I have been spending a lot of time cogitating, and basically spinning my wheels. I loved the way that Jana structured the final optics exploration: we self-assessed and then discussed our learning. Memorable for me was Jana’s description of how she decided to create shoebox cameras obscuras pretty much FIRST rather than last. The structure of Jana’s unit was to start with what we knew about light and then take it apart, and then at the end to look at how all the pieces went together, reviewing our learning. I am definitely thinking about this for the physics unit.

This week I added a page (see the top bar, far left) called A Unit Plan to hold my finished unit. It will be amended and updated as I have ideas.

I also received clarification that I need 25 resources all-together, not 25 websites plus additional. I pulled a lot of books off my home bookshelves and annotated them (Books on My Shelf) to go along with the web-based resources that I have annotated (Science Websites). Thus, this requirement is technically complete.

The unit needs to include interdisciplinary, differentiated and multicultural elements. I am still working on that piece. Today I remembered my text from the Math strand for elementary folks, and pulled that book out. It has a wealth of information that helps me see how to form some of the essential (big and transferable) ideas for the unit.

2 Interactions on “Wednesday Wonderings: What Works?

  1. Thank Reyna! I was using the cool proportional reasoning math text we used last spring in Jana’s elementary math strand. It’s now in my list of resources. I am thinking that I might focus on the transferable idea of “variables” as they relate to force — I am not yet clear if acceleration per se is a concept kids at this age can fully grasp, but I think that they are able to know that if you push something harder things change, and that if you are lighter it’s easier to be pushed. I am also thinking about “measurement” specifically — how different peoples have different ways of thinking about what needs measurement; how do we as scientists decide that these variables are going to be measured? So there’s the idea of transferability — decision-making and cultural relevance.

    At least, that is what I am thinking right this minute, as I process the cool “FOSS kit” discussion.

  2. Hi Kathleen: I would love to hear more about which math book you pulled off your shelf and what kinds of ideas you are finding big and transferable. I agree hearing about how jana chose to do the camera obscura as an entry point into studying light was really neat and now that i understand more about light and that process of learning it i am a little more excited about teaching science this way,.

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