I attended the JCT Science CPD Day 1 today, Wednesday 30th November 2016, at Galway Education Centre. The JCT associate presenters were Eileen Hanrick and Elizabeth Smith. They were organised, enthusiastic and inspiring throughout the workshop. The following reflections are my interpretations of my professional development experiences at this workshop.
The specification is alive and it adapts
There are a few differences between a curriculum and a specification. The specification is adaptable and flexible and it will be added to over time. For example, as they have done in New Zealand, exemplars of student work, student experiences and assessment ideas will be added as the specification evolves.
We were introduced to the specification through a 'THINK PAIR SHARE' activity that most participants were familiar with. Statements were projected and firstly we were asked to think independently about whether we agree or disagree with the statement. The first statement was:
'To teach through inquiry you have to do experiments…'
We then shared our view with our pair and finally we shared our paired views with another pair or the rest of the group. The general consensus in the room was that there is a continuum from teacher led to student led activities and planning can vary to icluded methodologies from various points on the continuum.
Statement two was:
'earth and space could be taught by the geography teacher'
The 'THINK PAIR SHARE' process was repeated and the general consensus was that yes there could be elements of both subjects. Teachers could teach some but the aspects could be different. A teacher also poitned out that Geography is a science also. There are cross curricular links - geography and science could both be teaching aspects of earth and space.
We discussed the benefit of think/pair/share. We agreed that it encouraged students to think outside the box, allowing them time and space to think. Teachers tend to ask a question and move on too quickly. Think pair share is one way of moving towards overcoming teacher answering their own questions.
Post - Its
There were post-its left on our desk. If we had questions during the day, we could write them on a Post It and stick it up on the Car Park poster with the questions, name and email address. If it happened that the associate answered a question as it comes up then we were asked to take down the post it. If there were any questions that couln't be asnwered, an answer to the question would be sent by email after the workshop.
Eileen gave us an overview of the new Junior Cycle. She explained:
She emphasised how all these all feed in to give the school programme.
We were encourages to reflect at various points throughout the workshop, using a Learning Log. These were the contents of my learning log at the end of the day.
Niamh's Learning Log
We used a Ranking sheet to rank the 8n key skills from most important to lesat important. This was a tricky task and in the end we agreed that there is no right answer. On any given day, depending the context and situation different key skills may be more important at different times. WE used the THINK PAIR AND SHARE activity to rank the key skills.
Eileen outlined the rationale and broad for the junior cycle science:
There is an emphasis in the new junior cycle science on enjoyment, lifelong learning, key skills, developing scientific literacy and applying it, acquiring a body of scientific knowledge, developing a scientific habit of mind, and improving their reasoning and decision making abilities of students.
Structure of the Specification
In the next task, we engaged with the structure of the learning outcomes in the specification. We used an activity that I used with First Years at the beginning of the year for the principles of the new junior cycle. The learning outcomes for each strand were cut out and we had to arragne them into the appropriate column for Nature of science, or the physical, chemical, biological or earth and space contextual strands. The cards were different colours depedning on the elements that they belonged to. The elements are building blocks, systems and interactions, energy and sustainability. We used the THINK PAIR SHARE activity again to complete this task.
The Nature of science should be embedded throughout the teaching and learning of the other four contextual strands in junior cycle science. The nature of science should be the scaffolding of every class with the contextual strands build up around it. This encourages students to understand and investigate throughout the T & L of all the strands. We received a coloured poster for the wall in our teaching spaces. This is to act as a visual aid to put up in the classroom to see the learning outcomes across the strands. This may prompt the students and teachers into impromtu recognition of current NOS in action. I think I will give the studens a copy of this poster for their scrapbook and I will use it as a reflection tool in every class. Fore example, I will ask them: which Nature of Science Learning Outcome do you think you applied today? Hopefully, there would be at least two applied in every class. Eileen and Elizabeth pointed out some resources useful for incorpoarting NOS into teaching and learning:
In this task we used the Jigsaw learning methodology (there is a video on JCT.ie of this activity) to solve a scientific problem, while working with others. It eas emphasised that the content in this acivity was designed for teachers-but that it can be manipulated for students. We were put in groups of 4. The jigsaw methodvmimics groups of scientists working towards a common goal. We spent 10 minutes at our 'Home team'. WE were given distinct roles: recorder, manager, timekeeper. We had a 25 minute 'break out' session where we went to stations. Stations were numbered 1/2/3 and we went to the station that correlated with the number on our role- collect discreet, different info at each station. We went back to our home team, with new information to share and communicate with out team to solve the problem.
