I value the integration of inquiry, labs, effective questioning and kinesthetic activities in my science classes to appeal to the diverse learning needs in my classroom and promote learning for each students.
As a science teacher, I find it extremely important to make reference to the scientific method when we discuss various concepts in class. As a result, students are learning scientific language, how to design experiments, perform experiments and analyze results to reach a conclusion. This experience has proven to be extremely valuable as it allows students to authentically connect to the lab, realizing that in the field scientists do not just perform experiments without a purpose.
Throughout the heat and temperature unit, I consistently integrated various activities to promote learning.
The class engaged in:
- Several laboratories, which give students hands on experience with concepts being covered in class to aide retention and understanding
- Kinesthetic Activities, students acted out the Particle Model, Methods of Heat Transfer (conduction, convection and radiation) to create a memorable experiences and create connections to their learning
- Thermos Project, students created a thermos with an authentic application – to keep an insect frozen for a period of time so that the insect could be transported back to the laboratory for testing. Students were able to connect this activity to real-life making it more meaningful.
- Debate, students were assigned PRO and CON viewpoints with respect to alternative energy. Students used technology to research both sides and formulate their own arguments. This allowed students to engage in informed discussion with their peers as they debated the positive and negative consequences of alternative energy.
Throughout this unit the focus was on plants and their relationship to sustainability. For most students the idea of learning about plants isn’t fun science. My goal with this unit was to show students the drastic affects that human actions have on plants and the environment and what it means to build a sustainable future. Additionally, students engaged in a lab where they planted pea plants and placed them in various locations around the school to see where plants grew best and why.
- Science Centre, students were given the opportunity to visit the Natural Disasters exhibit at the Science Centre. While we were there students also explored through the various exhibits.
- Rock Lab, students were given various rocks to identify through tests that we discussed to identify rocks. Following this lab, students were given a practical rock test.
- Be The Teacher, students chose a natural disaster and were asked to become experts. Each group then presented their findings to the class.