Wednesday, September 30, 2015

We #StruckGold with Soil Profiles

I can explain based on evidence for how the geological features of Hardwick that have been created over a long period of time.

I can work collaboratively and respectfully with my peer group.

I can develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth’s materials and the flow of energy that makes the process of change happen to Earth.

Today was one of those idyllic beautiful almost fall days. House II  had the chance to spend it outside with 50 middle school students digging soil profiles. To be honest we were asked more than once, by students,  if we were having them look for buried treasure. In a way we were. If you consider the 8 science practices as well as graduation proficiencies, "Treasure" like we do. 

 We took the approach of trying to engage students through inquiry, communication and investigation.  Students at this point don't have much experience or background knowledge about how Hardwick was formed, or the Geological history of Vermont in general. Allowing them to jump in and become Geologists for a day let them develop questions that they WANT to know the answers to. It also will help us start to hash out our "I can statements," and be a solid real life experience we can relate new learning to. In the past I may have spent time giving them information before allowing them to experience something. I thought that they wouldn't be able to understand, or become interested if they didn't have background knowledge/vocab/info. 

Now, the current research into best science practices say just the opposite. Teachers need to allow students to develop interest, wonder and then let them help guide where the learning takes us all together.

For more info about best practices in Science check out VSI

And to see the work we did today check out the Hazen Union Live tweeting we did today too. Kids developed their hashtags to tell the world what they were doing: