Reflection: Transitions Animal Classifications - Section 3: Explore:


My science stations only work when they are efficient & effective. In the past my stations were effective but not efficient. It was hard to get my students rotated through the science stations in the time allotted.  After much time and thought, I realized I was trying to do too much!  I was asking way too much of my little 1st grade peanuts. 

Here are a few tricks:

1. Before starting stations, I always tell my students, "The students who do the work are the ones who learn something new. Isn't that cool? I can't wait to hear about your new learning today." When I notice students off task, I simply point to someone who is on task and say, "Wow! Look at Lyla! She is observing... and recording her findings.  I bet she is learning something new!" 

2. I have a clear management plan with a predictable routine: I lay out my stations in a way that allows for quick and easy movements.  I show my students where each item is and how to use it. By the last rotation I don't even have to say a word because my students know just what to do. 

3. Timers are a teachers best friend!  I keep a timer and for this lesson, I set it to ring after 4 minutes.  This gives my students just enough time to explore at these stations and write one thing about each classification.

4. Conferring!  This is a great tool for checking in on student learning. I walk around and visit each group, asking questions and complimenting the work. 

5. What do I do about the spicy children?  Before starting the rotations, I ask my spicy student/s, "How do you think you will work best today?  Would you like to rotate stations with your peers or would rather me place some items at a table where you could work alone?"  This empowers my spicy student to take ownership over his/her own learning.  If I notice behaviors erupting, I may re-ask the same question and/or reflect on the ability of the child in relation to the work being done.  Sometimes the work may be too easy or too hard and a quick decision must be made.  At times I will ask him/her to draw rather than use words when recording. Other times, I will ask him/her to photograph the noticings using an Ipad or even use the voice recorder.  Sometimes I will ask, "I am noticing that you are not on task. Did something happen?" At times this is enough.  As soon as the student share his/her frustrations the problem is solved. The one thing I don't do is remove a child from the work or send him/her to the office.  The goal is learning and I am always seeking ways, tricks and strategies to keep my spicy ones in the classroom.    

6. Keep the learning similar at each station!  I ask students to answer the same inquiry question for each station.  For this lesson I ask, "What do you notice?"  I ask them to write down what they see at each station.  This keeps it simple!

  Stations in Science
  Transitions: Stations in Science
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Animal Classifications

Unit 4: Unit 4: Biomimicry
Lesson 9 of 17

Objective: SWBAT identify the different structures of different animal classifications.

Big Idea: Mammals, Amphibians, Birds, Insects and Reptiles, OH MY!! In this lesson students get to learn about different animals parts while learning about animal classification.

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10 teachers like this lesson
Science, animal (Classification), observations, structure, function, animal
  65 minutes
anchor chart animal
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