uses a variety of investigations, in which the process  of inquiry is a logical and rational order of steps by which scientists come to conclusions about the world around them.  This process serves as a helpful framework to ensure that a scientist can be confident in the answers found.  (Strauss, Andrea  (2010) Inquiry 101 Thinking Like a Scientist . University of Minnesota Extension) 

Benchmark Cluster 

MN Standard Benchmarks:

7.1.1.2.1

Generate and refine a variety of scientific questions and match them with appropriate methods of investigation, such as field studies, controlled experiments, reviews of existing work and development of models.

7.1.1.2.2

Plan and conduct a controlled experiment to test a hypothesis about a relationship between two variables, ensuring that one variable is systematically manipulated, the other is measured and recorded, and any other variables are kept the same (controlled).

For example: The effect of various factors on the production of carbon dioxide by plants.

7.1.1.2.3

Generate a scientific conclusion from an investigation, clearly distinguishing between results (evidence) and conclusions (explanation).

7.1.1.2.4

Evaluate explanations proposed by others by examining and comparing evidence, identifying faulty reasoning, and suggesting alternative explanations.

THE ESSENTIALS:

©Gary Larson

Correlations 
  • NSES:
Content Standard A
As a result of activities, all students should develop

 

  • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
  • Understandings about scientific inquiry

Developing Student Abilities and Understanding

Students in grades 5-8 should be provided opportunities to engage in full and in partial inquiries. In a full inquiry students begin with a question, design an investigation, gather evidence, formulate an answer to the original question, and communicate the investigative process and results. In partial inquiries, they develop abilities and understanding of selected aspects of the inquiry process. Students might, for instance, describe how they would design an investigation, develop explanations based on scientific information and evidence provided through a classroom activity, or recognize and analyze several alternative explanations for a natural phenomenon presented in a teacher-led demonstration.

Students in grades 5-8 can begin to recognize the relationship between explanation and evidence. They can understand that background knowledge and theories guide the design of investigations, the types of observations made, and the interpretations of data. In turn, the experiments and investigations students conduct become experiences that shape and modify their background knowledge.

With an appropriate curriculum and adequate instruction, middle-school students can develop the skills of investigation and the understanding that scientific inquiry is guided by knowledge, observations, ideas, and questions. Middle-school students might have trouble identifying variables and controlling more than one variable in an experiment. Students also might have difficulties understanding the influence of different variables in an experiment-for example, variables that have no effect, marginal effect, or opposite effects on an outcome.

Teachers of science for middle-school students should note that students tend to center on evidence that confirms their current beliefs and concepts (i.e., personal explanations), and ignore or fail to perceive evidence that does not agree with their current concepts. It is important for teachers of science to challenge current beliefs and concepts and provide scientific explanations as alternatives.

Several factors of this standard should be highlighted. The instructional activities of a scientific inquiry should engage students in identifying and shaping an understanding of the question under inquiry. Students should know what the question is asking, what

Students in grades 5-8 can begin to recognize the relationship between explanation and evidence.

background knowledge is being used to frame the question, and what they will have to do to answer the question. The students' questions should be relevant and meaningful for them. To help focus investigations, students should frame questions, such as "What do we want to find out about ...?", "How can we make the most accurate observations?", "Is this the best way to answer our questions?" and "If we do this, then what do we expect will happen?"

The instructional activities of a scientific inquiry should involve students in establishing and refining the methods, materials, and data they will collect. As students conduct investigations and make observations, they should consider questions such as "What data will answer the question?" and "What are the best observations or measurements to make?" Students should be encouraged to repeat data-collection procedures and to share data among groups.

In middle schools, students produce oral or written reports that present the results of their inquiries. Such reports and discussions should be a frequent occurrence in science programs. Students' discussions should center on questions, such as "How should we organize the data to present the clearest answer to our question?" or "How should we organize the evidence to present the strongest explanation?" Out of the discussions about the range of ideas, the background knowledge claims, and the data, the opportunity arises for learners to shape their experiences about the practice of science and the rules of scientific thinking and knowing.

The language and practices evident in the classroom are an important element of doing inquiries. Students need opportunities to present their abilities and understanding and to use the knowledge and language of science to communicate scientific explanations and ideas. Writing, labeling drawings, completing concept maps, developing spreadsheets, and designing computer graphics should be a part of the science education. These should be presented in a way that allows students to receive constructive feedback on the quality of thought and expression and the accuracy of scientific explanations.

