May 2009 Archives

End of Year Philosophy of Science

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Andy Filipczak
SCIED 411
4/29/09

 

End of the Year Revision

            My beliefs about "science" have not really changed from the beginning of the semester.  This class included many readings related to gender, nature of science, history/philosophy/sociology of science, questioning cycle, inquiry, and much more.  It also included several peer teaching and student teaching experiences.  However, it seems to me that the readings and my growth through the teaching experiences could all be applied to other fields.  Science was not a "controlled for" factor in my reading and experiences.  For example, gender and English language learners are issues in all disciplines.  However, my experience in other fields is limited so this application may not be true.

            Science, to me, still seems to be more of a methodology as opposed to a specific content matter.  It is a flexible procedure with which someone approaches understanding.  It often includes concepts, such as prediction, observation, control, correlation, etc.  Not all of these elements are applicable in every investigation.  It is a logical approach to understanding, and it is that logical progression that separates science from other disciplines.

 

(The following section is my description of science that I wrote on January 22, 2009)

Philosophy of Science

            To me, "science" is a particular loosely formed method of analyzing phenomenon that includes concepts such as hypothesis, data, conclusion, control, etc.  The result of this definition is that the title of science is not restricted to any particular discipline.  Biology, chemistry, and physics are considered natural sciences.  They are sciences in the way that they approach understanding and their focus lends them to be natural sciences.  By that same logic, psychology and sociology are social sciences.  They are sciences in that they approach understanding in ways similar to the natural sciences.  However, their focus is different; it's on society.  Therefore, they can be considered social sciences and in recent decades, this has been the case. 

            Some disciplines lend themselves more to being considered science than others.  For example, language arts, philosophy, and religion are not typically considered science.  I would argue that they are not considered science because they lack the loosely formed methodology and approach to understanding that sciences are generally considered to have.  They also lack an ability for formal proof or evidence to support their claims. 

The traditional sciences and other disciplines are very similar.  All disciplines seek to further understanding of phenomenon experienced in the world.  They all also have specific historical contexts, language, methods of discovery, and communal norms.  The specifics of each are distinct to the disciplines, but they all have the same component parts.

Despite those component similarities, there is still a distinction between science and other disciplines.  I believe that distinction is the result of the methods which the sciences approach understanding versus those of other disciplines.  The question that now needs to be considered is: how do the sciences approach understanding differently from other disciplines (i.e. the approach of science)? 

Science approaches understanding systematically using several legacy concepts such as hypotheses, predictions, data, analysis, conclusion, etc.  In the past, the "scientific method" was defined as a rigid process of discovery with specific steps (Kuslan and Stone, 1968).  Today, this is not necessarily the case.  Science use the concept mentioned above in their approach to understanding, however, the exact method is less strict than several decades ago.  Other disciplines, such as language and philosophy, do not approach discovery with those concepts in mind. 

Future Goals

My three primary goals as a science educator are to:
1. Actively engage my students in their lessons.
2. Make the content easily understandable.
3. Challenge students to go beyond their expected ability.
First, students learn very little when they are not engaged in the subject somehow.  While earning a grade does serve as some incentive and will garner their attention, it will only get the minimum.  Students who are genuinely engaged due to interest tend to be more active and learn more.  But engagement is only part of the issue in learning.  What you are teaching needs to be made understandable to the students.  If it is "above their head", they will become frustrated, lose interest, and not learn.  This is even worse than being uninterested because with frustration could also come self-doubt.  Finally, teachers are not just there to preach content, foster inquiry, etc.  Students grow and learn about themselves in their activities, of which school is a major element.  Kids need to push themselves or be pushed to grow in their intellectual ability.  A major part of succeeding and growing is believing that you can.  To foster that belief, students must be challenged.  When they succeed at a given challenge, they gain confidence and move on to more difficult challenges.

 

 

 

 

References

Kuslin LI and HA Stone.  1968.  Teaching Children Science: An Inquiry Approach.  Wadsworth Publishing Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning Philosophy of Science

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Andy Filipczak
SCIED 411
1/22/09

 


Philosophy of Science

            To me, "science" is a particular loosely formed method of analyzing phenomenon that includes concepts such as hypothesis, data, conclusion, control, etc.  The result of this definition is that the title of science is not restricted to any particular discipline.  Biology, chemistry, and physics are considered natural sciences.  They are sciences in the way that they approach understanding and their focus lends them to be natural sciences.  By that same logic, psychology and sociology are social sciences.  They are sciences in that they approach understanding in ways similar to the natural sciences.  However, their focus is different; it's on society.  Therefore, they can be considered social sciences and in recent decades, this has been the case. 

