Friday, January 30, 2015

A Day in the Life of 6th Grade Science (Week of 1/26/15)

Here’s a little look at some of the awesome things going on in the 6th grade science classes at GMS.  

Team 6T

properties of matter.JPGStudents on 6T are studying the characteristic properties of matter.  In partnerships and small groups, students travel throughout the classroom to a variety of inquiry stations.

At each station, students discuss and answer questions in order to develop theories about what they see.  As they explore the properties of matter, they apply their own understanding of volume and density to each investigation  

As true scientists do, these 6th graders also share their results and compare them with the work of others.  After each of the inquiries are completed, the partnerships and small groups enter their results in a collaborative Google Doc.  Through this shared resource, students benefit from seeing not only their own results, but the results of others as well.  This collaborative learning experience helps the students identify trends and also determine the validity of their own findings.

Team 6G and Team 6S

Students on 6G and 6S are currently learning about the plant life cycle.  

wisconsin fast plants.JPGStarting with seeds, students are working in groups and growing Wisconsin Fast Plants.  Each day of the cycle is observed and data is recorded by the group. To record the data, students are using a combination of digital resources.  

Students work together using the camera feature in the Chromebooks to take photographs of the plants and work in collaborative documents to record other data.  For example, within their Google accounts, students create and share data tables in Google Docs and slideshow presentations to showcase the plants' growth in Google Presentations.

Students on 6G are also dissecting plants.  They are taking the plants apart to get closer looks at the individual parts of a flower.  Tactile,  hands-on manipulation of the plant parts coupled with the digital note-taking in Google Drive on the Chromebooks allow for students to employ a variety of learning styles during this lesson and really understand the intricacies of the plants they are studying.

IMG_3943.JPGAdditionally, through Google Drive the teachers share copies of notes pertaining to the parts and functions of the plant parts.  

Students can access these shared resources in Drive to later compare them with their own notes, and to use as study aides as they progress through the unit.  

Team 6M

Using the workshop model of instruction, students on 6M are studying pure and composite substances.  

After a whole group mini lesson, students have the opportunity to take a closer look at actual examples of various substances that are on display in the classroom.

Through Google Drive, the teacher has shared resources for students to access, while they work independently, on explaining the process through with a pure substance is converted or manufactured into a composite substance.  As the students work, the teacher holds brief individual conferences with each student to keep track of their progress with their respective inquiries and provide them with guidance as needed.

Reflection and self-assessment through the 3-2-1 exit ticket also help students take ownership of their learning and provides valuable formative assessment that shapes the teacher's future plans.  

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