Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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The Science of Teaching Science

Workshop 4. Supporting Good Data Collection (90 min.)

Workshop 4: Supporting Good Data Collection

The work of these teachers will be featured during Workshop 4:

Name: Sarah Novogrodsky

Experience: 5 years

Grade & Subjects: Grade 5; all subjects

Demographics: Outer city elementary school in university community

Classroom: 23 students; 35% special needs, 55% ESL

Science Teaching: 1-hour sessions twice per week

Curriculum: Life, physical, and earth sciences; "kits" adopted by district

Other: Lead teacher for professional development, in the use of kits which are prepackaged curriculum including teachers guides and materials and supplies for an entire class.

Name: Joanne Hurley

Experience: 18 years

Grade & Subjects: Grade 2; all subjects

Demographics: Suburban elementary school

Classroom: 23 students

Science Teaching: 45 minute block for science and social studies every day

Curriculum: Teacher developed, theme based using GEMS, AIMS

Other: Science teacher leader for district

Name: Doug Kirkpatrick

Experience: 35 years

Grade & Subjects: Grade 8, physical science

Demographics: Middle school in suburban community

Classroom: 30-32 students; 2-3 special needs students

Science Teaching: 54 minute periods; meet 6 out of every 7 days (rotating schedule)

Curriculum: Designed by teacher working with group at University of California, Berkeley

Other: Received Feminist of the Year award from National Feminist Majority Foundation in 1991 for getting girls involved with science.

Questions to ponder before and after Workshop 4:

1. What purpose is served by having students explore a phenomenon and collect data without a specific hypothesis or prediction to test? What is the advantage of having students commit to predictions? When would you use general exploration, and when would you use prediction?

2. Should you provide students with pre-designed data collection forms, or have them make their own? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each strategy?

3. Is it best when each student can collect her or his own data, or should data be collected by groups of students? What are the reasons for having students report their data to the whole class?

Assignment :

Imagine your students are collecting data on water clarity and oxygen content along the course of a river. What are three ways to have them summarize and display their data? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each method?




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