I use an I Can statement to help students to understand what is expected of them. I want students to be able to know what the goal is for the lesson so they can assess whether they have reached the goal at the end of the lesson. Students who know what the goal is for a lesson can begin to self assess their own learning.
I post two I Can statements at the front of the room. It says, "I can make a pattern that can be touched, seen and heard." I can talk to my classmates about science." I ask students to read the statements with me. I tell them that our goal today is to work like scientists to create and share patterns and to talk about what we are doing.
I begin today by bringing students to the rug. I say to students, I want you to do 1 hop, 1 giant step, 1 baby step, 1 hop, 1 giant step, 1 baby step and continue until they get to the rug. (I do not mention yet that there is a pattern to the way they are coming to the rug.
When students are seated quietly at the rug, I ask them, "What was different about the way you came to the rug today?" (I expect students to mention that they hopped, giant stepped, etc. but I am really looking to see if they know that they came in a pattern.) I listen to their ideas. If no one mentioned a pattern, I ask, "did you have to repeat the hop, giant step, baby step more than once to get to the rug?" (yes) "Is there a name for when you repeat something over and over? (again I listen to their ideas and if someone uses the term pattern, I will write the word on the easel. If no one comes up with the term pattern I put p_t_ _ _ n on the board and say, "this is the word I am thinking of. You all came up with some good ideas, and I have one more word I want to use for when something repeats. It begins with a p. Can anyone help us figure out this word?" (pattern)
"Right, when something repeats we call it a pattern. How many of you remember finding patterns outside the other day? Can someone tell us about a pattern you found?" (I have students share several patterns they remember.) Observation of patterns in nature and the man made world is one of the cross cutting concepts for second grade.
"Today I have a question for you. But before you answer the question, I want you to think about how you might prove your answer. Scientists answer questions but instead of saying, I think that it is this way, they have to try to prove it. Today I will ask a questions and then I want you instead of just answering it right here, to think how you might build something to prove your answer. Ok here is the question. (I have the question written on a large piece of easel paper. I uncover it as I read, ) Is it possible for you to touch, see and hear patterns?"
"Hmmm.. think about that question. In your head decide if you think you can see, hear and touch a pattern. Now turn to the person next to you and tell them what you are thinking. Remember to listen to their idea and then share yours. It is ok to ask them a question if you are unsure about what they are thinking." (I give kids 2 minutes and then ring the bell and ask them to turn back to the circle.) Thumbs up if you have a way to show an answer to our question, " Is it possible for you to touch, see or hear patterns? "
"Ok, now that I see that most of you have thought of how you might answer the question (I point back to the question). Now I am going to ask you to choose the type of pattern you will build, one that you can see, hear or touch. Pick up a card off the rug for the kind of pattern that you will build. (I spread out the types of cards and give students a minute to choose a card.) "Ok, now, when I am done giving directions, I would like all the people who have chosen a SEE card to sit at the table, all who have chosen a TOUCH card to sit at the rug, and all who have chosen a HEAR card to move to the floor. When you get to your area, please form groups of 2 or 3 so that no one is left out and then with your partner look at the materials in your area and draw a sketch of the pattern you will make.
The sketch is a model for the pattern you will then make. Before you can take the materials and start to build, you need to raise your hands and I will check your drawing. Are there any questions?"
"For example, if my question was: Can you see a pattern in math, I would say yes, I think so. Now I have to prove that. Ok so I draw a sketch of pattern blocks trapezoid, trapezoid, triangle, trapezoid, trapezoid triangle. Is that a pattern? (yes), Is it in math? (yes). Ok so I have made my drawing, I show it to the teacher, in this case you are the teacher, and now I could get out the blocks and build my pattern. Does that make sense? You will sketch a pattern that you can make with the materials there that you can see, hear or touch, depending on the card you picked, let me see it and then build your pattern and take a picture of it."
I choose 1 or 2 students to repeat what they think the directions are so everyone is clear on what is expected.)
Students begin by filling out the form. As I hand them out, I remind students that they will not be filling in the last 2 statements at the bottom of the form. They should check with me before building their model.
As I circulate around the room, I ask questions to encourage student thinking and to get them talking to each other. I ask things such as: How does your model answer the question? Can you explain your pattern to me? Does your model pattern have sound? Can you touch and see your model pattern? patterns.mov
How might you change your drawing to make the pattern more obvious? Is is possible to touch, see and hear your pattern?" These types of questions encourage students to think about the science they are doing. I am hoping that students will be organizing their model into a pattern that helps them to become more aware of how patterns are present in many things. This is addressing the essential question of how we can organize materials to help us make sense of what we observe.
Once the forms are filled outStudent Pattern Work - Acceptable Paper, Student Pattern Recording Sheet and I have given the ok, students begin to build their models. I do not want them to be so complex that students can not complete the patterns so when I ok their ideas, I try to watch for patterns that may be too complex to build at this time.
Students work for about 10 minutes on their patterns. At the end of about 10 minutes I ring the bell to get everyone's attention. I say, "you should be almost done building the model of your pattern. You will be able to leave your pattern where it is and take a picture of it on the IPAD. Try to finish up in the next few minutes. If you do finish, clean up your area, come and get an IPAD and take a picture of your pattern for us to share tomorrow. You may come look at books on the rug if you are done.
As students finish up I remind them to clean up their area and take a picture of their model.
It is important to allow students time to reflect upon a science lesson. They may have questions that are now answered, or final thoughts they want to share.
Students return to their seats to fill in their final conclusion about whether you can see, hear or touch a pattern. They also rate their own performance with their group.Student Conclusion and Self Assessment,Student Conclusion Based on What Was Done
I ring the bell and invite students to put their papers in the finished work basket, IPADS on the table, and then come to their circle seats while I count from 50 to 100.
When everyone is seated I say, "You all worked very hard today with your pattern models. You have taken pictures on the IPADS which I will show tomorrow morning on the Smart board. For now let's just talk about what we noticed. Hands up if you made a pattern that you could see. Hands up if you made a model that you could touch. Hands up if you made a pattern that you could hear. Hands up if you could do 2 of those things with your pattern, like see and touch, or hear and see. Do you think we proved that you can see, hear and touch patterns? Hands up if you think we proved that you can't see, hear and touch patterns." (I then comment on what most people felt about the question.) Can someone tell me how you decided if we could prove that you can see, hear or touch a patttern?
"Do you have any comments about what we did today? Are there any things that you are still wondering about patterns?"
Here I let students discuss what they found out. When a child volunteers a question or comment, I always ask the other students for feedback for their classmates.
I close today by saying, "You now have had some experience with patterns. I hope you will think about patterns this year when we are looking at different things in science."
"Let's look at our I can statement. Let's read it together: I can decide if a pattern can be seen, heard and touched. Thumbs up if you met that goal today. Thumbs up if you met at least part of that goal today. I am proud of the patterns you all created as you worked like scientists today because you answered the question I asked. Its ok if we came up with different answers, scientists do that all of the time."