S&T March 21 (FINAL FOUR)

The class is on English Language Learners and Differentiated Instruction.

This class will go into the application of all subjects. (Analysis) This shows the continuity of the teaching philosophy toted by CSU and the idea of crosscurricular instruction.

The funding is only for students who were born outside of Canada. (Evaluation) This seems like an inequitable thing to do coming from a government who is pushing the teachers to promote social justice and equity in the classrooms. The policies need to reflect their teachings in order to support these children and make the philosophy authentic. I feel as though this could leave students who were born in Canada but did not speak English at home feeling discriminated against, especially when they grow up.

There was a discussion about how Asian students generally pick up on the math language quicker than the ideas in the other subjects. (Metacognition) It seems as though this is the case because in many Asian languages, mathematical terms are logical and straightforward to the concepts. For example, twenty-one would be two-tens-one (place value). Since they would already have the fundamental understanding of the concept in their own language, they only need to attach the new abstract wording to the concept, rather than learn a new concept at the same time as a strange term. This is information that I had read about previously in the book Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell and my thinking about the topic was confirmed.

We have the highest aboriginal population next to New Zealand. (Interesting info)

ELL refers to the people (English Language Learners)

– these people have two programs: ESL (English as a Second Language) and ELD (English Literacy Development)

If supports for parents of ELL’s does not exist at a school that I work at in the future, that could be something that I could initiate.

Know the student.

– (Evaluation) This is something I did during the first Prac Assignment. I could go further by continuing conversations with the students and the other members of the teaching staff. I cannot differentiate unless I know the student.

Provide engaging and challenging opportunities for English language development.

– (Analysis) This needs to be done within the proximal zone of development for each student and cannot be the same for all ELLs. This becomes difficult as funding becomes a crucial issue. (Evaluation) The responsibility falls on the teacher a lot as a result and they need to be able to balance these unique needs with the needs of the other students.

Collaborate with ELL support personnel.

Celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity.

Integrate ELLs into academic and social life of school.

Communicate effectively with parents.

Work to increase capacity of whole school in meeting needs of ELL students.

What types of things are necessary to consider in creating a safe, respectful, and caring school?

(Evaluation) It is crucial to have supports in place for students with different cultural experiences and backgrounds. This includes educational and extracurricular opportunities where the students can celebrate themselves and excel within their proximal zone of development in a differentiated environment. This requires the staff to inform themselves about the students they are working with and the needs of the community. This means that the teacher needs to teach to the whole student and their family, celebrating and respectfully honouring what they bring to the community. As mentioned earlier, we also need to provide opportunities for ELLs that were born in Canada so that we are equitable and do not look like hypocrites. For example, we could have a welcome sign in all different languages on the door. I had one student in my class teach the other students how to say hello in Arabic after reading a book about the unlimited possibilities of words. (correct pronunciation of names, respect cultural customs and create opportunities to bridge cross cultural communication gaps like asking for help, making eye contact, expressing opinions openly, anti-discrimination, anti-violence, anti-bullying policies, opportunities to develop social leadership skills, multicultural programs and events – taken from the slides)

This got me thinking of the pronunciation of my own last name and I had to write it out phonetically, so I looked it up online and listened to an Italian women pronouncing it.

Resources

Stages from the Ministry

Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3

STEP: Steps To English Proficiency (remind me of the steps to identifying students for an IEP) http://www.edugains.ca/newsite/ell2/step/stepflowchart.html

Differences:

Stages are in the categories: Listening and Speaking, Reading, Writing (more related to the overall expectations except media) (Analysis) This seems to give more of an overall view relating to the curriculum with vague explanations.

Steps are in the categories: Meaning, Form and Style, Fluency (more related to some specific expectations) (Analysis) This seems to give a more straightforward and applicable strategy.

Both have 6 STEPS/STAGES

Assessment

(Evaluation) Everything does not have to be in writing, but if students are given opportunities to explain themselves orally instead, this should be noted on the report card so that parents are not mislead and it should be noted that the writing still needs work.

