February News and Notes
Getting Ready for the Georgia Standards of Excellence
Speaking of the GSE, dozens of Cobb science teachers attended and presented at the Georgia Science Teachers Association conference last week in Stone Mountain. Many of the sessions related to the new standards and how to implement science and engineering practices and cross-cutting concepts into instruction. Several Cobb teachers also took home awards: Alana Davis was awarded Elementary Teacher of the Year and also won a mini-grant. Janice Belcher won both a conference grant and mini-grant, and Joey Giunta won a mini-grant. Congratulations!!!
Dr. Brown & Bio Teachers
Presenting a 3D lesson on cell size.
Myra Bolton & Physics Teachers
Presenting a 3D lesson on motion.
Abby Sandlin & Earth Science Teachers
Presenting a 3D lesson on fossils
Professional Learning Opportunities
Quarter 4 Training
Science Teachers Observatory Outing
Shannon Ventresca (ECMS) Builds Her Own Breakout Room Lesson
Fluid Power Competition
Instructional Strategy Focus
Asking Questions and Defining Problems
a. Ask questions to identify sources of heat energy.
S6E5. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to show how Earth’s surface is formed.
a. Ask questions to compare and contrast the Earth’s crust, mantle, inner and outer core, including temperature, density, thickness, and composition.
SP3. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the importance of conservation laws for mechanical energy and linear momentum in predicting the behavior of physical systems.
a. Ask questions to compare and contrast open and closed systems.
The Science and Engineering Practice of "asking questions and defining problems" might have you scratching your head about what is actually looks like in the classroom. Jeanne Muzi just published a short but blockbuster list of five strategies in the January 2017 issue of ASCD's Education Update. The following are excerpts of two of her strategies you could use to help your students meet these standards:
Q-Stems Exercise: Create a set of sentence-stem cards (include question starters like How...? Why...? Are there...? Do you wonder...? Is it possible...? How could it...? What's another way of thinking about...? Ask your students to generate as many questions as possible about the topic or concept they are studying using just one sentence stem. When they have exhausted all possibilities, they can move on to another question stem.
Question-A-Go-Go into Question Rainbow: Hang up an interesting photograph, map, artifact, science material, or other lesson-specific item. Ask students to write a question they have about the item on a sticky note and attach it to the item. The goal is to generate as many questions as possible. Next, discuss and evaluate the questions using a Depth of Knowledge (DoK) Question Rainbow (a poster made of of colored paper to make a continuum- blue for DoK Level 1, green for DoK Level 2, yellow for DoK Level 3, red for DoK Level ). Work with students to place the questions along the continuum. Discuss ways to rethink the questions so they can move from lower-order questions to higher-order questions.
Read all five strategies here: http://bit.ly/5StrategiesforAskingQs