            Some disciplines lend themselves more to being considered science than others.  For example, language arts, philosophy, and religion are not typically considered science.  I would argue that they are not considered science because they lack the loosely formed methodology and approach to understanding that sciences are generally considered to have. 

The traditional sciences and other disciplines are very similar.  All disciplines seek to further understanding of phenomenon experienced in the world.  They all also have specific historical contexts, language, methods of discovery, and communal norms.  The specifics of each are distinct to the disciplines, but they all have the same component parts.

Despite those component similarities, there is still a distinction between science and other disciplines.  I believe that distinction is the result of the methods which the sciences approach understanding versus those of other disciplines.  The question that now needs to be considered is: how do the sciences approach understanding differently from other disciplines (i.e. the approach of science). 

Science approaches understanding systematically using several legacy concepts such as hypotheses, predictions, data, analysis, conclusion, etc.  In the past, the "scientific method" was defined as a rigid process of discovery with specific steps (Kuslan and Stone, 1968).  Today, this is not necessarily the case.  Science use the concept mentioned above in their approach to understanding, however, the exact method is less strict than several decades ago.  Other disciplines, such as language and philosophy, do not approach discovery with those concepts in mind. 

 

 

Kuslin LI and HA Stone.  1968.  Teaching Children Science: An Inquiry Approach.  Wadsworth Publishing Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

Peer Teaching 4 Critique

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Andy Filipczak
SCIED 411
4/29/09

 


Clinic 2 Critique

 

Lesson Outline

Title:  Ocean Waves:  Understanding Propagation and Movement of Ocean Waves

Presenters:  Andy Filipczak (Partner:  Megen Woody)

 

The objective of the lesson was to demonstrate the method by which ocean waves are generated and move towards shore.  Students were first asked to describe their experiences at the beach, ocean, fishing, etc.  If students had previous experience in those locations or with those activities, they were asked to elaborate on what they were doing, what the water or surf was like, and what happened with the waves.  Students were then divided into three teams of two and given a Predict-Observe-Explain worksheet.  An aquarium was filled half way with water and waves were generated using a piece of Plexiglas.  Students were asked to write down what they think would happen to a ping pong ball if it was placed into the wave tank.  For example, would the ball move up and down, right to left, no move, etc.  A ping pong ball was then dropped into the tank and students recorded their observations.  Four trials with four different ping pong balls were used.  Students were then asked to reconcile their prediction with their observations.  All predictions, observations, and explanations were shared to the entire group.

Following the tank demonstration, the method by which ocean waves are generated and move was explained to the students.  Waves are generated primarily by wind causing water molecules to bump into each other and generate a pulse.  There is no real net movement of water.  To demonstrate the process, a computer and a physical demonstration were used.  First, a computer simulation showing bumping water molecules and wave movement was shown to the students.  Second, students were asked to stand shoulder to shoulder against a wall.  One student was asked to step out and serve as an observer.  Acting as the wind, Megen Woody would lightly bump the first student into the second, who hit the third and so on.  The observing student would explain what he saw to the rest of the group.  Students saw the pulse-like movement a wave uses.  Interestingly, in all four groups that this demonstration was used with, the last student would fake falling down.  It was to be funny for his/her classmates; however, it was a perfect opportunity to explain waves crashing on the beech.  They crash because there is no other water molecule to bump in to and the wave basically falls down.

 

Students

Students were mixed male and female, 7th grade at Park Forest Elementary School in State College PA.  Their roles were to predict, observe, and explain what occurred in the demonstrations offered.  They were given sheets to write down their thoughts.  They were also required to share their ideas with other students in the group.

 

 

 

 

 

Teaching Session 1:  Andy Filipczak (me)

            Overall, my teaching session went well.  From feedback with Dr. Duschl and my partner, a number of strengths and weaknesses were identified.

Strengths

1.      Involved all students. 

a.       I made it a point to make sure every student had a chance to explain their prediction, observations, and explanations. 

b.      It was especially difficult to elicit responses from the girls.  According to Suzie Lee (2003), girls tend to respond after more reflection and longer time than their male counterparts.  This was certainly the case during the lesson when the male students responded quicker and with more confidence. 

c.       This strength was one that was recognized in my earlier peer teaching and clinic 1 teaching.

