Cobb Science

February News and Notes

Science Fair Success

This past Saturday (1/30) over 120 projects were judged at the Middle and High School Science Fair. The event, held at Cobb Safety Village, was a huge success! Participants and their families were entertained by the Physics Juggler and awed by presentations from the Cobb Fire Department, Police Department, SWAT Team, and Medical Examiner. Lindsey Deutsch, a senior at North Cobb High School, won the overall prize for her project "The Correlation Between Performance Sports and Eating Disorders in Adolescent Females." Many thanks to our sponsors: Cobb EMC and Gas South.


Many teachers are heading to the Georgia Science Teachers Association Conference this week (2/4-2/6) to learn from innovative state and national leaders. Cobb has several teachers presenting, most of whom are members of Math Science Partnership cohorts. A major focus of this year's conference are the state's revised science standards and how best to teach them.

Professional Learning Opportunities

The Science Department is pleased to offer the first two digital badges available to teachers in Cobb. Housed within the 6-12 Blackboard shell, the badges are essentially mini-online courses that allow teachers to work on mastering skills and knowledge whenever from wherever. Once all requirements of the badge are met, participants are awarded a badge which can be uploaded to the TKES platform, highlighted on LinkedIn or other social media, and showcased in alternative creative ways. Presently, the two badges available are Twitter Titan and Earth Science Critical Thinking Strategies. Life and Physical Science Critical Thinking Strategies will be offered before the end of the school year and we hope to have several badges related to digital tech tools by the summer.
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Instructional Strategy Focus: Formative Assessment

Formative assessments are important for keeping track of where students are regarding their mastery of a standard or skill. Teachers should use this data to modify their instruction as needed. Most formative assessments are designed to be quick, and several online tools make grading and data analysis even faster. Examples of formative assessments include short quizzes (two to three questions), exit tickets/Tickets out the Door, hand signals (thumbs up/down), one-minute essays, post-it notes with 3-2-1, and one-sentence summaries. A handy list of assessments can be found here http://www.levy.k12.fl.us/instruction/Instructional_Tools/60formativeassessment.pdf and another good print resource here http://www.amazon.com/Quick-Formative-Assessments-Differentiated-Classroom/dp/0545087422.


However, some of the best formative assessment tools are available to teachers online. While Kahoot and Socrative are becoming popular in many classrooms, our new favorite tool is Formative. Formative is as easy to use as Kahoot but offers teachers more options than just multiple-choice quizzes. For instance, teachers can also create short answer questions or open-ended questions in which students can draw and show their own work. Additionally, students can upload pictures or documents as evidence of learning. Tired of taking home a million papers to grade? Just have students take a picture of their Ticket out the Door, upload it to Formative, and you can grade everything digitally and provide instant feedback to students. Just like with Kahoot, students receive a class code that allows them to access their "class" and assignments within the website. Short tutorials walk teachers through how to set up assessments and use all tools to their advantage. Try it out today!

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Digital Tools and Resources

Upcoming Events

Atlanta Science Festival

Saturday, March 19th, 8am-8pm

Various Locations

"The Atlanta Science Festival is an annual, week-long celebration of local science and technology. From March 19-26, 2016, curious people of all ages will explore the science and technology in our region and see how science is connected to all parts of our lives in a variety of hands-on activities, facility tours, presentations, and performances throughout the metro Atlanta region. The Festival culminates in the free, family-friendly EXPLORATION EXPO - an interactive day of demos, hands-on activities, and stage shows at Centennial Olympic Park." Visit http://atlantasciencefestival.org/ for more information.