Reflection: Routines and Procedures Clouds and Dew Point Labs - Section 2: Connecting to the Essential Question: What are you supposed to learn today?


Asking students, "What are you going to learn today?" is something I do everyday. And, while it might seem like a small routine, it is a crucial part of each lesson. Students growth dramatically increases when they have a clear target. By starting the class in this manner, students hone in on their specific goals for learning. Thus, they can make connections to the big idea as they go through the lesson. Early in my teaching career, I would write the Essential Question on the board. I knew they were important. I would begin the unit by referencing it; however, after that day, I assumed the students were connecting to it on their own. While it remained on the front board, it did not remain in the forefront of our learning because we did not take the time to connect to it. For middle school students, I have found that taking the time to make a connection to the EQ greatly improves their focus during each lesson. As a class we begin with a common purpose, a common goal that we are all working towards.

A key to the success of this strategy is that students turn to their unit plan which includes both the EQ as well as their "I can" statements for the unit. Having students reference this unit plan each day builds their awareness of the big ideas they are supposed to learn as well as the specific skills that will help them get there. Students need practice at this. I have found that without this routine, students just won't instinctively refer back to the plan, the EQs, or the skills they need to master.

  What are you going to learn today?
  Routines and Procedures: What are you going to learn today?
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Clouds and Dew Point Labs

Unit 9: Weather
Lesson 3 of 7

Objective: Students will be able to explain how the clouds and dew form.

Big Idea: Students collect dew point data and create clouds inside of a bottle as they explore how energy drives the cycling of water on earth!

  Print Lesson
Science, Weather and Atmospheric Science, ocean, sun, water cycle, middle school, weather, cloud, dew point, rising air
  80 minutes
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