We reviewed the activity and recapped on prior knowledge. We noted that there may have been some may have been misconceptions and maybe they were challenged during the activity.
We had a group discussiona and the facilitator clarified the solutions. The value of this exercise is that one piece of information wold not lead to valid reasons, but when you go back to your home team you have valid reasons for the variance in temperature. The variance in temperature was the problem to be solved in this particular question.
This activity was about the task or the knowledge. Students bringing back incorrect information and spreading with group was raised as an issue. I think that this is crucial the role of the teacher as a facilitator to intervene and to rotate the groups, questioning and checking. This activity builds confidence because the groups are small. The teacher should choose the groups, and it was suggested that the teacher possibly tiered experiments. I don't think I fully agree with this but maybe I would tier within a task at a station so that location in the room is not determined by ability as students will pick up on this.
Finally, Eileen and Elizabeth asked us: 'Which learning outcomes from NOS were embedded in this activity?' AS a group, we decided on the following NOS learning outcomes.
This type of a class takes planning, but the value of learning that the students get in the short space of time is valuable. As a teacher of the new specification we are being challenged to be Creativie. This is important as we are expecting the students to 'be creative' as a key skill so we should evaluate and reflect on our own creativity in our approaches to teaching and learning too. As a teacher attempting creativity is the first step of the journey - the more creative you are, the more creative you will become. For example, fun activities like the Iodine snake, kodium bomb-can now be incorporated and embeeded into the teaching and learning of the new specification, making it enjoyable, exciting and fun for all. We must remember that the NOS underpins the content. NOS should be embeeded in the processes and activities that we do with our students on a daily basis.
We returned to an examination of the enquiry continuum again:
Using the enquiry continuum: limited (teacher led, predirected), structured (Sequence of tasks), guided, open (students develop their own questions and methods).
The facilitators posed the question. 'In the activity that we just completed, where would you see this activity on the enquiry continuum? We decided that Station 1 was guided: fulfill a hypothesis. All other stations were structured. What effect does this have on teachers and students? Student voice is stronger and the learning is studend led but thsi can depend on how comfortable the teacher is teaching along the continuum. We discussed the factors all along the continuum. What determines the level of inquiry? What factors in your own classroom, what factors affect the level of inquiry that you use in your classroom? Some of the answers the grop produced were: type of students, timetabling, teacher confidence, school culture and planning time. We were informed thae the Department of Education have given 8 hours this year for every science teacher. From 2017, every science teacher has 40 minutes each week for planning. They emphasised how collaboration is key - and that many hands make light work. When we unpack Learning outcomes, the groupwork speeds up ideas and creativity flows. As a science department they encourages us to pool our resources and develope packs aroudnm different topics, with Nature of Science embeeded, 'all of it all the time not some of it some of the time'. They explained how beneficial it is to plan and put activities together. This gives the students a different approach to learning.
Eileen outline an example from her first year class:
First year science task:
'there is salt and water and sand : separate it. I gave them sieves, allow them to try and make mistakes. Did not prescribe it, they had it done but not by a recipe. I have discovered this. Few minutes to plan what they might do, go over and look at apparatus. Showed how to put filter paper in - I would let them figure it out.'
We discussed that yoiu couod ask the students to reflect and ask them 'What would I do better the next time?' The students could also deomstrate their experiments to other groups. I think it is invaluable that the associate presenters are current science teachers in the classroom and they brought in some really good examples from their everyday teaching.
