Reflection: Student Ownership Day 2: The Passing of Time... Day/Night, Seasons, and Years - Section 4: Explain


Back and Forth Strategy

Today I decided to use the back and forth strategy as a way for students to share what they understand about the cause of season. This strategy is similar to a think pair share; however, students peer evaluate one another’s written response. First, students write an explanation to an idea or to a prompt independently. This helps students process their own thoughts and understanding before engaging with a peer.  After each partner has finished, they swap papers. They read one another’s paper. While they are reading, they are looking for accuracy in the explanation and noting any misconceptions or missing information under the written response.  Once each partner has finished evaluating their peer’s response, they return the paper back to each other. Now they have a chance to engage in a discussion about the notes their peer provided to them. They talk about details that may not be accurate or unclear details. They are able to help one another develop a deep understanding of the concept through their discussion. When they finish discussing, each partner goes back and revises their original explanation by adding the information missing or details that need clarification.  This strategy can be used in a variety way and formatted to suit the needs of the students, especially when grappling with new ideas, reviewing concepts, vocabulary, and/or preparing for assessments. It is supports ELL students in developing their academic language skills. 

I found this strategy a good way to help my students express their understanding of the cause of seasons and engage in meaningful discussion with their peers. It helped them develop their understanding and make deeper connections by reading, evaluating, and listening to other perspectives. My students were engaged during this part of the lesson and were open to the suggestion their partner provided them. Because the strategy let me move about the room, I was able to quickly do my own formative assessment. I found the most common detail missing for explanations was the tilt of the Earth. This gave me a chance to reconvene the class and clarify this information.

  Back and Forth Strategy
  Student Ownership: Back and Forth Strategy
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Day 2: The Passing of Time... Day/Night, Seasons, and Years

Unit 5: Out Of This World- A Journey Through Our Solar System
Lesson 6 of 11

Objective: SWBAT explain how Earth's movement around the Sun causes changes in day/night, seasons, and year.

Big Idea: Students will create a diagram that shows the four seasonal positions of Earth during a year.

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back and forth students writing
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