Reflection: Performance Tasks Saving the Wildlife of the Water - Section 3: Explore


What I observed during the working period was interesting. True personalities really come out when the children are guiding their own learning.  

Two of the groups can hardly wait to get themselves going. They have a plan and have already designated who will do what within their plans.  It is really exciting to watch their work in motion.  

One group seems to be just stuck completely.  When I inquire as to why they are not doing anything, they each begin to explain their 'side' of the 'we can't work together' situation.  This leads to some problem solving with leading from me. This surprises me somewhat, because we have worked so hard to establish the teamwork philosophy and the children do so well when I am guiding the lessons. However, when they are in the leaders seat, some of them seem to struggle with who should be in charge?  Even though it should be all of them, they are confused by this idea.  

The other groups are working, but not as diligently as I would like.  They are attempting to make progress with their plan, but unfortunately, they are not as driven as the first two groups.  There are times when I will need to continue to prompt groups along and remind them of what the purpose of the investigation is.  This could come in the form of a questions...

All great information for my teaching. I know that I need to work more on scientific teamwork.  I would not have been able to discover this, had I not allowed the children to fly solo for this activity.  I am glad I did this. 

  What Happened?
  Performance Tasks: What Happened?
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Saving the Wildlife of the Water

Unit 6: Unit 6 - The Waters of the World
Lesson 6 of 10

Objective: SWBAT test two different samples of soap and determine which one is best to clean oil from feathers.

Big Idea: Oil spills are devastating for the oceans of the Earth, but more so to the marine life that makes those oceans their homes. This investigation allows students the opportunity to investigate cleaning the feathers of a bird themselves.

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  30 minutes
oil spill animal
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