We learn about the scientific method in IB Theory of Knowledge classes, and especially talk about its application in all areas of life – not just science. I’ve previously posted about this topic, and thought readers might find it useful to see some of the videos I use, depending on the time available. Feel free to suggest more!
Here are my choices for The Best Science Sites Of 2017 – So Far (not in any order of preference):
NPR has just announced their first show geared towards kids – a science podcast called “Wow In The World.” Here’s how they describe it:
NPR is thrilled to announce the launch of Wow in the World, a new podcast for kids ages 5-12 that illuminates the wonders of science, technology, discovery and inventions….Starting May 15, NPR’s Guy Raz and SiriusXM’s Mindy Thomas will take kids and their grown-ups on a journey into the most incredible science and kid-friendly news stories of the week.
One would think it could also have potential for use in the classroom.
Legends of Learning is a new site that provides custom-built games organized by learning objectives. Teachers can create “playlists” they want their students to access and then monitor their progress. They only have science-related games right now, but plan on adding more related to other subjects soon. You can read more about it at USA Today’s article, ‘Spotify for learning games’ coming to classrooms, and I’ve embedded a video about the site at the bottom of this post. I’m adding it to The Best Sites Where Students Can Work Independently & Let Teachers Check On Progress. It appears the site is free for a month or so after registration (longer if you have fewer students) and then you have to review games, perform other services for the site, or pay per student.
We’re doing our IB Theory of Knowledge Oral Presentations, and this is a video of Michelle’s presentation. She’s given me permission to share it here. I’m giving her a 7 on the (in my opinion) somewhat weird IB Presentation Rubric.
What do you think? (by the way, you can find all our class materials on the Oral Presentation, including many other videos, here).
In my book I give credit to the late Grant Wiggins for an example of how to promote transfer through generalizing. He used the example of students learning about the qualities of a successful social movement from analyzing the women’s movement. I also use that example in the video but, because of a miscommunication, credit to him , unfortunately, doesn’t appear. You can see links to several articles by him on the topic at my “Best” list.
Gail Desler – with the support of educators and students – has organized the fabulous Time Of Remembrance website documenting Japanese-American internment in World War Two, along with the Vietnam War.
Because of my work with Hmong refugees, I was honored to received an invitation to be interviewed as part of the project.
The full video is thirty-six minutes along. ELL teachers might find it useful, since I discuss a wide-ranging list of issues, including the importance of looking at our students through the eyes of assets and not deficits, inductive learning, concept attainment, parent engagement, professional development and many other items of possible interest.
In the PBS segment, he also discusses the demotivating aspects of seeing your work destroyed in front of you, which is why I am always very careful to wait to throw away student posters and other work until they are long gone for the day..
The New York Times has published a series of short and very accessible videos helping people understand implicit bias.
Next February, this blog will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary! Leading up to it, I’m re-starting a series I tried to do in the past called “A Look Back.” Each week, I’ll be re-posting a few of my favorite posts from the past ten years.
This month’s issues of ASCD Educational Leadership has just been published, and in itRobert Marzano reports on a study that may be the most important one that’s come out this year.
Here is a very simple summary of his study, which was a “meta-analysis” of hundreds of others: It found that “direct instruction” was a more effective instructional method than “unassisted discovery learning.” And it found that “enhanced discovery learning” trumped them both.
I personally think this idea of “unassisted discovery learning” is a bit of a “straw man.” It basically means that students have to learn on their own with very little assistance from a teacher. As example might be how I started a science lesson once on the scientific method — I gave students two cups — one half filled with water, and scissors and asked them to figure out how they would tell time with it. I call the issue a “straw man,” though, because I, and many other teachers, might start off a lesson like this (plenty of research has shown that the use of “novelty” like this is effective), I’m not convinced many would make the whole lesson “unassisted.”
What’s important, though, about the study, I think, is that it highlights that “enhanced discovery learning” was particularly effective.
Here’s how the study itself (you have to pay $12 to gain access to it) defined “enhanced discovery learning”:
…generation, elicited explanations, and guided discovery conditions. Generation conditions required learners to generate rules, strategies, images, or answers to experimenters’ questions. Elicited explanation conditions required that learners explain some aspect of the target task or target material, either to themselves or to the experimenters. The guided discovery conditions involved either some form of instructional guidance (i.e.,scaffolding) or regular feedback to assist the learner at each stage of the learning tasks.