Saturday, August 1, 2009

Back to School and the Topic is Science Notebooks

It was a wonderful first week at school. After attending MEMTA, I felt so energized and inspired to bring inquiry-based science to our school and if not the school, well at least MY classroom!

This week I began sharing some of my experiences from the academy. I decided to start with notebooks because, as I found out, they are a great tool for kids to develop their thinking and understanding about what they're learning. I want out science notebooks to be student-centered.

Hopefully we can get away from copying or cutting and pasting ready made notes. I'd like this to be the place where kids formulate their own thoughts, predictions, and findings.

I'm also thinking a lot about the 5 E's structure for lesson planning-- engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate. There's a really good handout that explains this showing teacher behaviors and student behaviors. Go to to learn more.

This is all very exciting, but the proof will be in the student achievement outcome. Our science scores were really low for the last few years. Science should be loved by all kids and they should excel at it. Obviously what we're doing should change. We can do so much more to bring science learning to the kids. I'm hoping this will be the beginning of that change.

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