This standard should not be interpreted as advocating a "scientific method." The conceptual and procedural abilities suggest a logical progression, but they do not imply a rigid approach to scientific inquiry. On the contrary, they imply codevelopment of the skills of students in acquiring science knowledge, in using high-level reasoning, in applying their existing understanding of scientific ideas, and in communicating scientific information. This standard cannot be met by having the students memorize the abilities and understandings. It can be met only when students frequently engage in active inquiries. (NSES, 1996)

  • AAAS Atlas:

NSDL Science Literacy Maps: The Nature of Science; A Scientific World View   

  • Benchmarks of Science Literacy

Grades 7

 

Most early adolescents have a more immediate interest in nature than in the philosophy of science. They should continue to be engaged in doing science and encouraged to reflect on the science they are engaged in, with the assumption that they will later acquire a more mature reflection on science as a world view.

Early adolescence, however, is not too early to begin to deal with the question of the durability of scientific knowledge, and particularly its susceptibility to change. Both incremental changes and more radical changes in scientific knowledge should be taken up. Radical changes in science sometimes result from the appearance of new information, and sometimes from the invention of better theories (for example, germ theory and geologic time, as discussed in Chapter 10: Historical Perspectives).

By the end of the 7th grade, students should know that:

  • When similar investigations give different results, the scientific challenge is to judge whether the differences are trivial or significant, and it often takes further studies to decide. 1A/M1a
  • Even with similar results, scientists may wait until an investigation has been repeated many times before accepting the results as correct. 1A/M1b
  • Scientific knowledge is subject to modification as new information challenges prevailing theories and as a new theory leads to looking at old observations in a new way. 1A/M2
  • Some scientific knowledge is very old and yet is still applicable today. 1A/M3
  • Some matters cannot be examined usefully in a scientific way. Among them are matters that by their nature cannot be tested against observations. 1A/M4ab*
  • Science can sometimes be used to inform ethical decisions by identifying the likely consequences of particular actions, but science cannot be used by itself to establish that an action is moral or immoral. 1A/M4c*

Common Core Standards

Many groups will use Math to help them explain their data. excel spreadsheets, technical writing on science fair boards.

Misconceptions

Student Misconceptions 
  • 7.1.1.2.2 Upper elementary- and middle-school students may not understand experimentation as a method of testing ideas, but rather as a method of trying things out or producing a desired outcome. [1]
  • 7.1.1.2.2 With adequate instruction, it is possible to have middle school students understand that experimentation is guided by particular ideas and questions and that experiments are tests of ideas. [2]
  • 7.1.1.2.1 Whether it is possible for younger students to achieve this understanding needs further investigation. [3]
  • 7.1.1.2.3 For example, students tend to make a causal inference based on a single concurrence of antecedent and outcome or have difficulty understanding the distinction between a variable having no effect and a variable having an opposite effect. [5]
  • 7.1.1.2.4 Upper elementary-school students can reject a proposed experimental test where a factor whose effect is intuitively obvious is uncontrolled, at the level of "that's not fair". [6]
  • 7.1.1.2.4 "Fairness" develops as an intuitive principle as early as 7 to 8 years of age and provides a sound basis for understanding experimental design. This intuition does not, however, develop spontaneously into a clear, generally applicable procedure for planning experiments. [7]
  • 7.1.1.2.4 Although young children have a sense of what it means to run a fair test, they frequently cannot identify all of the important variables, and they are more likely to control those variables that they believe will affect the result. Accordingly, student familiarity with the topic of the given experiment influences the likelihood that they will control variables. [8]
  • 7.1.1.2.2, 7.1.1.2.3 After specially designed instruction, students in 8th grade are able to call attention to inadequate data resulting from lack of controls. [9]

[1] Carey, S., Evans, R., Honda, M., Jay, E., Unger, C. (1989). An experiment is when you try it and see if it works: A study of grade 7 students' understanding of the construction of scientific knowledge. International Journal of Science Education, 11, 514-549.

Schauble, L., Klopfer, L.E., Raghavan, K. (1991). Students' transition from an engineering model to a science model of experimentation. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 28, 859-882.

Solomon, J. (1992). Images of physics: How students are influenced by social aspects of science. In Duit, R. (Ed.),Research in physics learning: Theoretical issues and empirical studies (pp. 141-154).

[2] Carey, S., Evans, R., Honda, M., Jay, E., Unger, C. (1989). An experiment is when you try it and see if it works: A study of grade 7 students' understanding of the construction of scientific knowledge. International Journal of Science Education, 11, 514-549.