It is possible to include experiment design as a form of assessment for learning as you can see what they mix up (mass at start, volume at the end). There was an important message here and that is: that there are many possibilties and that there is no one way or right way to do anything.
Elizabeth described another example from one of her first year science classes. She posed the following question to her first year class: 'Which is the best absorbent?' The active, open approach allowed space for the teacher to embed formative assessment, encouraging creativity and managing information and thinking.
During the transition from Primary education to secondary education:are we are killing their creativity or fostering it? I have an anecdotal story I was engaed in professional dailogue with a teacher who said:
'1st years need to learn that they are not in primary school anymore they need to sit and listen'
This is a huge cultural challenge that we must challenge in our schools, by engaging in professional dialogue with colleagues and promoting what works and what requires improvement in teaching and learning.
When allowing students to design their own experiemnt, there are a many influecning factors. Teacher confidence, planning time and collaboration are three influential factors. However, safety has to come first.Further down the list, we need more resources, access to or money for resources. This current implemtation of Junior cycle reform provides no budget for science resources. However, there is a 7000 euro fund available for schools for digitial technology. I teach in a science lab with no running water. I welcome the digitial strategy money and I am an advocate of integrating technolgoy into teaching and learning. Nonetheless, basics must be in place and different schools are in different states of repair and in my opinion, require independent assessment and independently assesed funding according to needs. In addition, teacher readiness is another factor that may influence curricular reform - how confident they feel may impact their place on the teaching continuum. Furthermore, student readiness is a factor and the knowledge, understanding and values should be built up over time. They can certainly not be crammed in two weeks before an exam-and maybe that will finally be the stimulus for real change in how we teach and learn junior cycle science.
Assessment in JCPA Science
The Day 2 workshop will deal in detail with assessment in science. Eileen touched ont his area today, introducing us to the basic framework for assessment.
The Continuous Based Assessment (CBA) 1 will take place over three weeks in April-May 2018. Students will plan and conduct an experimental investigation. The six topics and the dates are set. Reports are possible in a wide range of formats - podcasts, videos, oral presentations, posters. All students are given a chance to express their knowledge, understanding and values of JC science. Quality assurance will be maintained during the SLAR meetings. Teachers will bring a select few samples of work to the Subject Learning and Assessment Review (SLAR) meeting. The CBA are assessed using four descriptors: exceptional (like unicorns, they do not exist very often, 1%), Above expectations (20%), in line with expectations (70%), meeting expectations (10%). These bands align with success criteria and allow students to achieve their personal best. The SLAR meeting will last 2 hours. Teachers will share and support each other in assessing the students work, with one teacher from each department allocated an extra two hours for planning. It is the responsibility of the school management to organise opportunities for SLAR meetings.
The CBA 2 is a Science in Society Investigation (SSI). Students will research a socio-scientific issue. This will take place in December / January in 2018/2019. The SLAR meeting will take place in relation to the Assessment task. Teacher will award a descriptor to go on the JCPA.
The Assessment Task is based on the CBA 2. This takes place on one day in February 2019, ina classroom situation under exam conditions, supervised by the class teacher. This is worth 10% and it is written by the NCCA and marked by the SEC.
The exam will take place in June and it is 2 hours duration. It is a common level. It is written and marked by the SEC. They are trying to stay away from rote learning and this will be reflected in the style of exam questioning. In the exam the students will receive one of the following:
Working with the Learning Outcomes
Earth and space LO 4:
'Develop and use a model of the earth sun moon to describe predictable phenomena observable on earth, including seasons, lunar phases and eclipses of the sun and moon.'
Teachers should not deal with a learning outcome in one go, you revisit it over the years. The main question most teachers have is: How deep do you go? What is core? In the booklet we received today, there are action verbs from the specification. Action verbs can guide teachers to figure out the depth. We participated in a 'Think pair share': what do you think are the core understanding, skills and values? I found this a really valuable exercise and it made me think about the Learning Outcomes in a different way.
