Reflection: Adjustments to Practice Say Cheese! Journaling With Live Animal Cams - Section 2: Practice


Students loved looking at the animal cams and ended up flipping through many more than anticipated; you might consider assigning the selection of an animal cam as homework so students are ready to begin right at the beginning of the hour.

For some reason, students had a hard time connecting what they have been doing in class (observing static objects such as sea shells and preserved creatures) to what they were doing on the computers (viewing animals in action) and they did not know what to write in their journals.  

For example, one student was observing a panda eating.  Beyond writing that it was eating, he was at a loss for what to document.  I began to prompt: 

"Where is this panda?"


"What time is it in CA if it is 10:30 am here?"

8:30 am...OH!  It is eating breakfast! That is why he seems so hungry.  (Begins writing in journal)

"How is he breaking pieces off the plant?"

With the side of his mouth.

"Why do you think he is doing it that way?"

Maybe it has something to do with his teeth. (Again writing in journal)

As students overheard our conversation, they got a better idea of what they should be recording.  Students are not used to developing their own questions based on observations; they are used to being given questions to research.  This activity was a perfect example of pushing students to the next level of thinking while developing SP1: Asking Questions/Defining Problems, specifically asking questions that arise from careful observation of phenomena, models, or unexpected results, to clarify and/or seek additional information.

  Unanticipated Student Struggles
  Adjustments to Practice: Unanticipated Student Struggles
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Say Cheese! Journaling With Live Animal Cams

Unit 3: Field Journals
Lesson 3 of 5

Objective: SWBAT create detailed field journal entries, using the video from live animal cams.

Big Idea: Students apply field journaling skills using high interest visuals generated by live animal webcams.

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