Reflection: Routines and Procedures Constellation Patterns - Section 2: Focus


To establish routines and procedures and to develop a classroom culture that encourages student engagement, curiosity, and a desire to understand the world through scientific exploration, I chose to utilize Envelope Books throughout this unit. In each envelope book, there were ten envelopes, one for each of our research questions/lessons. At then end of each lesson, students placed their books in a basket located at each of their desk groups: Basket of Envelope Books. This way, the books were easy to get out and put back. 

During each lesson, students created envelopes that included similar components: 

  • vocabulary cards
  • an envelope picture
  • a guiding question
  • research or investigation notes
  • a possible graph
  • evidence-based argument


Students understood and anticipated the components of every lesson every day. For example, at the beginning of a lesson, students would ask, "How many vocabulary words do we have today?" "Should we get out our computers and begin looking the words up?" "Can I share what I found?" 

Later, students would comment, "I think I know what our guiding question is going to be!"

During the research process, students would purposefully collect notes, specific to our guiding question, as they knew that they would be responsible for constructing an evidence-based argument that explicitly answered the guiding question. 

When students are familiar with the structure of the lesson, less time is wasted explaining expectations, more students understand and are on task, and students become more curious and naturally involved in scientific processes by researching, investigating, and constructing arguments. 

  Routines and Procedures: Envelope Books
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Constellation Patterns

Unit 4: The Sun & Earth' s Patterns
Lesson 10 of 10

Objective: SWBAT explain how constellations move in the sky.

Big Idea: In this lesson, students evaluate and communicate information on the apparent movement of constellations using a variety of resources: interactive star map, planisphere, videos, modeled demonstration, and online resources.

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43 teachers like this lesson
Science, Earth and Space Science, Research and Technology, sun, stars, constellations, pattern, time, seasons
  165 minutes
student with star wheel
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