2.      Enthusiastic.

a.       I moved around so that students were not bored or accustomed to me being in one place.  I spoke with a strong voice, offered jokes, and gave praise.  Students responded in kind.

b.      This strength was one that was recognized in my earlier peer teaching and clinic 1 teaching.

3.      Improvisation

a.       I followed the lesson plan and addressed all of the objectives of the lesson.  However, the lesson was modified.  Students were only going to have the aquarium and computer demonstrations shown to them.  During the first group, I came up with the idea of the bumping demonstration.  This demonstration offered the students the ability to see molecular bumping first hand.  (Students were told to bump gently, and safety concerns were given).

b.      When the last student decided to fake call to make his classmates laugh, it also provided a teaching moment.  It was the perfect opportunity to explain surf at the beech.  This improvised demonstration gave the students a clearer picture of wave movement and also allowed the lesson to be expanded to include crashing waves at the beach and not just waves out at sea.

c.       This was a new strength not previously identified

 

Weaknesses

1.      Need to slow down.

a.       In my excitement and desire to keep the lesson interesting, involve all students, be enthusiastic and impart that enthusiasm onto the students, I did move fast.  I need to find a better balance between excitement and speed/clarity.

b.      I did improve in this weakness from earlier peer teaching and clinic 1 teaching.  However, it is still a point that requires addressing.

 

 

 

 

 

Teaching Session 2:  Megen Woody (partner)

            Megen and I have markedly different teaching styles and upon reflection, her strengths were my weaknesses and her weaknesses were my strengths.

Strengths

1.      Slow, Clear.

a.       Megen spoke very slowly and clearly.  She was easy to understand.

2.      Gave students full time to speak.

a.       Jen solicited responses from everyone as I did.  However, she was not afraid of dead air time and let responses hang in the air if necessary to spur further conversation.

Weaknesses

1.      Slow vs. Enthusiasm

a.       While being slow and clear, Megen did not seem overly excited about the lesson and her students also were not that excited.  She remained in one place for most of the time and a monotone of voice kept the lesson suppressed.

2.      Presence

a.       Because of her quieter voice and more guarded mature, students did not always listen to her right away.  It took her longer to get their attention.

 

Clinic 2 vs. Clinic 1 Difference

            Seeing differences between the first and second clinics was easy.  I had improved upon earlier weaknesses such as my speed and allowing children to finish their thoughts.  I need to keep my speed in mind and I did not cut students off during this exercise.  However, I will continue to keep those weaknesses in mind so that I continue to improve upon or eliminate those problems.

 

Lesson 1/3 vs. 2/4 Difference

There were clearly differences between lessons 1 and 3, which were taught by me, and lessons 2 and 4, which were taught by Megen.  The difficult part is in determining the cause of the differences.  She and I had very different teaching styles, which contributed to many of the differences.  My lessons tended to be more enthusiastic and keeping control of the students' enthusiasm was an issue to be dealt with throughout the lesson.  Megen was quieter so gaining initial control was more difficult for her.  She did use the bump demonstration in her lessons after seeing me use it. 

 

ESRU

            Often teacher strategy is organized according to the ESRU cycle.  The teacher elicits a response, students respond, the teacher recognizes the response, and the teacher uses the student response (Duschl 2003).  This model can be effective at gauging student's understanding, providing feedback, promoting discussion, and many other positive aspects.  However, when used in excess, it can have detrimental outcomes.  In excess, this model usage leads to constant evaluation of students understanding, does not foster inquiry or growth.  It is merely regurgitation of facts when used improperly.  Unfortunately, teachers can be unknowingly sucked into using this method too frequently.

            During Clinic 2, there were times when questioning students was necessary, just as it is in a typical classroom.  I needed to relate the topic of ocean waves to the daily lives of students and try to gauge what they knew so far.  This required questioning students and using their responses.  However, I tried to limit my questioning to that area.  My goal was to keep the lesson focused on the demonstrations and have students responses focus on what they thought was occurring.  I tried to let the students dominate the explanations of the phenomenon rather than a constant question-answer session.

 

Inquiry

            According to Lisa Martin-Hansen (2002), inquiry exists along a continuum depending upon the experience of the students and difficulty of the subject matter.  In some instances, such as when students have little experience guiding their own study or with exceptionally difficult subject matters, inquiry is more teacher-driven.  On the other end of the spectrum, students with experience guiding their own discovery, there is less teacher guidance and more student direction.  The level of inquiry also depends upon the nature of the lesson being conducted.