Solomon, J. (1992). Images of physics: How students are influenced by social aspects of science. In Duit, R. (Ed.),Research in physics learning: Theoretical issues and empirical studies (pp. 141-154).

[3] American Association for the Advancement of Science, Project 2061 (2001). Atlas for Science Literacy, 18.

[5] American Association for the Advancement of Science, Project 2061 (2001). Atlas for Science Literacy, 18.

[6] Shayer, M., Adey, P. (1981).Towards a science of science teaching.

[7] Wollman, W. (1977). Controlling variables: Assessing levels of understanding. Science Education, 61, 371-383.

Wollman, W. (1977). Controlling variables: A neo-Piagetian developmental sequence. Science Education, 61, 385-391.

Wollman, W., Lawson, A. (1977). Teaching the procedure of controlled experimentation: A Piagetian approach. Science Education, 61, 57-70.

[8] Linn, M., Swiney, J. (1981). Individual differences in formal thought: Role of cognitions and aptitudes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 73, 274-286.

Linn, M., Clement, C., Pulos, S. (1983). Is it formal if it's not physics? The influence of content on formal reasoning. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 20, 755-776.

[9] Rowell, J., Dawson, C. (1984). Controlling variables: Testing a programme for teaching a general solution strategy. Research in Science and Technological Education, 2, 37-46.

Ross, J.A. (1988). Controlling variables: A meta-analysis of training studies. Review of Educational Research, 58, 405-457.

Vignette

This classroom setting would find these students and their teacher dealing with 7th grade.                        

7.4.2.1 LS Interdependence Among Living Systems. Isopods are an effective organism   that demonstrates the relationships in nature. The following activity allows students to explore the world of isopods, design inquiry activities and observe first hand         relationships in living systems.

"Dennis, I found some under here!" came the cry from across the woods.

Dennis came running with the ice cream pail and the spoon scoop up some isopods, or better known to the students 'rolly pollies'. Jazmyn lifted up the rotten stump and pointed.

"Sweet! Nice work!" he shouted and proceeded scooping up dirt and isopods all in one motion.

"Ms. D, I think we have at least 20 and there are lots under this log if anyone needs any more", said an excited voice. Ms. D was busy holding up a rock for another student. They were busy shoveling the little critters into their pail.

This frenetic activity continued for the better part of the hour until the students had collected the isopods for the investigation about animal behavior. The scrubby woods at the edge of the school property proved to be an easy site to get to and rich with isopods for the harvesting.

Before the above scene had occurred, Ms. D began the hour by asking about rolly pollies. Lots of students had seen them under rocks and decaying wood in their yard or garden.

"Where do you find them? Why do you think you find them there?" were some questions she asked to get students to start to think about these interesting and available wildlife. She finished off by probing about what they already knew by posing some questions about what they might want to find out about these creatures.

The students brainstormed a list of possible investigative questions. Some questions were simple. Where do they live? Why do we find them under things? What do they eat? Do they bite? Are they afraid of light? How fast can they run? Some were more detailed. How do they have babies? Do they breathe? What makes them curl up? How many legs do they have?

Ms. D reminded the students to be respectful of these living things. They may be small bugs, but the students need to treat them well. She stated that whatever happens to the rolly pollies, they should try not to harm them and they would be returned to the woods when they were done using them for experimental subjects.

Following the trek to the woods, Ms. D brought the students along with their buckets back to the classroom. It was almost time for dismissal, but she asked for some observations from the safari.

The hands flew up. They were hard to see. They were faster than I thought they would be for sure. I couldn't catch them all. They liked to hide in the cracks of the rocks and I couldn't get them with my spoon. When I lifted up dry logs, there weren't any rolly pollies. Some were bigger and some were smaller.

Ms. D made sure the rolly pollies in the ice cream pails had some place to hide under until tomorrow and that it was a bit moist. The lids were placed on and labeled with the student names.

Students came racing into class the next day.

"Ms. D! Can we look at the isopods? Are they still alive? Did they eat each other?"

Ms. D got the class to their seats and the work of designing a controlled experiment began. She revisited the list of questions they had yesterday. What had they discovered in the business of collection? What questions were easy to answer? Which questions might require some effort, thought and experimentation?