(Synthesis) Communicating my thoughts has always been the hardest part of my life. I blame this partly on the inconsistencies in our language that we have acknowledged but failed to improve, and partly on my own lack of motivation to practice. If language were a scientific theory and there were parts that were proven wrong, it would be advanced for the benefit of our existence. (Evaluation) I believe that the social issues resulting from our language (difficult/inconsistent rules) hold us back from thinking critically about the concepts that we are trying to talk about because we spend so much time working around the unimportant ideas that are based purely on tradition rather than logic. I think we need to change our mathematical language to improve student understanding (especially eleven-nineteen, where the first two words have no relation to other numeric terms and the last seven are in the reverse order of all the other tens) so that there can be a focus on problem solving, and we should have a Canadian English language that has rules that make sense, like the sound that the letter “f” makes is only made by the letter f and it replaces all other places where it had a ph. We can still trace its roots back through the English we write with today so it will not lose its cultural significance, and it will make learning opportunities more accessible for English speaking learners and ELLs, ultimately lowering the need for funding and improving motivation through external factors such as better grades. Since this may be unrealistic in the modern classroom, I will need to provide my students with alternative ways to present their findings. Interviews and conferences may be more suitable for students who are struggling with written language yet understand scientific processes and concepts. They may also be able to show me their understanding if they are tactile learners. (The Collaborative Process) The only way that the change in language would be possible is if enough people worked together and supported the ideas of one another. One voice will not be listened to in this manner, so collaboration and support is essential. My thinking about this group mentality has been confirmed by my work on the Integrated Inquiry Unit Outline, and I have seen that the support of colleagues can help strengthen ideas and have an effect that continues to draw the support of even more colleagues.

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S&T Feb 28

Inquiry as Research: Using Primary and Secondary Resources

Initiating and Planning (Students need to learn how to ask the right questions at the right times)

Performing and Recording (Students need know how to perform fundamental skills in order to perform and record properly)

Analysing and Interpreting (Reflection and Metacognition is essential for critical thinking)

Communicating (Language and Math skills are essential in order to effectively communicate findings : cross-curricular)

These skills are necessary for Inquiry as experimentation, research, and technological problem solving.

questioning grid

The questioning grid shows the type of questioning that is probable but is not concrete with what questions are possible. The context of the question and the purpose will direct how divergent the question is. This grid is great to get students to ask different types of questions in class. With post it notes they can cover their own grid or a community grid over a certain number of days. This would promote critical thinking and also more convergent thinking to ensure that the students have the knowledge necessary to move forward efficiently.

Our experiment and observations to SOLVE THE CRIME:

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The connection to solving a crime allowed the students to engage in drama by playing a role that connects to some of the basic concepts they are learning. This is a great way to have a cross-curricular approach that uses real world examples. The only change I might make is choosing a topic that is still attached to the real world but has more to do with social justice or environmental issues. This could mean relating our observations to clean water in the world or the health conditions of people working in unfit work environments around the world.

Organizing and Recording

A collection of organizers for writing in junior
http://www.usd267.k12.ks.us/TL%20Student%20Pages/4th5thgradelinks/45writinglinks.html
How to write an essay (Fact Monster)
http://aolatschool.factmonster.com/homework/writingskills2.html
Interactive research guide for kids
http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/hints-on-print/index.html
Guide with organizers for doing research (Time for Kids)
http://www.timeforkids.com/TFK/kids/hh/writeideas/articles/0,28372,606651,00.html
Interactive workshop for writing a research paper (Scholastic)
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/writing/minilessons.asp?topic=Research
Writing help (Time for Kids)
http://www.timeforkids.com/homework-helper/a-plus-papers
Organizers for Experimentation (Smarter Science)
http://smarterscience.youthscience.ca/resources

SS/S&T Feb 28

GRASPS

Inquiry as Research: Using Primary and Secondary Resources

Initiating and Planning (Students need to learn how to ask the right questions at the right times)

Performing and Recording (Students need know how to perform fundamental skills in order to perform and record properly)

Analysing and Interpreting (Reflection and Metacognition is essential for critical thinking)

Communicating (Language and Math skills are essential in order to effectively communicate findings : cross-curricular)

These skills are necessary for Inquiry as experimentation, research, and technological problem solving.

questioning grid

The questioning grid shows the type of questioning that is probable but is not concrete with what questions are possible. The context of the question and the purpose will direct how divergent the question is. This grid is great to get students to ask different types of questions in class. With post it notes they can cover their own grid or a community grid over a certain number of days. This would promote critical thinking and also more convergent thinking to ensure that the students have the knowledge necessary to move forward efficiently.

