Reflection: Rigor Sugar, Solutes...Satisfaction! - Section 5: Ice Cream and Scientific Discourse: Student Discussions


Scientific literacy is so much more than just knowing science content.  Reading, writing, and speaking are crucial components of comprehensive literacy.  In order to have a truly rigorous curriculum, these skills must be taught and woven into each lesson just as the science content is. Early in my career, I felt a little overwhelmed by this.  I felt strong at teaching "the science", but thinking of myself as a middle school reading and writing teacher?  I wasn't so sure.  It has taken years and years to develop my skills and strategies to aid me in this process.  Now, 12 years in, I feel as if I have the knowledge and "tools" to adequately help my students in these areas.  

If you want to speed up the process and develop your skills, I suggest the following:

1.  Use BetterLesson!  There are so many Master Teachers that are sharing amazing literacy strategies.  So, I encourage you when looking at lessons, don't just look at the "science" or the lab; see if there is a literacy strategy you can use.  And the website includes K-12 ELA and you can look for lessons by searching by the literacy standard/strategy. Even if you might not use the entire lesson, the great thing about literacy strategies is that they can be used in any lesson or topic area.

2.  Go watch your Language Arts teachers.  Get strategies from the experts!  Every year, I contact my LA teachers about literacy strategies.  Then, they let me know when they will be teaching topics that cover what I'm looking for.  While they all share their resources, there is something so influential about seeing the practice in action.  Actually watching these amazing teachers teach their lessons has made me a better teacher.

3.  Write reflections in order to develop your own strategies.  As you read student writing, hear their speaking, and watch them read, reflect on the feedback you are giving back to them.  Write those things down.  Then, reflect on what you do as you read, write, and speak, that are effective for you.  Write those things down.  Once you get in the habit of doing this, you will be able to develop your own strategies that are both specific to scientific content and to you.  I can't say enough how actually writing your reflections down on paper can spark your creative process.  

  Scientific Literacy - Develop your skills!
  Rigor: Scientific Literacy - Develop your skills!
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Sugar, Solutes...Satisfaction!

Unit 4: Physical Properties: Molecular Arrangement and Phase Changes
Lesson 9 of 12

Objective: Students will be able to explain how properties of reactants and products change after a reaction and explain how the motion of particles, temperature, and state of matter are affected by adding and removing thermal energy.

Big Idea: Students explore how solutes affect the freezing point of substances and how phases changes are related to the shift in thermal energy as they make ice cream!

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