Jeff wanted to know what isopods ate. He made some observations of leaves placed in the pail overnight. The leaves, in spots were reduced to nothing but the veins. He didn't know what kind of leaves he and his pals had placed in the pail. So his question became, which type of leaves to isopods prefer. Jeff and his partner Seth knew there were oak trees in the woods and some others, since the trees didn't all look the same. Seth thought they could collect some leaves, use a book, or the internet to find out what type of leaves they were. Jeff thought they could place the leaves in different areas of the pail overnight, and see which ones were chewed on.

"How will you know which ones have been chewed on?" asked Ms. D.

"I can take before and after pictures with the camera on my phone", said Seth. "That way there will be a record and we can look at before and after pictures to compare".

Off the boys went to the woods again to collect some leaves. Ms. D gave them a book of the common trees of Minnesota to help them identify the plants as they collected. They also realized looking at the pictures, leaf from the day before was an ash=leaved maple or box elder. A few minutes later they came back with 4 different leaves, one of which was the box elder.

"We know they like the box elder, so that can be one of the controls for the experiment."

The group set up the pail with the leaves at the four 'corners'. Ms. D asked about that, since it was a round container. They settled on 90 degree spaces between the leaves. In their lab notebook, they had recorded their investigative question. Which leaf will the isopod like the best? Following the question, Ms. D had asked them to form a hypothesis, which she termed a "testable idea". The experiment being the test part of that. Since they had done some preliminary work and had some observations of the the isopod behavior, it wasn't much of guess, but rather an idea they could test. Pictures were taken of each labeled leaf and the container sealed until tomorrow.

Some groups had set up tracks to measure isopod speed. Some were going to explore light and dark choice. Other groups wanted to know how the isopods would respond to loud noises. Each group creating an experiment with controls, dependent and independent variables. Titles of the experiments included: The Effect of Temperature on the Isopod Choice of Habitat, The Effect of Touching the Tail with a Paint Brush on Isopod Speed, The Effect of Surface on Isopod Climbing. Groups had data to quantify and groups had data to record in a qualitative fashion.

Another day passed and the students rolled in to collect data or run the experiment again.

Seth and Jeff opened the bucket and started snapping pictures of Day 2 leaves. Jeff had brought in his USB cable and plugged in his phone to Ms. D's laptop. She loaded the pictures and the placed them in the boy's network files. The boys got a pass to the computer lab and printed off the pictures. They used Photo Shop to add labels to the images, identifying the leaf type and before and after pictures. Cutting them out and pasting them into their lab notebooks under their procedures, which explained what they had done. The data of the photographs made it look like the isopods liked the box elder leaves the best. They seem to be chewed on the most.

Ms. D asked about how they could measure the leaves that had been eaten. The students thought they could mass them before and after. Ms. D pulled out a piece of transparency with quadrille graphing on it and placed it over one of the pictures. Immediately, they young scientists realized they could count "how many" squares had been eaten vs. how many squares had not. This was a means to quantify the amount of leaf eaten, rather than just using a subjective measure of looking.

Indeed the students were able to quantify the leaf area eaten for each of the four samples and then created a graph displaying their data. Their conclusions looked at the investigative questions and answered those using the data provided by the numbers. The hypothesis will be supported or not supported by the data. This will be explained in the report.  Finally, Ms. D asked if there were questions that came up from their results.

This group which had studied leaves, watched other groups study whether or not the isopods would eat apples, potatoes or carrots: cheerios, fruit loops or apple jacks. They wondered how would their leaves stack up against the "winners" from each of those groups.

"Always another question," stated Ms. D as class came to another end.

Resources

Instructional Notes 

Instructional suggestions/options;

  • This resource offers an opportunity to embed inquiry into your life science classroom. It takes you and your student through the process of guided inquiry. Dr. Oberhauser has provided a comprehensive and useable guide to inquiry that you can use immediately and apply across your entire year. Oberhauser, Karen PhD. 1997. Monarchs in the Classroom: An Inquiry-Based Curriculum for Grades K-2; Grades 3-6; Middle School. University of Minnesota. Explore the monarch world using one of these guides, produced by one of the leading monarch experts in the country.
  • This standard is the perfect place to allow peers to interact with one another about the data they have collected. Design activities that are open ended and will allow students to generate data, then ask them to compare data sets with one another. The discussions will model and mimic what is done in the world of science. What happens when group A has a different set of data from group B? Using inquiry based labs, students quickly understand they need to be careful in the design and implementation of an experiment, in order to justify and support findings.
  • Students can create presentations in the form of a Powerpoint, Prezi or Mini-posters to present their data. Check out the link from NABT.  In the form of a classroom event, this could be "show and tell" in a common space, whether it is in display cases, media center/library or a virtual showcase on the schools website.
  • Whatever the strategy, it would be best if this were embedded into a curriculum. Students will see the connection to the content of science if this becomes an over arching theme of how science is done in the building.