Our experiment and observations to SOLVE THE CRIME:

20130228-104818.jpg

20130228-115551.jpg

20130228-115604.jpg

The connection to solving a crime allowed the students to engage in drama by playing a role that connects to some of the basic concepts they are learning. This is a great way to have a cross-curricular approach that uses real world examples. The only change I might make is choosing a topic that is still attached to the real world but has more to do with social justice or environmental issues. This could mean relating our observations to clean water in the world or the health conditions of people working in unfit work environments around the world.

Organizing and Recording

A collection of organizers for writing in junior
http://www.usd267.k12.ks.us/TL%20Student%20Pages/4th5thgradelinks/45writinglinks.html
How to write an essay (Fact Monster)
http://aolatschool.factmonster.com/homework/writingskills2.html
Interactive research guide for kids
http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/hints-on-print/index.html
Guide with organizers for doing research (Time for Kids)
http://www.timeforkids.com/TFK/kids/hh/writeideas/articles/0,28372,606651,00.html
Interactive workshop for writing a research paper (Scholastic)
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/writing/minilessons.asp?topic=Research
Writing help (Time for Kids)
http://www.timeforkids.com/homework-helper/a-plus-papers
Organizers for Experimentation (Smarter Science)
http://smarterscience.youthscience.ca/resources

Interactions, Cause

If everybody did – great kindergarten story for cause and affect

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We organized events according to importance related to the Oka crisis. After we could compare our points to other groups and defend ours. We added an idea that John had related to the weather that year. We could have also separated them on different sides according to cause and consequence.

We want to encourage critical thinking at all times in social studies. Also, there are different opinions and interpretations and we want them to be well grounded.

This relates to the music workshop that discussed the importance of movement along with critical thinking… It engages more parts of the brain!

Chunking the text, into paper strips, engages the kids at higher levels, allows use of manipulatives, and makes it easier to think about specific ideas and retain information compared to long reads.

Last class I suggested that the curriculum documents should be by grade rather than by subject and now Don has stated that they are pushing for exactly that.

In 2004 the government had a push on literacy and numeracy for schools that were underperforming according to eqao. Broad underlying factors such as having summers off were clearly not considered. According to Outliers students of lower incomes fall behind in the summers but do just as well throughout the school year in terms of progress.

Science and social studies (and the arts) are where language and math are practically applied so that is where the testing and focus should be for inquiry. Mini lessons for math and language (explicit instruction) can support inquiry in the other subjects. Math and language can also be used as inquiry!

Integration slide is amazing…. Also input and critical integration slide.

http://www.Kyvl.org how to do research

SS/S&T Feb 21

Values and Moral Judgments in Historical and Geographic Thinking

How do we prepare children for complex thinking around social justice and moral judgment issues?

How can we support children to be able to entertain ambiguity and make judgments based on evidence?

Borders include and exclude in many ways.

*Empathy* The Social Studies curriculum could be redesigned to have the children study their own impacts on the world and how their social behavior affects themselves in the long run and others as well. They could then analyze other social interactions from different cultures that reflect their individual needs rather than a document that works for some and doesn’t work for others. (This would mean integrating the curriculum with other subjects rather than isolating it)

The curriculum for every subject integrated should be based around Social Justice issues… relating all of the other subjects to dealing with these social justice issues. The curriculum could be organized by types of social justice issues and then the inquiry model can still play a role to incorporate relevant issues. Also, incorporating a community based approach would help make it more real for the students (bringing in guests/”experts” to speak to the students).

Forces, Structures, and Cross Curricular Connections

https://jeopardylabs.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacoma_Narrows_Bridge

Forces acting on Structures can be explained and explored through phys. ed., dance, drama, and many other cross-curricular opportunities.