Touch, stone, layering
The touch, stone and layering approach can be integrated into the students learnin experiences of the learning outcomes throughout the three year cycle.
What is ment by 'Layering'?
If we go back to the example of asking students to design their own experiment, the filtering, and absorbing examples, this will result in the students making mistakes, evaluating and layering on knowledge. A second example, might be asking students to evaluate a media coverage of knowledge, undetrstanding and skill previously encountered. Evaluating media based arguments: does that article give us information on the title, is it backed by valid scientific information? Students must layer their knowledge, understanding and skills to answer these types of questions.
Teachers have autonomy and flexibility but not total freedom in this science specification. There will be overlap, and in my opinion, this autonomy allows you to focus on what you consider most valuable for your students at any given time, in your context. The salues and attitudes permeate the Learning outcomes as you teach the contextual strands (earth and space, chemical, biological and physical), scaffolded by the Nature of science.
The key take home messages: looking back, moving forward
The Physical World
Element: Systems and Interactions
Learning Outcome 4: Investigating patterns and relationships between physical observables
I am reflecting in this blog post on how I taught LO 4 from the contextual strand of the Physical World. I have found some resources from New Zealand and their lower secondary science programme. There is one image, which I particulary like, at this stage of my journey into teaching and learning of the new junior science spec. I used the snipping tool (if on WIndows, search 'snopping tool' and it is very helpful for everything!' and captured this image directly from the New Zealand Science. The link is here: /C:/Users/Niamh/Downloads/ScienceInTheNewZealandCurriculum.pdf. This link has possible learning experiences and assessment possibilties that are not offered in the Irish spec. However, the NZ spec makes reference to levels which cannot be direlty aligned with our model, bu it does offer ideas for differentiation that we could integrate. I am happy to see that our new specification aligns with internationaly best practice. It also useful to know which countries are implementing this approach, particularly when looking for resources. Also, I believe there is a misconception among some that we are following the UK and bureacracy is dominating eduction. I do not believe this is true, our new science spec aligns with international best pracitce. Nonetheless, as relfective practitioners we must evaluate critically and always look for improvement. We must be critically aware and that is part of being an educationalist.
In Boston Scientific, the areas where the Engineers prepare their work are called Clean Rooms. Due to our rural location, we have started Skype sessions with People in Society who work in Science. This week we skyped Joe Murphy, who works as a Biomedical Engineer in Boston Scientific. Skype is a fantastic resource as the students could see the Clean Room and Joe could explain and show his work to the students. I decided to introduce 'physical moveables' using the Marketplace activity from Paul Ginnis, by calling the stalls Clean Rooms ro remind th students of the skype conversation earlier in the week. I am trying to mirror the work of scientists and engineers who work in groups and collabrate in the teaching and learning methodologies applied in my classroom.
I put the students in mixed ability pairs. I gave them a bingo card with 9 boxes. I gave them a second sheet with the Learning Outcome: Investigating patterns and relationships in physical observables. I had two blank boxes underneath this. The first box had the four words: pattern, relationship, physical, observable. Each pair had a dictionary and internet access and I asked them to research/find out the meaning of the four words. They had a countdown timer with 5 minutes. When the buzzer went, I asked the students to leave their sheet down and walk around the room looking at the meanings of the words that other students had found. They had two minutes to do this. On the buzzer they returned to their sheet, reviewed and edited if there was any new information they had found. A brief class discussion on the meaning of the words followed. This was for quality assurance /teacher assessment - to check the meanings had evolved; the main learning in this activity was creating, researching, peer assessing, reviewing and editing.
