Once the students have entered the room, I explain the rules for an activity we will complete. I tell the students they will each receive a note card. One word or phrase is written on each note card. The word may be a type of quantitative measurement, a measurement tool, or a unit of measure. The students will try to find members of their group based on determining the types of tools and units used for specific types of measurement. For instance, one card has the word time, so the other cards that go with the group include clock and minutes. The words are color coded as well, so I tell the students that each group will have one green word and at least one red word and one blue word. This may be an issue for students who have a color vision deficiency, so choose colors carefully or do not use a color system. I tell the students that once they think they have found their group, they should come to me to have their answers checked. If they are correct, I will give them a worksheet to work on with their group members. If they are incorrect, I offer a bit of guidance and send them back out to find their group. After explaining the rules and completing a test run for one of the measurement sets, I hand out the cards and have the students find their group. For more information about the note card activity, view this note card review video.
After all of the students found their groups and began working on their quantitative measurements worksheet, I began handing back the flipped notes that I had graded the night before and checking in with students about the activity.
I ask the students to take out their flipped notes and their notes reviews. Once they have done this, I use the PowerPoint to review the notes with them. This section of notes reviews basic scientific processes, the scientific method, and various tools and units of measure (CCSS - RST.6-8.3, RST.6-8.4, SP3). I am careful to emphasize the key areas in which students missed questions on their notes reviews and remind them to add information to their notes and correct their notes reviews as we go along. During this time I also add explanations and examples, so students may add them to their notes. I also spend time explaining the notion that scientific inquiry is a recursive process and I illustrate this using one of our classroom bulletin boards. I frequently check for student understanding by asking them to give examples as well. For instance, I ask the students to tell me some of the ways in which we classify them at school or I ask them to share an observation they made about something earlier in the day. This first flip usually takes the longest to review because I want to be sure that the students understand the information and the process of flipping.
This is an excellent example of student notes. This example exceeds my expectations for student work at the beginning of the year.
The lesson concludes with an overview of the notes review, with students providing the correct answers. Having the students recall the correct answers is important in guiding them to becoming a community of learners and helps give them more responsibility over their learning. I emphasize the importance of writing the correct answers to the students because they will need their notes reviews to study for the unit test. The students are expected to finish their qualitative measurement worksheet on their own as homework. This, too, will be used not only as extra practice on the topic but also as way to provide me with insights to their understanding and them with a study tool for upcoming lessons.