Selected activitie

  • 7.1.1.2.1 Understanding Stereotypes -To help lead students to an understanding that assumptions can lead to stereotypes and unfair judgments about individuals and groups, and that stereotypes and biases affect our lives.
  • 7.1.1.2.2 and/or 7.1.1.2.3  Magic Hooey Sticks Science deals only with natural patterns and mechanisms. Understanding science enables one to differentiate it from pseudoscience, superstition, and non science. This activity addresses the difference between science and non-science.
  • 7.1.1.2.2 and/or 7.4.3.2.1 Solving the Puzzle Darwin formulated his theory of evolution by observing nature and analyzing evidence-or using the scientific process. In this activity, student teams use evidence (jigsaw puzzle pieces) revealed over time to experience the nature of science and understand its limitations.
  • 7.1.1.2.2 and/or 7.4.2.2.2 Isopod lab  - Collect some "rolly polly" isopods from the local woods and have students create controlled experiment around behavior of isopods. Students can study variables of habitat selection, food choice, response to stimulus with their investigations.
  • 7.1.1.2.2  Cricket lab - Collect crickets from the backyard or buy some from the pet store. Quantify the behavior of these insects in forming an investigative question about food choice, habitat selection, response to stimulus.
  • 7.1.1.2.2 Mealworm lab - Purchase some mealworms and again.....have students study the worms, come up with investigative questions about behavior.....
  • 7.1.1.2.2 and/or 7.2.1.1.1 The Acid Test- Students devise a scientific investigation to detect acids and bases in common materials. In this activity, students will prepare a test solution whose color changes when an acid or a base is added; determine whether various household substances are acids or bases and look for patterns in the results; determine how their test solution compares to commercial acid-base testers; and search for other test solutions.
  • 7.1.1.2.3 and/or 7.4.2.1.1 Journey North - Raise monarchs (life cycle lesson), release them, track them as they travel from Mexico in the the spring. Students get involved in graphing, using the technology of the Internet to follow the migration, communicating with other students along the route.
  • 7.1.1.2.3 Using Venn Diagrams to Compare Two Ecosystems Many students believe that the Earth's only rain forests are found in the tropics. On the contrary, temperate rain forests can be found along the coast of North America's Pacific Northwest. The stands in these rain forests are as endangered as and much smaller than their tropical cousins. The following lesson helps students identify and describe differences between two related ecosystems. By acquiring geographic information from a number of sources, and by using that information to complete a Venn diagram-two overlapping ovals in which one can chart the exclusive and shared characteristics of two ecosystems-students will understand the distribution of temperate and tropical rain forests and the unique characteristics of both.
  • 7.1.1.2.4 and 7.4.3.1.3 and 7.4.3.1.3 The Ringer - A straw and two loops of paper that create a flying device. Students can create investigative questions, manipulate variables, collect numerical data in the search for the 'best' Ringer. This activity can be used in conjunction with a study of evolution and natural selection, where every change constitutes a mutation, that can impact the outcome of survival of the species.
  • 7.1.1.2.4 Coral Bleaching: Making Our Oceans Whiter Coral reefs such as the Great Barrier Reef are some of the most productive and important ecosystems on earth, and they are vanishing at an alarming rate. Students will learn what coral reefs are and about the different types of reefs, the ecology surrounding these biological playgrounds, and the human impact on them. Additionally, this lesson will provide an opportunity for students to debate whether human contact should be impeded around coral reefs, a constructive approach for defending controversial environmental issues.
Instructional Resources 

Additional resources:

Think about how students can uniquely present findings in a manner that is accessible by peers. Perhaps a blog where students could offer comments or feedback.

