Next Generation Science Standard Connection
In this lesson we connect to 1-PS4, because students participate in an investigation that shows them how vibrating material can make sound. In addition they see that sound can make materials vibrate. Giving students hands on activities really engages them in scientific investigation, and helps students connect with information that is very complex. The students actually each get tuning forks, a rubber mallet, and a cup of water to explore and investigate the relationship between sound and vibrations.
In this lesson I engage the class in the lounge, then we move to the desks where the students read a short explanation about todays experiment. Then I allow them to explore. They follow the directions and hit a tuning fork with a rubber mallet. Then the students record their observations. They are going to hear a sound. Hopefully they draw a conclusion that vibrating material make sound. To prove that the tongs are vibrating I allow the class to explore how the tongs vibrate by dipping them in water. In the elaborate section the students create a list of other things they know that vibrate and make sound. In the evaluation section of the lesson the class sharing the objects that vibrate and give us sound.
I keep two things consistent in my lessons and they are transitions and collaborative partners which I call peanut butter jelly partners. Both classroom management strategies help my students persevere through complex tasks. They get help from their peers and they get to move often.
Peanut butter jelly partners are collaborative partners of a different ability. The partners stay the same throughout the lesson even when we transition. The students even have assigned seats.
In addition, first graders need frequent transitions to help them persevere through lengthy and complex lessons. I like to begin each lesson in the lounge, and then we move to the center of the room for the explore, explain, and elaborate section. Finally, I close most of my lessons back in the lounge or carpet area.
In this section I project the lesson image on the board and ask my students a question. The lesson image helps them begin thinking about sound and it really excites the class. But, using a question really benefits the students in several ways. First, they engage in scientific discourse which is a great opportunity for students to learn from each other, and develop their communication skills. Second, I can assess my students prior knowledge, and add to or take away any extra information throughout the lesson. If I see that my students are very unfamiliar with sound I add explanations and provide more support throughout the lesson. Sometimes I see that one child knows a great deal about a topic and I can allow them to share. Allowing students to share is a great way to make them feel special, and other students prefer learning from their peers.
Now, I ask, "Please turn and tell your partner what you know about sound? Where does it come from? How do we get sound?" Then my job is to listen. One thing that sometimes happens is that students just sit there and do not talk. Many times I find it is because they are unsure. But, I still go sit by them and ask, "What do you think? Where do you think sound comes from?" Then I add anything I hear the class say to our prior knowledge chart. I use fun ways to stop discussion.
Finally, I need to share the lesson plan with my class, because it helps them feel at ease with the lesson. Plus, it let's them know what to expect. I say, "Today we are going to learn how vibrations make sound by doing an investigation."
In this section we are going to read a short piece of text about this investigation. Then the class actually takes the tuning fork and hits it with the rubber mallet. Then they listen to the sound. After listening to the sound they hit the tuning fork and dip it in water. Dipping it in water shows the how the tuning fork is vibrating.
First, I give each child a copy of the text and allow them to follow along as I read. This just give the students a little background information.
Next, we divide up into groups, and I give each group a tuning fork. I have a video showing how I gradually release the class to work appropriately with hands on materials. First, I show the class how to hit the tuning fork, and then I let them begin exploring. They make observations and record them in their science journal.
I say, "Go ahead and take your mallet and hit the tuning fork. Be sure to hit the tuning on the end and hold the other end. After hitting the tuning fork hold it next to your ear to hear the sound. Then record what you happens." I write the sentence starter on the board. When I hit the tuning fork with the mallet____.
Then I say, "Now, you can try hitting the tuning fork again and then dip it in the water. Record your observations in your science journal. Write down what happens when you hit the tuning fork with the mallet. What did you hear? What did you see? These are your scientific observations."
This is the time when I want my students to share their new knowledge. First, they share across the table, and then we have a whole group discussion. This is a great way to allow students to learn to build upon the knowledge or ideas of their peers.
First I say, "Talk to the group across the table about what sounds you recorded." Then I listen. Next, I ask, "Why did the sounds occur?" Again, I walk around and listen. I anticipate that my students say, "The tongs vibrate and that makes sound."
Next, I say, "Will a volunteer share what they saw and hear during the experiment?" I listen, and then ask, "Will somebody add to that?" I want to hear the students say, "The tuning fork vibrates and I hear a sound when it is hit. The vibration makes noise. I see the vibrations when the tuning fork is dipped in water."
Now the class knows that vibrations make sound I want to engage them in an activity to further develop this new knowledge. So, the students use the computers in the class to search for objects that make sound through vibrations. This is a fun activity to allow students to find out more about objects that make sound. Here is an example of what they recorded.
I explain the anchor chart about how to do a search on the internet, but we have already done this so much that my students are very comfortable looking for information on the internet. Then I walk around to see how I can help my students. I find I am saying, "What things do you already know make sound? You can record them? Think of your music class. What things do you use that make sound. Do they vibrate?"
The lesson is now ending, but I still need to assess my students learning. I do this by providing them with an opportunity to present their new knowledge and communicate with their peers. So, I let two or three students show their work to the class and explain it. Then the students listening have to give the students feedback (peer evaluation) regarding what they agree with or disagree with about their peers' work. I keep a spreadsheet taped to the board, and I just check off who's turn it is to present. But, most first graders want to share their work everyday, so I allow anyone who wants to share to do so during snack or recess.
One other thing I like to use to help my students comply with my behavioral expectations is to use some positive behavior support. We all chant, "Criss cross apple sauce pockets on the floor, hands in your laps talking no more." Then I add, "Your eyes are on the speaker and you are thinking about what your peers are saying. Be ready to give them feedback."
The last thing I try to do is assess the students learning and I find using a spreadsheet is the easiest way for me to do this. At the top I list the science standard, speaking, and peer feedback. So, there are three columns to consider. I put a check or a zero in the box. The goal is 3/3 and I place the students score by their name on the left. This makes it easy for me to group students to reteach any skill area where they are weak.