Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge Day 1-How Do Rocks Form? - Section 2: Engage



Since scientific inquiry involves gathering and evaluating data, an important practice and skill necessary for students to acquire as they take part in different investigations. It is important for them to understand that not all evidence they collect will be observable and using inferencing skills will be essential to accurately analyzing the data before them. Inferencing in science is an effective way of engaging students to use higher level thinking skills.  With some much “unknown” to them, helping them to develop logical thinking skills is essential to their success; therefore, providing them with opportunities to use their prior knowledge, experiences, and viewpoints encourages students to think beyond a guess or just an observation. Inferencing is developing their ability to use information they know to learn and understand new information. Helping students’ grapple with thinking this way requires teachers to recognize the importance of modeling.  It’s a skill students need to see in action and using a “think aloud” is an effective way of approaching it, but also need to consider approaching it concretely. With many different learning styles, we need to respect a student’s way of processing information and learning new skills. In addition, continuous practice is necessary to help them realize that inferences relate to experiences and these experiences impact our view on ideas and things. Ways of guiding students through developing inferences include probing questions, having them make connections between their prior knowledge and new information, getting them to use and understand the importance of evidence to make decisions and draw conclusions.

In this lesson, How Do Rocks Form, I engage students in applying what they have learned about various processes that affect Earth' surfaces into thinking about how they may change rocks.  On the left hand side of the diagram, I present them with a description of the process. On the right hand side of the diagram, I ask them to write how they think that process will change a rock.  It was a good insight to see how students applied what they have learned to an upcoming concept on the rock cycle.

  Using Prior Knowledge To Write Inferences
  Connection to Prior Knowledge: Using Prior Knowledge To Write Inferences
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Day 1-How Do Rocks Form?

Unit 4: Earth's Changing Surface
Lesson 9 of 11

Objective: SWBAT identify three types of rocks-sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous.

Big Idea: Students will examine a variety of sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks and describe how each one forms.

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