<![CDATA[Science Interactions - How to teach science...]]>Sun, 22 Nov 2015 21:24:50 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[3 Tips for organizing the Impossible...]]>Thu, 05 Nov 2015 00:51:35 GMThttp://scienceinteractions.weebly.com/how-to-teach-science/3-tips-for-organizing-the-impossible
L to R: Labs, foldables, page protectors, copies of notes, tests/quizzes, file folders, misc., bellwork.
This is only slightly related to science instruction, but has been a life saver for me. I am great at organizing my desk drawers, cabinets, other drawer space, filing cabinets, and my binders. However, I stink at keeping my daily tasks organized, such as current handouts I am using, papers that need graded, and interactive notebook activities. Many of these papers are papers that I may finish with one day, but am not quite ready to pack them away due to student absences, correcting poor assignments, and multi-day activities. These papers usually end up piling up on my kidney table, desk, counter space, etc. Well this year, I think I have found a solution. It has worked for the last month and I am impressed at how clean my classroom surfaces look.

1. For work needing graded, I have set out a stack of paper trays in order to have one tray per class period. Anything needing graded goes into the appropriate tray. I also have a set of identical trays for work that has already been graded and needs passed back.

2. I use one more stack of 5 paper trays that are labeled Monday-Friday. I copy all of my handouts for the week on Monday, so these trays help me keep those papers organized until I need them.

3. Lastly, my favorite addition of all! I bought 3 3-drawer carts (I didn't put the wheels on them.) These 3 carts fit perfectly until one of my work tables. I have labeled each drawer with a type of handout (bell work, interactive notes, quizzes, labs, etc.) When I am done with a handout for the day, I just throw it in the appropriate bin. The handouts end up in chronological order, so whenever I need to find one at a later time, they are easy to find. I plan to place the contents of the bin into the recycling bin at the end of each unit or grading period.

​None of these solutions are complicated, but they have sure made a difference in my room.
<![CDATA[Why I AM No Longer Using INteractive Notebooking in science...]]>Sun, 18 Oct 2015 00:20:37 GMThttp://scienceinteractions.weebly.com/how-to-teach-science/why-i-am-no-longer-using-interactive-notebooking-in-scienceLast school year, to teach 7th grade science, I used Interactive Notebooking almost exclusively. From this, I created a lot of great resources and learned how to create diagrams and graphic organizers on many topics. This school year, I am now teaching 8th grade science to many of those same students. Here is why I am no longer exclusively using interactive notebooking:

5. Many students enjoyed the time to cut, paste, and color various foldables; however that time ate up so much valuable activity and lab time. 

4. Interactive note-booking seems "babyish" to advanced students of this age and it is the opposite for struggling learners. They have trouble keeping a notebook for the entire school year organized and in one piece.

3. Lab activities and inquiry-based learning is so much MORE FUN than cutting and pasting!!!

2. I attended the BWISER (Buckeye Women in Science and Engineering Research Institute at the College of Wooster, which is a science camp for 7th and 8th grade girls. This camp was life-changing in my role as teaching intern. I really learned how valuable inquiry-based learning can be, especially when helping girls become interested and successful in science careers.

1. I started my master's degree this past summer. It will a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Science Education. This program is 100% focused on using inquiry and research to teach science. I have read countless research this summer on the best ways to teach science and a proven model, based on research of Piaget and Vygotsky, is the Learning Cycle Model. Learning and applying this teaching model to my classroom has transformed me as a teacher. My students love coming to science and are begging for more activities. Instead of just memorizing facts and diagrams, they are doing science and retaining concepts, because they have first-hand experience. Its amazing to watch a student discover and define a concept before my formal instruction because of an exploration I have planned. I firmly believe all subjects should be taught using the Learning Cycle Model, which is also know as the 5e Model. Watch for resources using this model.]]>
<![CDATA[My admission...]]>Sun, 15 Feb 2015 00:56:27 GMThttp://scienceinteractions.weebly.com/how-to-teach-science/my-admissionI will admit, I hated interactive note-booking for the first few months. Students forgot to bring them, failed to number their pages, "forgot" to glue in foldables and other interactive notes, etc. I also felt like I had to build pages to fill the book. I started out with the idea that the left side of the pages (backs) would be for student work and the right side (fronts) would be for teacher work. This idea helped me get started, but I soon was burdened with trying to fill the "student work" pages. There were just times when I needed both sides for student work or both sides as a resource.  There were also days that I felt like I was putting time into building interactive notes that wasn't neccessary...Cutting, pasting, and folding notes takes class time, building foldables and organizers was eating away at my personal time, and it didn't seem like students were using them. 

