We have been working on a unit about weather instruments. I wanted my students to connect what we are learning to their everyday lives, for this reason, the warm up for this lesson satrted before we even entered the classroom. Before we came inside this morning, we stood outside, eyes closed, and tried to detect the movement of the air. We tried to feel the air with our eyes closed. I then asked the students "How can you tell that the wind is moving?". This set the stage for our lesson about anemometers.
I created a PowerPoint,Weather Instrument Anemometer , which I used throughout the entire lesson, because it helped me touch upon different learning styles that are present in my classroom. I also found that it improved my students' focus and it increased their feedback and interaction with the complex academic vocabulary and subject matter in both partner work as well as whole group discussion.My students use an interactive notebook for Science, which allows them to use their notebooks as a point of reference before, during, and after a lesson. I will make copies of information they will need for a lesson and they will glue it in their notebooks. For this lesson, I provided a copy of the Beaufort Scale for their notebooks, enabling my students to have a point a reference when they begin testing their anemometer. They wrote their own notes to help clarify their information you can see an example in the Beaufort scale in a student's notebook.
I did not explain to my students how to build the anemometer. This is where the Anemometer Design Challenge is essential to the lesson. They created the anemometer based on trial and error, and they started that process with a design drawn on their challenge page.At first some had the cups pointing in different directions, and the anemometer would not spin. I was called over more than once and I always told them the same thing, change one variable and see if that makes a difference.
I like to use a look back strategy as a wrap up, where I ask the students “how they learned it” I find that it helps them think about their own learning, it also provides students with an opportunity to look back on, and summarize, their learning. When I ask students to reflect, they struggle in pinpointing their ideas, but when I ask them to "evaluate" what they've done, they are ready to share what worked and what didn't that is why I purposely created a reflection sheet without the word reflection appearing anywhere, my Anemometer Design Evaluation. Here is an example of Anenometer evaluation completed by a student. Part of the challenge included being able to calculate the wind speed in revolutions per minute, I created the Anemometer wind speed Log in order for my students could track their data over the course of three days. This activity helped my students better understand how wind affects the weather and their everyday lives.