Straw Structures

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We built paper structures (bridges, supports) using a single sheet of paper! I need to keep things simple at my practicum (use recycled items or things that can be reused).

Interdisciplinary Integration

STAO Virtual Library: http://stao.ca/VL2/VL2.php

CPT

Real world goal, set within a realistic context of challenges and possibilities. (I think it becomes even more authentic when this goal is co-created with the student)

Students develop a tangible product or performance for an identified audience and the evaluative criteria and performance standards are appropriate to the task and known by the students in advance. (I found the audience for our CPT with these journals to be too teacher directed… I would have liked to have taken my reflections and written a letter or paper to the school boards or government regarding changes that I believe would benefit our educational system… I could have developed the criteria with the instructers to make it more meaningful to me)

Big Ideas & Understanding… Essential Questions… CPT

SS/S&T Feb 14 FINAL FOUR

The intro has to do with stress as a result of a lack of living in the moment (being present). (Analysis) Initially I think of Eckharte Tolle’s The Power of Now and make the connection to how important DPA, engagement through real-life interests, time spent outside in nature, and time to have a clear mind (meditate) aside from useful reflection and critical thinking, are vital during each student’s school day.

Backward Design (Starting With the End in Mind)

1. Big Ideas and Skills: Identify desired results.

2. Culminating Assessment Task: Determine acceptable evidence.

3. Learning Events: Plan learning experiences and instruction.

  • not a program or recipe
  • end goal is of understanding and the ability to transfer learning
  • evidence of understanding is revealed through performance
  • educators are coaches of understanding
  • planning is best done “backward”
  • based on big ideas and transfer tasks
  • reflects a continuous improvement approach

Today there is a focus on designing essential questions.

Essential question in my life: (Synthesis) How do the choices I make everyday affect not only those around me but everyone and everything in the world, including myself and the world itself.

(Evaluation) I feel that this question can provoke study in every subject in an integrated fashion (eg how my lifestyle impacts the world: social studies, health factors, math to determine statistics of the impact of a certain diet, living situation, transportation, planning ways to safely and responsibly obtain and transfer my food, the environmental impact, ways to communicate my findings with language, making my communication more engaging through the arts, developing a sense of morality based on my direct interactions with obtaining my food and interactions with others, where certain foods can be grown, how the people who grow this food are treated and paid, promotes critical thinking, etc.).

Six Facets of Understanding

  1. explanation
  2. interpretation
  3. application
  4. perspective
  5. empathy
  6. self-knowledge

Telling the students that they are growing rather than learning can help build confidence much more.

(Metacognition) We were talking about the stresses on students from a lack of presence, and now I am reflecting and appreciating the need for a teacher to be present (not always be thinking) while teaching in order to reduce their stress, set an example for their students, and to understand that there is a time to think critically about situations and there is a time to be engulfed in them.

Traces or Dimensions of Evidence

  • evidence is not the same thing as information
  • evidence is derived from primary, secondary, and tertiary sources of information
  • primary sources are our connection tot he past
  • information can be drawn from traces or accounts of the past
  • the validity of evidence depends on its source and use

Evidence and Interpretations

  • What interpretations and conclusions can be drawn?
  • How adequately does evidence justify interpretations?
  • What interpretations might plausibly be made from evidence?
  • And why does that matter? (so what? Or who cares? Why does it matter for our teaching or learning?)

Essential Questions about Evidence

  • Can we trust the source of the evidence?
  • Do the sources provide evidence that is relevant to the questions that we hope to investigate and answer?
  • Does the evidence support the interpretation offered?

Global Warming

(Evaluation) It is important to view the big picture when studying artefacts because a simple convergent debate may never have the most beneficial outcome possible that is related to the ideas… (The Collaborative Process) John W. stated that the same data on global warming may be interpreted in two drastically different ways, although there are more connections to be made that should be contributing to the debate. Having peers support and question my ideas motivates me to pursue them further and ensure that I can effectively communicate my thoughts.