New Vocabulary 

Vocabulary/Glossary:

  • investigative question or testable idea - an idea or question that can be investigated through scientific questioning.
  • hypothesis - possible explanation for a set of observations or possible answer to a scientific question.
  • experiment - the step in the scientific method that arbitrates between competing models  or hypotheses
  • variable - the part of the investigation that can change
    • control (group)- the variables are kept the same
    • experimental (group)- the independent(manipulated) variable is applied
    • dependent variable- The variable that is measured and recorded as a result of the action  of the independent variable.
  • qualitative - science method that investigates the why and how of decision making, not just what, where, when. focuses on smaller samples
  • quantitative - science method that  refers to a type of information based in quantities
  • data, evidence -  information gathered from observations
    • data table table where gathered information is placed
    • graphing another way of showing data
  • conclusion - a reasoned deduction or inference
Technology Connections 
  • If able to use in class, student's use of cell phones as described in the vignette.
  • Web-based Journey North is an excellent data source for global studies of wildlife migrations and seasonal change including Monarch butterflies, Whooping cranes and much more! See also Selected Activities.
  • Cameras/flip videos/microscopes/for students to use to capture information on insects/bugs to use in their hypothesis testing. 
  • Internet connections if possible. If you can get Internet connections in your lab it is much easier for students to do their work.
  • Hardware cameras that connect to microscopes  If you have cameras that fit onto a microscope, a whole new world comes alive to students.  Can be used to display on white board.
Cross Curricular Connections 

English skills and math will be used to help set up there experiments.

Assessment

Students:

  • Formative assessment:
  • Students need to practice creating investigative questions, provide them an observable phenomenon, ask them to come up with questions about the phenomenon (as seen in the example vignette above).
  • Those can be turned into hypotheses.
  • The hypotheses can be turned into investigations.
  • Students can be given feedback to help them design their investigations, making sure they have the experimental variables appropriately controlled and a sense of what data they will be collecting
  • Summative assessment
  • a multiple choice assessment where students read an experiment and then identify the various parts of the scientific method
  • give students an observation: Honey draws more flies than vinegar or something of the like and have them design an experiment that would explain that observation. In the assessment, it would be graded based on use of controls, variables, data collected and a conclusion based on the data.
  • students could create a video or audio podcast "Experiment of the Week" that demonstrates the attributes of a scientific investigation.

Teachers:

  • If your students are struggling with hypotheses created in formative assessment, how will you guide students to define their hypotheses in a better form?
  • Without giving the student a question that you think is appropriate and realistic, how do you guide the student to a workable/testable idea?
  • How will you help students define a testable question?

Administrators:

If observing a lesson on this standard what might they expect to see.

Organized chaos that may include:

  • Students interacting with peers as they come to a question to investigate, then designing the experiment, with little teacher lead discussion.  (Early in the year, the teacher may serve to direct student inquiry, but as the year proceeds, there ought be less and less of teacher talk.)
  • Questions from the teacher, not answers. The teacher should be moving from group of investigators helping them refine their questions and techniques to see they have a reasonable and well designed investigation.
  • The teacher giving students equipment after the students ask for it. The teacher becomes a resource, an air traffic controller of sorts. He or she will make sure the students have the resources necessary for successful completion of the experiment.

Differentiation

English Language Learners 

Herr, N. (2007). The sourcebook for teaching science. This page contains                strategies to help teachers better attend to the needs of their ELL learners. These strategies are grouped according to the following learning tasks: listening, visualization, interpersonal communication, laboratory, demonstrations, reading and writing, instruction and vocabulary

Posters will also allow ELL students to use pictures to help with the vocabulary necessary

Extending the Learning 

G/T:

  • Teachers First is an educational support website that may help with G/T students
  • Cogito is another website that is available for G/T Students.
Multi-Cultural 
  • Science education should include the use of culturally relevant content.  Atwater (1995a-c) and Banks(1987,1988) have proposed several ways to integrate culturally relevant content into the curriculum.  The value of using such approaches is that they can improve the conversation about beliefs in science and hone beliefs about science for all students.
  • Posters will also allow multi-cultural students to use pictures to help with the vocabulary necessary.
  • Multicultural science education.  Official NSTA Position Statement.
  • Freelang.net hosts a English to Ojibwe and Ojibwe to English dictionary that may be used to look up meanings to vocabulary words.
  • Activities like those in the vignette would help students
  • Struggling and At-Risk: This portion of the standards is very 'hands on', students who may struggle with the academic portion of these standards find manipulating materials and experimentation an area they find success.
Special Education 
  • Technologies for Special Needs Students: In their newsletter, "Tech Trek",  from               the National Science Teachers Association, there are suggestions for using technology including voice recognition software
  • Hands on labs like the one in the vignette helps special ed students comprehend concepts better than straight book work.

Parents/Admin

Parents 

Parents will hear about the neat things happening in class from students.  Parents may be asked to help with science fairs.