I put the Clean Room 1 - Clean Room 9 on cards and I put them in a box. I asked each pair to pull out a card and this was their assigned starting point for the clean room rotations. I decided to make 11 stations and I had 10 pairs. I organised the students in pairs for this learning activity, as previously I had worked in mixed ability groups of 3. There are less places for students to hide in smaller groups, yet there is still the support of a peer. I had organised the task cards and equipment and they were set out at each station. The class was 80 minutes long. The introduction took 15 minutes, leaving 3 X 20 minutes for 'Clean Room' tasks and 5 minutes for clean up. The students were told they must record evidence of completing the task at their clean rooms in the Bingo Boxes and these must be put int the Exit Pass box on the way out for teacher assessment. They will receive feedback in form of Meeting expectations (ME), Above Expectations (AE) and Exceptional (Exc). They will collect the Bingo Cards on the way back into class the next day and complete two more clean rooms. The first pairs in will get to choose their clean room, but they can't enter the lab unless their partner is there. This made the students really hurry to class!!!
Each pair had 20 minutes to complete their work at their clean room.
Clean Room 1
Clean Room 2
Clean Room 3
Clean Room 4
Clean Room 5
Clean Room 6
Clean Room 7
Clean Room 8
Clean Room 9
This activity took one double and two singles to complete. The students thoroughly enjoyed the learning experiences and it exposed them to new vocabulary an experiences. For homework, they had three questions, that I created from the Action Verbs in the specification. Hopefully, in the future, the students will be creating these questions using the action verbs. The studends find the action verbs difficult to use but I think that as they are embedded they will become more fluent in using them. The understanding of the action verbs will allow students a fluency to express their scientific knowledge in the context of their key skills that they are developing through the active, enquiry based teaching and learning strategies.
I am experiencing a deeper level of understanding and appreciation of teaching and learning as I reflect on my practice. I love how the creativity and innovation in planning these teaching and learning episodes is appreciated by the students and they are empowered in a student led environment. I truly believe that student led, active learning provides an inclusive, engaging learning environment for all students to improve upon their personal best.
I wanted to see how effective the human digestive simulation activity was. I asked the students to worked in pairs and I gave them 15 minutes to draw, label and explain the human digestive system on their whiteboards, without their notes. I set the countdown timer to 15 minutes. I circulated the room, clarifying misconceptions, interacting and discussing with the students. I would give them feedback on how to improve their diagram. I would send them to look at another diagram belonging to another pair. I was trying to deepen their understanding by asking them to apply what they had learned the day before. I was delighted with the levels of knowledge and understanding and with differentiated expectations and showing all students where they can all improve, I was very happy with the ongoing learning process. A buzzer sounds when the countdown timer stops.
I asked the students to create a foldable and I set the countdown timer to 20 minutes. They were working in groups. We decided on criteria for a useful foldable. It must be accurate, creative and detailed. They created a foldable for the digestive system. This was their second foldable to create and I could see an improvement. Foldables are very good for synthesising information and I am going to continue to use them.
Homework: Create a foldable for plant cell structure, animal cell structure and the microscope - in preparation for your Christmas exam at the end of November. Improve and finish your foldable for the Digestive System. The students gasped and they thought this was a lot of homework. However, this is Thursday, I do not have them until Tuesday and I want to start pushing them to work at a higher rate and intensity in relation to their learning in science. I want them to reap the rewards of independent hard work and study along side the benefits of team work and active learning.
Double Class, 80 minutes
We corrected the homework. The homework was an task sheet from Glencoe iScience. I find that asking students to engage with processing information is an important part of the learning process. Students are engaging with this system and I am encouraging them to be creative to engage with the information in a personalised fashion. The Glencoe note-taking guide is designed to help the students succeed in learning science content. There are language based activities, an anticipation activity, science journaling, writing activities, vocabulary development, note taking based on the Cornell-Two Column format. chapter wrap-up, review checklist and embedded graphic organisers.
The student notebook provides a systematic approach to learning science by encouraging students to engage by summarizing and synthesizing abstract concepts in their own words. I am going to continue to use this style of learning that encourages the students to reflect. I am asking them to reflect on the active learning activities and record this in a column in the student notebook too.
