Instructional Openings

Demo Discussion

The Demo Discussion is a strategy I use to provide an interesting and memorable in-class demonstration of complex concepts that my students will learn about in class on a given day, using a variety of digital resources. The Demo Discussion is an excellent way to promote student curiosity about scientific phenomena. The "demos" provide access points for my students to witness and wonder about complicated chemical processes that they will eventually explore and understand at a much deeper level. By leveraging additional physical and digital tools, I can facilitate in-depth analysis and support the development of models to explain the science behind the demo. This strategy also allows me to surface my students' questions and interests about the day's Learning Targets (please see the "Learning Targets" strategy video), to which I can refer and make connections throughout our exploration of that content.

Strategy Resources (2)
Teacher In Action
 
 
 
Graphic Organizer
 
 
This Justify - Think, Pair, Share - Compare (J-TPS-C) template is a spin-off of the classic “think, pair, share” strategy used by teachers for years. My goal in tweaking this activity is to have my students understand that justifying their responses with evidence and then comparing them to accepted literature is a valuable part of the scientific process. We say time and time again that any claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence, and students reflect that sentiment by justifying their claims with evidence-based reasoning.
 
Teacher In Action
 
 
Graphic Organizer
 
 
This Justify - Think, Pair, Share - Compare (J-TPS-C) template is a spin-off of the classic “think, pair, share” strategy used by teachers for years. My goal in tweaking this activity is to have my students understand that justifying their responses with evidence and then comparing them to accepted literature is a valuable part of the scientific process. We say time and time again that any claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence, and students reflect that sentiment by justifying their claims with evidence-based reasoning.
Jeff Astor
Cindy and Bill Simon Technology Academy High School
Los Angeles, CA


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Quick
Subject:
Science
Grade:
Tenth grade
Similar Strategies
Collaborative Student Groups
Buddy Time

By its very nature, learning in a self-paced classroom with digital resources can be an isolating experience for some students. While I want my students to take personal responsibility for and ownership of their learning, I also want them to learn essential collaboration skills and to leverage social learning to grow as people and as students of Mathematics. Buddy Time is a grouping strategy that requires my students to collaborate with peers working on the same lesson at a prescribed point in each lesson. During Buddy Time, students can collaborate or discuss their work with other students at their tables and they can use their collective knowledge and skills to help each other move towards mastery. 

 
Routines and Procedures
Student Filing

I was spending an hour every day filing students' graded quizzes when we realized, "Why are we doing all this filing? Students could easily do this themselves." Since the number one thing we are trying to get students to do is take ownership over their learning, we decided to have students file their own papers, cutting down on a lot of menial work for us and giving students a chance to see a physical record of what they had and had not mastered.

 
Academic Culture
Four Rules

There are only 4 rules in my classroom. The four rules are 1) Be respectful - I will always talk to students respectfully so there is no reason for students to talk to either myself of their peers with disrepect. 2) Always sit in your assigned seat - seating assignments are always projected in the front of the room so there is no reason to be confused about where to sit. No negotiations. 3) No talking during independent time - this doesn't need much explanation. 4) Technology is used for learning. Their devices should only be used to watch instructional videos otherwise it's too easy to get sucked into the vast abyss of the internet.


 
 
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