(Evaluation) I believe that backward design, including a known product, is beneficial for students who are more convergent thinkers (require more scaffolding), although differentiation needs to be in place for more divergent thinkers. In order to be able to respond to critical thinking through immediate reflection, making the learning authentic through responding, challenging, extending, an essential question and big idea can be planned out without restricting students to a product that they were not creatively and inventively involved in developing.

Pedagogical Documentation is a process of “getting as close as possible to the source of information.”

(Metacognition) Once again I am finding that my implications for teaching reflect my philosophy for life… (Synthesis) a balance is needed and there is a time and place for everything. Some things will need to be planned, others adapted… some reflections will be critical, some will be immediate, some questions will be convergent, some will be divergent… (Evaluation) This is a regurgitation of some ancient Chinese philosophies related to Taoism, and I believe the Tao de Ching sums up a fundamental aspect of teaching inquiry perfectly.

yin yang

Tao #29 ~ Moderation

Within the Universe,
some lay anchor and some set sail
some forge ahead while others turn tail
some follow and some lead
some fail and others succeed
some are hot and some are cold
some are afraid and some are bold

therefore the wise avoid excess
extravagance and arrogance.
_____________________________

(Synthesis) This idea of moderation connects to my interpretation of religions and cultures from around the world. I bring this Taoist balance into my own life in order to appreciate the love and golden rule taught by Christianity, the idea of karma and the need to care for our bodies physically (yoga) from Hinduism, the understanding of our diets impact on so many facets of our lives from Buddhism, and the recognition of a need to keep future generations in mind when making any important decisions from indigenous nations. As a life-long learner, I hope to appreciate and grow with new cultures and traditions that are introduced to me by my students and continue to understand myself as a part of this world, rather than a label for the choices I make. (Evaluation) I feel that for teaching it is important that I celebrate positive contributions from the different cultures that my students come from and that we view mistakes made in history as learning opportunities so that the students can learn how to view their own mistakes as learning opportunities as well.

Inquiry as Experimentation and Technological Problem Solving

We built ramps for marbles from recycled materials. (Analysis) This was a very engaging activity for the whole class. Hands on activities for problem solving have worked very well in my practicum as well, supporting the play based learning. (Metacognition)I have been a fan of of this approach from the beginning! (Synthesis) My next steps would be to try to tie the science skills and concepts that we were learning about into an environmental or social justice issue so that students can experience an application of these skills that would benefit them outside of school. (Evaluation) Experimentation such as this is essential for gathering evidence from primary resources. (The Collaborative Process) Once again, working with my peers provided me with an opportunity to engage in discussions resulting in immediate feedback that was a motivating factor in the pursuit to problem solve. (Analysis) On my own, I may have had to take time to remove myself from the lens I was viewing the situation through and make a conscious effort to change my perspective. (Synthesis) The group dynamic allowed me to share ideas through another lens spontaneously, and I believe this can be a great way to get my students to model critical thinking for one another in the classroom. (Evaluation) These questions and comments from peers will help students generate their own questions and comments when they are working alone.

SS/S&T Jan 31/Feb 1 FINAL FOUR

Crawford Lake

Observations

Red trees used for arrows

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Sumac used for dyes, tea, and pipe stems

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The lake!

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Crawford family house was here, this was their front porch… They made things out of cedar.

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Adopt a tree

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Twisted tree with half the roots growing on a rock. Everything is a reflection or yourself and a connection to the great mystery. A conversation with a tree happens even if no words are spoken.

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The depth of the lake relative to the surface makes it look like an inverted pyramid, and this was caused by the ice age… Only the top of the water moves around and anything that sinks to the bottom stays so stagnant that they do not go away. Fish can’t live there as a result and they believe that Canadian geese may have brought corn here.

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Story of the first flute… The woodpecker. Playing the flute was generally used for courting. American-Indian flute.

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An owl (most birds) has 14 vertebrae in their neck… We have 7… Giraffes have 7 as well. We are intrigued by owls because they have binocular vision as well. 3/4 space in her head is for eyes and one eyeball is bigger than her brain.
Panting motion similar to a dog to cool down.

