NTEP II Fermilab LInC Online

How Safe Is Your Backyard?



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Brief summary of my class before LInC.

Studies on cooperative learning in science were done in thirty-two New Jersey schools over a two year period. Since the studies indicated that using cooperative learning in science offers a great deal to the students, I decided to use the team setup in my classroom. The cooperative learning groups came out ahead each time. My teams were made up of an academic mix. I tried to balance the nationalities and genders to promote equity. Each team member had a role and the roles were changed each week to allow students to think, reason, and communicate in different ways. Each group had a Lab Supervisor, Lab Acquisition Person, Lab Recorder, and Lab Spokesperson. Lab Supervisor is in charge of the group, coordinates activities, and oversees the rotation in the group. Lab Acquisition Person is in charge of the materials, gets the materials for the group, and returns them when the group is done. Lab Recorder writes down the investigative results, designs graphs or charts for group, and keeps time on the activity. Lab Spokesperson helps the recorder and reports the groups findings to the class. After the groups were formed, I used simplified scientific lesson plans to enforce group participation and the importance of team work.

I began the unit on Lakes by asking the students several questions, recorded answers on the blackboard and gave the students a unit storyline overview. I would have the students log in on the computers and read over the cluster storyline overview. I would reassess the students understanding about the material to be covered by asking questions. Depending on the responses I would extend my reassessment or begin to guide the discussion. In guiding the discussion, I would ask questions, give the students time to brainstorm in their groups, and write the answers on the blackboard. After which, I would have the students click on the student investigation and proceed to answer the questions. If it was a student investigation that would take sometime, I would have the students take a hard copy home and review it with their guardian.

As for the laboratory work on water and soil testing, the labs were not done at the same time. The only choices the students had were: choosing the site to obtain the water and soil to be tested, and then follow a recipe. However, all the answers were not the same and they had to figure out why. I also gave them What If ? questions. On some of the group work teams had to make presentations and I did use something similar to a rubric. The students gained points when they used technology and gained extra points when they knew what they were doing. The end of each section, I give a multiple choice test, and essays pertaining to real life which involved critical thinking skills.

Just about two years ago, I started having long discussions with my students after school and found out many of the students had America Online. I decided to go online to see what the fuss was about and at that point I decided to have the students check in with me and review concepts they might not have understood. I had so many students at one point, I set up a teachers chat room so all had a change to discuss the issues. I suddenly realized the students were beginning to help each other and I just guided the discussion. Now I have my own web site and the students can look up materials covered in class that can reinforce what I am covering. Just recently a guest book was added in order for me to get messages from anyone wishing to leave a clean message may do so. The guest book doesn't accept derogatory words?

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Proceed to the Presentation/Summary.

Proceed to the beginning Proposal.

Created for the NTEP II Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab, and funded by United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), and the National Science Foundation.


Author(s): Rosanne Fabiny
School: Albert E. Grice Middle School, Hamilton Township, New Jersey
Created: November 17, 1998 - Updated: November 10, 2001
URL: /ntep/f98/projects/pppl/backyard/pre.html