Students are asked to sit at their seats to begin working on a new science unit.
I say to students, "Today we will start learning about force and motion. We will start our new science unit by palying a matching game. There is a baggie with some definitions and pictures of force, motion, energy and friction on each table."
I use this assessment to find out what prior knowledge my students have on this topic. This helps me to tailor my instruction for the rest of the unit to what they do not know.
I say to students, "I would like you to work as a table team to match each of the pictures to the vocabulary word and definition that you think it goes with. When you are working as a group, you need to make sure you are talking to each other and telling each other why you think a picture goes with a definition. You need to support your claims with evidence"
It is important to keep reminding students that they need to be able to support their ideas with evidence. This builds the skills of the Science and Engineering Practice #7 Engaging in Argument from Evidence.
I also say to students, "If you do not agree with someone's ideas, you should speak up and tell them why you think they may not be correct. Please make sure that when you disagree, you are able to give evidence or facts to support your thinking."
It is also important to let students know that they can disagree with someone and that their thinking and ideas are also validated.
When I say, "go" students begin working on sorting the pictures with the definitions.
I give about 5 minutes for this activity, or until I see that the groups are ready.
I will walk around while they are working to hear the conversations they are having and to help read the cards if needed. By this time in the year, I have several good readers that are able to read the kid friendly definitions.
At the end of the sorting activity, I ask students to leave their pictures and definitions where they are and to come sit on the floor in front of the Smartboard.
At this time, I begin a slideshow that shows students the correct definitions of the four vocabulary words: force, motion, friction and energy. The slideshow contains the definitions in words, orally and includes several pictures representing each.
Having a visual representation of each vocabulary word is essential for my English Language Learners. The visual and audio makes this a great learning tool for my diverse learners.
After watching the slideshow and answering any questions from the students, I ask the students to go back to their seats.
I say, "After watching the slideshow, I would like you to rework your definitions and pictures. I want to hear you talking to each other about why or why not you are making changes to your answers. Maybe you learned some new information that you didn't know before. Maybe you got them all right and you now have evidence to justify your learning."
At this time, the students work to rearrange what they did at the beginning of the lesson. While they work, I rotate around, listening and checking for their understanding. I make mental notes of who is still challenged by these vocabulary words as I circle the room.
When I see that the groups have finished, we go over the answers as a group.
I ask students to put the pieces back in the bag and I collect them. I explain to students that for our next few science lessons, we will be looking at each of the four vocabulary words in depth. We will test them out, observe them and investigate what they mean.