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*** 87 year old moose leather gloves
“We are a culture of many different nations.”

(Analysis) With my class at my practicum as a smaller scale example, I can see that we truly are a culture of many different nations. Students come from homes with many different traditions and lifestyles. (Metacognition) I have always thought of Canada, especially Hamilton, as a melting pot of different cultures. (Synthesis) I believe that it is important for us as educators to help guide the students to big ideas that all cultures can support – one very important concept discussed at Crawford Lake being that we need to consider how our actions will effect future generations. (Metacognition) I wrote a song for an assignment in a religion and ecology class at McMaster that discussed this exact ecocentric view:

(Evaluation) We can’t just take what we need, take what we can give back. We don’t own all that we see but that’s how we act.

Destroying the air that we breathe, just slaughtering trees, Earth is under attack. A war that leaves both sides defeated… what good is that?

We can’t just take what we need, take what we can give back. We don’t own all that we see but that’s how we act.
That’s not alright with me… but I’m not going to fight for what I believe. With love their is no enemy.

What about the next generation? What more do you need for motivation? What is going to give you some sensation so you’ll make a change? What about the future of our nation? What about the next generation?

Enjoying some grade A meat the same day you just saved a stray cat? It’s too inconsistent for me. What do you know about your diet’s environmental impact?

We can’t just take what we need, take what we can give back. We don’t own all that we see but that’s how we act.
That’s not alright with me… but I’m not going to fight for what I believe. With love their is no enemy.

What about the next generation? What more do you need for motivation? What is going to give you some sensation so you’ll make a change? What about the future of our nation? What about the next generation? (How late is too late?)

(The Collaborative Process) As educators we can make a huge impact on future generations. It is important that we make consistent efforts to better ourselves by working together and act in unison as role models for our students. If we expect students to be focusing on important social justice and environmental issues, we need to be encouraging each other to focus on them just as much.

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Science: Variables

Independent Variable (What are you changing?)

Dependent Variable (What change are you measuring in response to the independent variable)

Control Variables (What are you keeping the same or constant?)

Eg. What is something that you want to explore further about lighting a fire with a flint and steel?

What material ignites the fastest?

–       independent: the materials we are lighting on fire (milk weed, hair, etc)

–       dependent variable: the time it takes to ignite

–       controlled: the environment and the use of flint and steel to light with

Learning Journey

What Happened?

What you did and how

What you thought about

What your group did

Interpret

What does this mean to me?

Pedagogical Conclusions

What does this mean for teaching the children?

Why are we doing these learning journals?

The Lake

Questions

When did the Lake form?

How did it form?

What types of vegetation and animals surround the lake?

Who lived near the lake?

Gather and Organize

Dogwood used for arrows.

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Sumac used for dyes, tea, and pipe stems.

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Crawford Lake is a Meromictic Lake

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Cedar trees grew with their roots partially on rocks.

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The twisted tree could be used as a reflection on ourselves and our uniqueness.

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Woodpecker holes.

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Trees could be adopted.

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The Crawford family (pioneers) owned the land and the lake before selling it to Halton Conservation. This was where their front porch was.

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Now there are wooden paths for tours given by Halton Conservation.

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This information was provided by our tour guide, Brian.

We also found this website to verify the information.

The Lake

Interpret and Analyze

A wide variety of vegetation surrounding the lake provided a “mall” for the natives. They made beds, houses, and many more things from cedar trees, diapers from moss, and many other uses of technology from nature.

The Crawford family recognized this lands significance in our understanding of Native Americans and their decision to sell it to Conservation Halton preserved it’s authenticity.

Fish couldn’t live at the bottom of the lake because of how it was formed.

Everything that surrounded the lake and was in the lake provided the natives with everything they needed to survive and they lived harmoniously with it.

Evaluate and Draw Conclusions

This teaches us more about indigenous cultures and how connected our lives are to theirs. We can learn from their experiences and lifestyle and understand that all life is connected the way that they viewed it.

For Art, students could make music using instruments that the natives would have made from the cedar surrounding the lake.

For Science, students could learn about dating things and different methods to do so.

