Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding The Function of Plant Parts - Section 4: Explain


Table Talk is a great way to assess students understanding, allow them to teach each other, and engage students in scientific discourse. But, there are many things that can complicate table talk in first grade. Sometime students just sit there and do not talk at all. In this case I prompt them with, "So, what did you learn or record?" Other times I call out a specific vocal child who is being quiet and ask them what they think. In this lesson my talkative young student looked me in the eye and said sharply, "I don't know!" I was completely caught off gaurd and expecting him to just state some evidence from the lesson, and I said, "Ugh, are you okay?" He said, "Yes, I just don't know." Often they don't share when they just don't know what to say. This is why it is so helpful to have a person that is high in reading, science, and higher order thinking at each of the groups. This allows one person to be available at each group the share the correct answer. It is more meaningful when the information comes from a peer.

On the other hand, many time the ELL don't talk, because they cannot express themselves. Sometimes they just can't find the correct vocabulary to express themsleves, and other times they did not understand the vocabulary in the lesson. In this case, I often ask them to talk about it in Spanish at their table. This can shock people, but after they discuss it in their first language many times students can express themselves in English. 

  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Table Talk
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The Function of Plant Parts

Unit 4: Plants
Lesson 2 of 8

Objective: SWBAT explain the function of the different parts of plants.

Big Idea: Allow students to reflect upon prior knowledge and research the function of the parts of plants.

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