Small Group Science Teaching Inquiry Project by syx19678

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									Small Group Inquiry Project                                                                   Enfield
TE402, Spring 2004                                                                             1 of 2


                              Small Group Science Teaching Inquiry Project
                                        TE402(1) – Spring 2004

Introduction
Science can be defined as a discipline that involves using practices in contexts to develop
knowledge about phenomena in the material world. Often in school we focus on the knowledge
about phenomena aspects of this definition of science. However, it is hard to learn the practices
of science without having these practices become a set of routine steps that students are asked
to memorize and follow. As a result science practices become separated from the contexts in
which they are used and students do not learn to make sense of phenomena using scientific
practices. This project asks you to take on this problem and identify a set of sequenced lessons
that help students learn science practices in contexts developing knowledge about phenomena.

Overview
Working with one or two other people, you will collect a set of activities related to a common
topic that provide students experiences in which they can learn practices of science. This set of
activities can be thought of as a mini-unit on a particular science topic that can be used in K-8
science teaching. The set of activities will focus on the grade-level of your choice, include an
explanation of science ideas in the activities, provide sequential experiences with phenomena or
representations of phenomena, and have clearly identified science practices the students learn
through the activities. The practices in this activity sequence focus on the MCF Constructing
Benchmarks.

             Benchmark                                     Benchmark Clarification:
1.    Generate reasonable questions       Students make observations that lead to questions that
      about the world based on            can be answered through the process of scientific
      observation.                        investigation (e.g. “Why does the moon appear to change
                                          shape?”)
2.    Develop solutions to problems       An organized approach to a problem promotes a
      through reasoning, observation,     reasonable solution. Students will develop an approach
      and investigation.                  to a problem using reasoning, observations, data
                                          collection, and investigations to arrive at a solution.
3.    Manipulate simple devices that      Students will observe and collect data by using tools such
      aid observation and data            as magnifying glasses, thermometers, calculators,
      collection.                         telescopes, and weather instruments.
4.    Use simple measurement              Students will select and use the appropriate
      devices to make measurements        measurement tools (e.g. scales, rulers, thermometers,
      in scientific investigations.       measuring spoons and cups, and measuring tapes) to
                                          investigate volume, area, weight, and linear measures.
5.    Develop strategies and skills for   Scientists use many methods of gathering information
      information gathering and           and problem solving. To gather information, students will:
      problem solving.                          Ask questions
                                                Use different sources such as reference books,
                                                    trade books, magazines, web sites, and other
                                                    peoples’ knowledge
6.    Construct charts and graphs         Scientists use charts and graphs to visually represent
      and prepare summaries of            their findings. Students will construct various graphs and
      observations.                       charts to present their data. Students will prepare
                                          summaries of their observations.




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Small Group Inquiry Project                                                            Enfield
TE402, Spring 2004                                                                      2 of 2


Required components of the project
In this project you will work with one or two other people. However, you will be graded
independently on your work in the unit. This will be explained in detail in the grading rubric
below. However, each member of the group will be expected to turn in the following things.

Ideas and Context
A unit overview should provide a grade-level appropriate explanation of the ideas and context of
the activities. These must correlate with MCF Using Benchmarks (Strands III-V). These are
statements of science ideas, not statements of what students will do.
Practices
The unit overview should also summarize the science practices that are the focus of the unit.
These must correlate with the MCF Constructing Benchmarks (Strand I). These can include
statement of what students will do, but they must focus on the practice that students are
engaged in learning.
Activity Descriptions
The unit will include four or six activities that help students learn practices using knowledge of
science ideas. Each member of your group is expected to describe two activities that the group
will organize into a meaningful and understandable sequence that supports students in learning
practices of scientific sense-making.
Sample Lesson Presentation
     1. Your group will prepare a single document that includes the unit overview and 4-6
        activity descriptions to turn in on April 26, 2004. There are NO exceptions for this; it
        must be turned in electronically by 5:00 p.m. that day.
     2. Your group will choose one activity to present to the class. This presentation should
        involve us in doing, hands-on, the activities that your group selects.
Grading Rubric
Each group member will be graded using the general grading rubric found in the syllabus for the
following components of the project:

                              Criteria                                                Points
Ideas and Context             Identification of grade-level and MCF Benchmarks,         2
                              accuracy of science, relevance of the context.
Practices                     Description of grade-level appropriate practices          3
                              (use MCF as a guide), relevancy to topic, and
Activity Description 1        Clearly described activity that teaches students          5
                              scientific practices in the context of science ideas.
                              The activity follows team one criteria for lessons.
Activity Description 2        Clearly described activity that teaches students          5
                              scientific practices in the context of science ideas.
                              The activity follows team one criteria for lessons.
Presentation                  The group prepares their unit document including          5
                              overview and activity plans. The group presents
                              one activity to the class.




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