The classroom was free for the class period before my class, so I spent this class setting up a learning simulation of the human digestive system. Last, year I saw my friend, Aoife McDonnell, teaching the digestive system this way and I decided that I would try it this year. I found this video on YouTube which outlines the process https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aemI64NAK08.
The students were engaged and excited when they entered the room, because all the equipment was prepared and out. I think that placing the equipment out and having it set up (if you have time!) can act as a perplexing stimulus to engage the students as they enter the learning space. Immediately, the students were asking me 'oooh what are we doing today?' and there was a sense of excitement in the room. However, I had planned to review the science notebook/scrapbooking from the day before, so I quickly told them what we were doing, explained we would review the note taking, and then we would start the simulation activity.
I showed the video from YouTube and there was a high level of engagement. They asked 'Are we really going to GET to do that?' I showed the video twice asking them to note key scientific stages in the digestive system. I explained that 'making the poo' in groups of three would be a competition, with two elements dictating the winner. Firstly, the most real faeces produced and secondly, the quality of the group oral presentation explaining the scientific concepts at each stage in the production of the faeces. I think this second part was important because as the students moved from station to station I could see them focusing on the scientific terms and events and asking me questions as each station to clarify knowledge, understanding and concepts.
Some students choose to bring their science notebook with them to learn, apply and develop their knowledge at each station. We measured 9 metres with string and a metre stick, the students then said it looked the distance from corner to corner in the room so we tied it up from corner to corner for the duration of the class. They were amazed at the length of the alimentary canal. I used different food colourings to make solutions of Amylase, Lipase, Protease, HCl and Bile and the students added them at the relevant station. A scissors and potato masher was used in the mouth to simulate mechanical digestion and amylase was added for chemical digestion. The students used a zipper food bag then to transfer the food to the stomach via the oesophagus which they were squeezing to simulate peristalsis. At the stomach, the students added HCl and Protease, and formed chime by squeezing for muscular contractions and relaxations and swirling to simulate churning. The food was then transferred to the tights, where bile, lipase and amylase were added. The nutrients were reabsorbed into the blood by finger-like projections (students stabbed the tights with fingers) to simulate villi. The solid came out the opposite end of the tights. The large intestine was simulate with blue paper towel to reabsorb water from the solid. The solids were placed in a plastic bag to be stored (Rectum) and the corner of the bag was cut and the solid was squeezed out by muscular contractions through the anus. Faeces were eliminated. I think a good idea for future may be to ask the groups to work together, digest different foods, store them all in the rectum and eliminate them together. The students presented their faeces and scientific explanation. The groups presented excellently, across all students, from those who are currently meeting expectations to those we are currently above expectations and those who are currently exceptional. This was a very effective learning task for all students.
Homework: Draw a diagram and write a paragraph in your scrapbook answering:
'What did I learn today?'
L.O. 4: Describe the structure function and interactions of the organs of the human digestive system, circulatory and respiratory system
Strand 5 - Biological Science
Element: Systems and Interactions
LEARNING OUTCOME 4:
DESCRIBE THE STRUCTURE FUNCTION AND INTERACTIONS OF THE ORGANS OF THE HUMAN DIGESTIVE SYSTEM, CIRCULATORY AND RESPIRATORY SYSTEM
Students should be able to:
1. Label and state the functions of the organs of the human digestive system
2. Understand the role of the digestive system
3. Explain how the parts of the digestive system work together
4. Create a shutter fold book to illustrate the organs of the digestive system
Single Class, 40 minutes, 7th November 2016
Students worked in pairs for 4 minutes. The students divided their A0 whiteboards into three columns:
I set the countdown timer to 4 minutes and I asked the students to work in pairs to write or draw anything they already know about these three human systems. At the end of the 4 minutes, I used a classroom managament technique which I find is working really well: 'ONe hand up, all hands up and no talking'. I am not sure why this technique is working so well with this group. Perhaps, as I use it sparingly, it is visual and it is quite competitive between the students.
