Winter Homework

17 December 2005

After Thursday's presentation to a group of teachers, the 5th grade teacher I'd been working with brought something important to my attention. If I returned to her school to work with younger classes, could I please not do the "Bubbleology" with them? She wanted it to still be new in coming years. I assured her that I would honour that request. I've had plenty of classroom experiences where kids had whined "We already did that in --- grade." I understood her concern, but until that moment, I hadn't even thought about the impact of doing the same inquiry lab as an introduction at multiple grades.

I later realized the full impact of agreeing not to do Bubbleology with other grades. It means that I need at least four different lesson plans (one for each grade, 3 - 6). Ideally, I'd like to have two different lessons for all of these grade levels. Each one needs to be inquiry-based and attention grabbing. They all need to be able to be done in less than one hour, although it would be good to have them "expandable" to include some student writing and/or vocabulary work. For future reference by teachers, the lessons should be able to be used at any point during the school year. That means that the Grade 3 lesson can't include much in the way of measurement---because that skill isn't taught until third grade is underway. It would be nice if the lessons related in some way to one of the science kits the teachers would be using during the year. It's important that all of the lessons be "teacher friendly" in terms of time management, materials, and implementation.

This, my friends, is what I call "challenging." Can I find four (and hopefully eight) experiments that match all of these criteria? I'm a little uncertain that I will be able to do this; but, I brought home lots of resources to look at during the next two weeks and I'll keep picking away at it. This should keep me occupied in between naps and cookies. :)

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