In December, I taught a relatively difficult unit on wind and ocean currents and their effect on climate. I had read a blog where the author believed in always allowing students to use their resources (notes) on unit tests, because it will teach them good habits in using resources as adults. I didn't want to believe this because students can't use their resources on state-mandated standardized tests and I wanted them to "know" the content without using a resources. Boy, was I wrong. So back to the wind, currents, and climate unit...because of the difficulty of these concepts, I chose to allow students to use their notebooks on the unit assessment. They were not aware of this until the day of the test, and many of them had incomplete notebooks. I think this is the day the "lightbulb" went off for many. The next chapter, I noticed improvement in student notebooks...notes were complete, more absent students were asking for the notes they were missing, and pages were numbered. I also noticed that many students automatically knew which pages they could find needed notes and references. They were helping each other find items, they knew what specific foldables looked-like, and it seemed as if they were internalizing more and more of the information that we had put in the books.

That next chapter, Moon, Earth, and Sun Relationships, was not as difficult as the prior unit, so I did not allow notebook use on that test, but I did notice drastic improvement in notebook usage throughout the unit and in to the next unit. I have seen more students using their notebooks as they complete class and homework assignments and I think I have finally convinced students that their ISNs are not just notes, but useful in many ways beyond that day of creation.

To purchase my units on Wind, Currents, and Climate and Earth, Moon, and Sun Relationships, please visit my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.
Wind, Currents, and Climate Interactive Notebook
Earth, Moon, and Sun Relationships Interactive Notebook]]>
<![CDATA[Interactive Notebooking: Pros and Cons]]>Sat, 31 Jan 2015 16:19:14 GMThttp://scienceinteractions.weebly.com/how-to-teach-science/why-change-from-lapbooking-to-notebooking
1. Students maintain a cumulative record of all notes.
2. Notes are always at-hand to use as a reference later.
3. Unique shape and composition of various foldables and interactives helps with memory retention.
4. Students interact with their notes, rather than copying and forgetting.
5. Students may include a lot of notes, but it doesn't seem like as much work as traditional note-taking.
6. It's fun for teachers to develop unique foldable templates.

*If you have other pros, please add in the comments below.
1. Frequently absent students may find it troubling to keep up and to build missed pages.
2. More difficult to modify for severe learning impaired students. 
3. If the notebook it lost or forgotten frequently, it is not as effective.

*In all honesty, I love notebooking. I would guess 90% of my students also enjoy it. I only experience these cons with the highly unmotivated students who often refuse to do ANYTHING. Some of my students with cognitive delays often need help assembling various pages, and have trouble cutting, pasting, and drawing diagrams. I try to provide copies of my notes to students having trouble keeping up.
<![CDATA[Interactive Science Notebook (ISN)]]>Mon, 21 Jul 2014 14:47:43 GMThttp://scienceinteractions.weebly.com/how-to-teach-science/interactive-science-notebookI want to inspire you to bring interactive notebooking to your classroom. I have been using similar methods, such as foldables and lapbooking, but am now going to transition for full interactive notebooks. Please join me in my journey and feel free to add any ideas or ask questions.

What's the point?

When using an interactive notebook, students are engaged in the note-taking, plus they are creating a reference book that they will actually use. Students feel pride in these notebooks because THEY created it and THEY understand it. Last school year, my students and I created lapbooks for each unit and the kids took tremendous pride in the appearance of these and they hated when they were missing something. I even had a student ask me for all new materials at the end of a unit, because he wanted to make a neater lapbook that would be easier for him to study...his first attempt was rather sloppy and he knew he could do better. It's life changing to see students taking that much pride in their work.