Reflection: Student Self-Assessment How Do Scientists Observe, Record, and Describe? - Section 4: Exploration


Recording Strategies

In this lesson, the main goal was for students to develop strategies for recording their observations in science journals.  To begin, we reviewed the current Communication Strategies we found in the previous lesson.  Then, as students completed their first round of shell observations, I circulated and found friends who used these strategies and some new strategies. Those students then shared their work, and we added to the Communication Strategies anchor chart.  Finally, I asked students which strategy they thought they would apply to their own work to make it even better-- maybe accurate colors, tracing the shells to get the actual size, or writing labels.

Eventually, I will turn this anchor chart into bookmark-sized self-checking rubrics.  When students are at the science center, I will train them to use a laminated bookmark to check off each strategy they are using when recording.

Math Connections

When I was circulating, I saw one student sorting the shells by shape and noting shells that were the same shape.  He wasn't recording that way in his journal, so I modeled for students how they might sort by shape.  Many of my students also thought they could hear out of some of the shells.  I suggested that they sort their shells on the page by writing categories like "Can Hear" and "Can Not Hear."  Two students chose to sort this way.

I did not see the math behavior of ordering shells by size, which I was anticipating.  If students do not come up with this on their own in the next few days, I will model it.  I am thinking that I will develop a second anchor chart with "math behaviors of scientists."  Sorting, comparing, ordering, measuring, and weighing will all go here.  This anchor chart, like the Communication Strategies, will be posted for students to reference when working at the classroom science center.

  How do scientists communicate through recording?
  Student Self-Assessment: How do scientists communicate through recording?
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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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