Reflection: Intervention and Extension What makes a leaf? - Section 4: Closing: Harvest


The NGSS standards and practices call for students to be active thinkers who ask questions. There are many ways for stduents to answer their questions, including through observations and reading. The key to promoting students asking and answering questions is to provide additional resources and then to step back.  Students are naturally curious and once the structure of how to complete independent or collaborative research is in place, teachers truly become facilitators.

In my room, this includes bringing in additional resources that will generate questions and also answer questions. I have a Science Center with books and specimens on a variety of topics. My Plants Bin contains tree rings, pinecones, various seed pods, and tons of related books. I also search my classroom and school library for related texts. I usually display related texts on the back chalkboard ledge, which gives students easy access.  At the science center, there are measurement tools, hand lenses, and stereoscopes as well.

I promote independent research by having students write and share their questions & work with one another. This leads to deep discussions about where we find answers, what resources may be best, and whether other students have either similar questions or a source we should check.

I can tell when this strategy is successful based on the choices students make. If students are not continuing to research their own ideas and questions, I think about what additional resources I can pull to encourage them. It is also successful because children them share what they are working on with their classmates, which provides models to one another.

  Intervention and Extension: Extension and Independent Research
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What makes a leaf?

Unit 5: Plants: Parts, Parents, Patterns
Lesson 10 of 12

Objective: SWBAT describe leaves as external parts of plants.

Big Idea: There is something magical about a leaf, from the unfurling springy green to the bold colors of fall. Unlock the magic.

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4 teachers like this lesson
Science, plants, pattern, seed, leaves
  45 minutes
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