Cobb Science

October News and Notes

Fall is Here!

October brings many exciting events in the Cobb science world. On Saturday the 10th, Walton hosts GRITS (Georgia Robotics Invitational Tournament Showcase) from 8:30 am- 5:00 pm. FIRST Tech Challenge, Future Lego League, and student robotics teams from all grade levels will be represented. Dodgen hosts a Science Olympiad coaches workshop on Saturday, October 24th from 8:15 am-12:30 pm. There are several after-school professional learning opportunities for you throughout the month as well (see below). The STEM Forum closes out the month on October 26th-27th in Athens.

October Professional Learning Opportunities

Join us for two Differentiation for Deeper Learning professional learning opportunities this month:


Tuesday, October 13th: Face-to-Face at Bullard Elementary School

Differentiation Make-and-Take

3:15-5:15 Elementary Teachers (Rotate through the four content areas)

5:30-7:30 Secondary Teachers (Science specific focusing on making tiered labs)


Tuesday, October 27th: Follow-up Webinar on Blackboard

3:00-3:45: Elementary School http://www.tinyurl.com/K-5Diff

4:00-4:45: High School http://www.tinyurl.com/ScienceHSDif

5:00-5:45: Middle School http://www.tinyurl.com/ScienceMSDiff

Teacher Spotlight

Jennifer Zifer (Barber Middle School) is one of the teachers leading the way in PBL implementation in Cobb. After researching many cases over the summer, Jen found that some of the best written cases were produced by Cobb County teachers and are available on Blackboard. She hit the ground running in August and committed to restructuring her teaching practice to embrace PBL full time. If you enter Jen's room at any given moment, engagement is high and students are busy directing their own learning. Take a look at her blog to get a sense of what kind of problems are being solved and in what activities students are participating: http://barber.typepad.com/zifer/. The pictures below showcase the CSI Crime Scene Investigation PBL case.


Do you have something exciting going on in your classroom? Please let us know so that we can spotlight you!

Instructional Strategy Focus: Inquiry

Problem Based Learning and inquiry learning go hand-in-hand. If you're not ready to try PBL in your classroom yet, get your feet wet by incorporating more inquiry lessons in your classroom. The premise is the same: allow students to make their own meaning of content from investigative, hands-on tasks. An easy inquiry lesson plan format is called the 5E model. This is what is looks like:


1. Engage: Provide students with a discrepant event through a demonstration or allow students to investigate a concept with materials to spark questions and engagement.

2. Explore: Discuss students' questions and continue to explore the concept with a deeper investigative hands-on task. Students should make initial meaning of their learning by developing an explanation.

3. Explain: This is where you teach the content behind the investigation.

4. Expand: Go deeper: what can students do next? What kind of enrichment activities are appropriate?

5. Evaluate: Give some type of assessment to determine whether students have met the standard(s).


Additional information can be found here: http://www.justsciencenow.com/

Digital Tools and Resources

Upcoming Events

Earth Science Essay Contest

Friday, Oct. 16th, 5pm

Online

AGI is sponsoring an essay contest to celebrate Earth Science Week 2015. The essay theme for this year is: "Earth Science Visualization Today." Enter at http://www.earthsciweek.org/contests/essay by October 16th.

Outdoor Learning Symposium

Friday, Nov. 13th, 8am

999 Fortson Road

Hampton, GA

Held at the Fortson 4-H Center, this is a fun filled-day of hands-on learning! Session themes include: Taking STEM Outdoors, Techniques & Strategies for Outdoor Learning, and Creating Sustainable Outdoor Learning Areas. GSTA board members will be exhibiting and presenting on connecting outdoor learning to three-dimensional science.