For Social Studies, students could explore their connectedness with their immediate environment and how it is similar and different to native cultures.

Social Studies Inquiry General

S&T Jan 24

Inquiry and Questioning

We begin by talking about mirrors (and a big one is held up)!

Experience isn’t enough… If you are close to a mirror, do you see more, or less, or the same amount of yourself in reflection?

  • Answers came from differing perspectives.j

Turns out that it makes no difference how far away from the mirror you are, it will always show the same amount of yourself!

We were asked to write a question on a sticky note that we had about teaching science and technology…

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20130124-125003.jpg Mine is in Resources

Typical questions that…

… friends ask?

  • How was your day?
  • Where did you buy that sweater?
  • What are you doing tonight?
  • What did you do last night?

… students ask?

  • Can you help my tie my shoes?
  • Can you open my container?
  • What do I do next?
  • Do we have gym today?

… parents ask?

  • What did you do today?
  • Did you clean your room?
  • Did you do your homework?
  • Did you get into trouble at school today?

… teachers ask?

  • Do you understand?
  • Can I help you with that?
  • What are you reading?
  • How many blocks high are you?

We need to be asking thicker questions to gain more than just “facts.”

We need to be careful if we use a Questioning Grid because it is only a guide.

questioning grid

Types of questions: OPEN and CLOSED

Most people ask closed questions and that do not promote divergent thinking or creativity. The complete opposite is needed in order to engage students and reflects the scientific inquiry process.

Handout … Heather R. Theijsmeijer on Convergent and Divergent Thinking and Questions

I like how the handout separates Bloom’s Taxonomy of the cognitive domain into convergent and divergent thinking areas. By viewing it in this light, I can see the need for a balance of both types of questions and how they compliment each other.

  • Convergent questions have only one answer.
  • Divergent questions lead to more questions.
  • Application and Analysis can crossover depending on the context.

Bloom's Taxonomy Comparison

The Right Question at the Right Time

What is a ‘wrong question?’

  • wrong questions are not problems to be solved
  • Good questions are: the first step to an answer; a problem to which there is a solution; stimulating; leads to where the answer can be found; asks children to show rather than to say the answer.

Right questions are: attention-focusing questions, measuring and counting questions, comparison questions, action questions.

Problem-posting questions

  • children must investigate possibilities and impossibilities before they can draw conclusions
  • ‘can you find a way to’ questions need to be preceded by an exploration of the materials (prediction questions)
  • ‘what happens if’ experiments

Teachers’ how and why questions

  • reasoning’ questions need to be worded carefully so that they do not discourage children… we have to make it clear that we are not looking for one specific answer

Children’s how and why questions

  • science is the search for, rather than the answer to
  • admitting that I do not know all the answers to the students’ questions is very important

Teachers’ explanations

  • pedagogical knowledge is essential
  • if a student cannot find the answer due to resources or complication, a teacher still needs to validate the student’s interest and scaffold their instruction the best they can
  • it is better to guide them in figuring out the solutions on their own rather than giving them answers

Reflection

2.15 The Master said: If you study but don’t reflect you’ll be lost. If you reflect but don’t study you’ll get into trouble.
Confucius emphasized the need to find balance between formal study and intuitive self-reflection (Analects 2.15).

We began by talking about mirrors and reflecting is very important in the inquiry process. Although a reflection in a mirror is different than a reflection in terms of metacognition, when the mirror, or thought process, is clear, the image and ideas reflected are clear as well.

Just because I’ve been asked a question in a classroom multiple times by different students, it is important to remember that each student is only asking it for the first time and they may not have been ready for the answer even if they did hear it before.

The hook is about inspiring inquiry!

Big Idea: Children are curious and connect prior knowledge to new contexts in order to understand the world around them.

Overall Expectation 1: demonstrate an awareness of the natural and built environment through hands-on investigations, observations, questions, and representations of their findings

Specific Expectation 1.3: explore patterns in the natural and built environment (e.g., patterns in the design of buildings, in flowers, on animals’ coats)

Idea… I could make patterned necklaces and bracelets using beads and wear them in the morning to get the children interested in patterning.