Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum
Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum
Throughout this workshop series, you have had an opportunity to consider a variety of "next move" strategies for teaching mathematics and science. All of a teacher's next moves are chosen in a milieu that includes not only the specific classroom circumstances, but also forces outside of the classroom walls. These external pressures include other classrooms, the administration, the school district, and the state, as well as parents, families, and communities.
Each teacher participating in this series is at a different place with regard to making next moves, and each is confronted by different challenges. However, all share a common goal of making moves that progress toward a more student-centered mathematics and science classroom. This final workshop gives teachers an opportunity to reflect on the series as a whole, and to consider how to negotiate external forces in order to begin taking steps toward change.
The Great Bean Bag Adventure
So far, we have investigated only lima beans. In our sixth and final experiment, we compared lima bean growth to that of other types of seeds.
What we used:
6 plastic baggies water
What we did:
Folded and placed two paper towels in each baggie. Added water to each baggie to moisten the towels. Labeled and prepared the baggies as follows:
"New and improved" school, district, state, and national standards are now being introduced all over the country. How do these particular external forces influence your ability to take steps toward change in math and science education? What can you do to deal with these forces?
Educators are constantly grappling with the issue of depth versus breadth. Few would disagree that less is more, and that it is better to teach deep understanding of one concept than superficial understanding of several. But how deep is deep? How do you decide that the students have "got it" and that it's time to move on?
Has your metaphor for teaching changed since the first workshop? Are you now considering alternative metaphors? Which of the metaphors that were featured in this series will be useful to you as you make your next move? Do you find that some metaphors are more applicable to certain classroom situations than others? Share your thoughts with your colleagues.
Attention Site Leader: Please collect the completed forms from all participants, and mail them to us in the pre-addressed envelope provided.
Suggested Grade Level: K-5
Students make ice cream in plastic bags.
(for each student)
1 small (sandwich size) zip-close plastic bag
1 large zip-close plastic bag
2 Tbs sugar
1/2 cup milk or half & half
1/2 tsp. vanilla, 2 tsp. chocolate syrup, or fruit
Several ice cubes
8 Tbs. salt
Newspaper or paper towel
The materials for this activity are expensive. To reduce the cost, consider asking students to bring in ingredients from home, suggesting that the PTA supply the ingredients as a special class treat, or having students make the ice cream in pairs or small groups.
Have students explore the change of state of the different ingredients: ice (a solid) turns to water (a liquid), and milk (a liquid) turns to ice cream (a solid). Students can also explore the change in temperature of the different ingredients and investigate whether or not the weight of the ingredients changes as their state and temperature change.
Another challenging activity is for students to design ice cream shakers or squishers. For example, instead of using a plastic bag, students might use a coffee can to roll the ice and ice cream mixture along the floor. Students can test the effectiveness of their designs by timing how long it takes the milk mixture to turn into ice cream.
As a result of the activities in grades K-4, all students should develop an understanding of
"Students are familiar with the change of state between water and ice, but the idea of liquids having a set of properties is more nebulous and requires more instructional effort than working with solids."
National Research Council, (NCR). 1996. National science education standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. (pg. 123)