Reflection: Discourse and Questioning Rocks Can Be Changed By Water - Section 3: Designing the Experiment


It is always hard to get all students involved in a conversation. Some students prefer not to venture a comment and others want to talk and talk. My goal is for all of my students to begin to feel comfortable engaging in scientific discourse so I decided to try a talking ball. I told students that they could either share an idea or they could comment on someone else's idea when they had the ball.  Students were allowed to pass the ball along after they had spoken. This allowed the students who are less comfortable sharing, to be able to say that they like someone else's idea while others who felt comfortable were able to add ideas.

I noticed that everyone was willing to share and to listen when using the talking ball. Many of the students shared ideas, but I was impressed at how others were able to comment on someone else's idea and why they liked it. Scientific discourse is being able to talk about and critique scientific ideas. For second graders, being able to hold someone else's idea in their heads and to then comment on that idea shows the first steps of this skill.

The process encouraged listening as well as speaking. Students knew that they were going to be expected to speak, and if they wanted to comment on someone else's idea, they had to be listeners.

The process is one that could be used in all areas where encouraging student listening and discussion is desired.

  Student Involvement
  Discourse and Questioning: Student Involvement
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Rocks Can Be Changed By Water

Unit 3: Understanding Our Earth
Lesson 11 of 13

Objective: SWBAT design an experiment to witness how rocks can be changed

Big Idea: Rocks are changed by water and by bumping into one another over time. Rocks are changed slowly by the forces of nature.

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