Reflection: Checks for Understanding How Do Scientists Observe, Record, and Describe? - Section 3: Warm-up


During the warm-up, I referred students to the chart we made the previous day sorting living and nonliving items.  Then, I showed the seashell and had students turn-and-talk to discuss whether seashells are living or nonliving.  There was a very animated discussion, and students definitely had arguments each way.  However, their arguments were not evidence-based in the definitions for living and nonliving.  And, students did not appear to be referring to the chart in order to compare the seashell to other items.  This led to answers like, "The seashell is nonliving because it has a hole in it" and "It's living because you can hear sounds in it."  

In retrospect, I should have reviewed the definition of living and nonliving in detail before asking the question.  Especially since this was new learning the previous day, I should have reinforced it before assuming students could apply it.   

Once I told them that this was an exoskeleton of an animal, and that we had to put a dead bee in the living category because it was alive once, though, they could all agree that the seashell would go in the living category.

  Living or nonliving
  Checks for Understanding: Living or nonliving
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How Do Scientists Observe, Record, and Describe?

Unit 1: Wiggly Scientists and Wiggly Worms
Lesson 4 of 13

Objective: SWBAT make and communicate their observations by adding drawings and clarifying ideas.

Big Idea: What does a scientist do? Two of the major scientific practices are making observations and communicating observations through writing and drawing. How can students draw or write to show what they observed? Find out here!

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