When the students are working in groups, if I, or any student in the class, wishes to get the attention of the whole class, you simply raise your hand. If someone sees you with your hand up, looking around, they must do they same. Once your hand is up, the expectation on you is that you do not talk. The initiator has an opportunity to communicate and then the group work resumes as before.
I am going to ask the students why do they think that this strategy is effective.
The effectiveness of this activity surprised me. As I am trialling a new resource, this next task emerged directly from the '5-E' enquiry lesson structure. The first step in this structure is to pose a detailed, challenging Inquiry question. I heard Dan Meyers speaking at a conference a few years ago and he advised that if you posed an Inquiry question, you should also present a thought stimulating image along side the question. The 5E lesson design supports this approach. I was amazed at how hooked the students were to the question and to the image. I will definitely use this approach again. I think the detailed yet open structure of the question, the quality of the accompanying image and the wait time were crucial components to the success of this hook.
I waited 15 seconds after posing the question-this felt like a LONG wait time but I forced myself to do it. The next step was also effective, I asked the students to discuss the question with their partner and then I asked every student to write down there answer. There was no hiding - all minds were active. As I walked around the lab, I could see all the students answers on the large AO whiteboards. The students suggested that these projections 'caught the food', 'soaked the nutrients into your brain' , 'created enzymes', 'squished the food'. A brief class discussion on possible functions followed. Students started a mind map in their scrapbook and recorded their learning so far in the class.
I asked the students to divide their AO boards into three columns for 3-2-1! This is a tecnhique that I use often with videos. I find that it promotes active listening and engagment with the video. The students must fill in 3 new pieces of information, 2 interesting pieces of information and they must write a question to find out more or to clarify a confusion or misconception. Normally, with first years, as was the case today. I show the video twice. I allowed a 30 second 'fill in' count down after each showing.
I asked the students to label themselves 1 and 2. I asked all number 2's to raise their hand. This was to ensure numbers had been assigned. I explained to students that we were going to participate in Marketplace (Paul Ginnis), but instead, in a condensed form called 'Rapid Marketplace'.
1. I gave students a series of questions, shown above, based on the '5-E' lesson plan design. They had one minute on the countdown timer to read the questions and I asked them to turn over the sheet and place it under the whiteboard, out of sight.
2.I set the countdown timer to 3 minutes, I asked the number 2 students to be active, vibrant stall sellers and the number 1 students had to visit as many stalls as possible in 3 mintes. I asked them to sign their name at the stall, if they felt they had learned something new at that stall.
3.The stall sellers were trying to get as many names as possible, as they got one point per name. This created enthusiasm and excitement among the stallholders, and the noise levels were very high in this activity. When the buzzer sounded after 3 minutes, all student returned to their original seats. I did not ask them to do this, bu this indicates to me that they are reaching a threshold where they are 'trained in' to the active learning methods I am employing. This makes the process smoother, more enjoyable and increases the level of learning for all. I find that the 'training in' period is lengthy and can take up to 8 weeks or more - of course, it is ongoing as I deploy new methods or trial new techniques that I find along the way and as I reflect on the most succesful teaching and learning events.
4. The roaming students had 1 minutes on the countdown timer to share their learning with their stall holder partner. I showed a second video, once more, asking them to complete a 3-2-1. I also showed this video twice, with a fill in break between each one. We repeated the 'Rapid Marketplace' for three minutes with the number 1 student as stallholder. Once again, when the buzzer sounded all students returned to their original seating.
I asked student to complete the introductory mind map to the digestive system- recording and reflecting on their learning. The students did not know what a mind map was. I normally teach the Tony Buzzan (search 'Tony Buzzan mind map' on YouTube) mind mapping technique in second or third year. For today, we used an introductory, basic spider diagram. I think I will teach the Tony Buzzan method in First Year this year.
Students began to answer the series of questions using their mind map, their whiteboard and working collaboratively with their partner.
Homework: Complete the questions, and stick into your scrapbook. The questions are based on the Action Verbs from the science specification. Create a shutter foldable to illustrate the organs of the Digestive System.