              This clinic was designed to be a demonstration rather than an inquiry fostering activity.  The objective was to demonstrate a particular phenomenon to 7th grade students.  It was not designed to have students generate their own questions, design an activity, etc.  However, a POE model was used.  Students had to predict, observe, and explain was what going on in the demonstrations.  In that sense, inquiry was fostered since they had to generate their own predictions based upon personal experience, observe a phenomenon, generate explanations, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

 

Bybee RW.  1997.  Achieving Scientific Literacy.  Portsmouth NH: Heinemann

 

Lee S.  2003.  Achieving gender equality in middle school science classrooms.  Science Scope 42-43.

 

Martin-Hansen L.  2002.  Defining Inquiry.  The Science Teacher (2002): 34-37

 

Vygotsky LS.  1978.  Mind and Society: The Development of higher Psychological Processes.  Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCIED 411 Peer Teaching 4 and Clinic 2

April 28, 2009


Presenters
            Andy Filipczak ajf223@psu.edu

Megen Woody            maw5125@psu.edu

Grade Level and Topic
            7th - 8th Grade
            Ocean Waves: Generation and Movement

Standards
           
Pennsylvania's Academic Standards for Science and Technology (Grade 7)

3.4.7-C: Identify and explain principles of force and motion.

Bullet 1: Describe the motion of an object based on its position, direction, and speed.

-In this activity, students will describe the generation and movement of an ocean wave.  Since a wave is created by the collision of individual water molecules, students will need to be able to describe the position, direction, and force of the colliding molecules.

3.7.7-D: Apply computer software to solve specific problems.

Bullet 1:  Identify software designed to meet specific needs (e.g., Computer Aided Drafting, design software, tutorial, financial, presentation software).

-In this activity, students will watch an animation of wave motion in order to clarify that wave energy is passing through the water, which causes water molecules to collide with each other in a continuous manner.

 

National Science Education Standards (Grades 5th - 8th)

Science as Inquiry Standard: Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry.

Think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations.

 

National Science Teaching Standard

Teachers of science plan an inquiry-based science program for their students.

-While this lesson is not a strict inquiry activity, many elements of inquiry are present, such as prediction, observation, and explanation.

Teachers of science guide and facilitate learning.

 

Instructional Objectives

At the completion of this lesson, the students will be able to

-Explain the mechanisms by which ocean waves are generated and move toward shore.

 

During the lesson, the students will

-Predict how waves are generated and move based upon their previous experiences and a demonstration in a fish tank (aquarium).

-Observe the generation and movement of a wave of water in an aquarium and with a computer generated model.

 

Content Explanation

The generation and movement of ocean waves is a commonly misunderstood concept.  Ocean waves are generated by wind blowing across the ocean surface.  Depending upon wind speed and the amount of surface that the wind blows over, waves of various sizes are generated.  Other types of waves, such as tsunamis are generated by geological events. 

 

It is commonly believed that waves are a mass of moving water.  In fact, there is very little movement of water molecules with a wave.  The wave is perpetuated by the collision of water molecules.  Surface wind blows across the ocean surface, which collides with water molecules.  The molecules then collide with neighboring molecules.  The combination of wind and water molecular collision makes the wave grow in size.  Eventually, the wave encounters an obstacle such as a seagoing vessel or coastline and crashes.

 

Administrative Considerations
            Safety

-No safety concerns with this lesson.

 

Clearances

-None required beyond the home school.

 

Classroom Management
            -The normal teacher of the students will be present while activities are occurring. 

Classroom management, including flow, station placement, etc. will be determined by the home school.

 

English Learners

-According to Hademenos et al., 2004, the best way to learn language in the classroom is to actively participate in the lesson with native English speaking students.  No special group placements will be made between native English speaking students and those with English as a second language.  However, to aid in their understanding of the lesson, students will have a guiding concept and lesson materials provided.  Observations and findings will be communicated within groups.

 

Special Education Needs and Concerns
            -None have been provided by the home school.

 

 

 

Materials and Equipment
            -Aquarium (20 gallons)

            -Piece of plastic (12 in. X 12 in.)

            -Ping pong balls

-Computer with internet access

-Projector and white board


Set-Up

-A 20 gallon aquarium will be filled with 15 gallons of water.

-A computer will be connected to the internet and hooked up to a projector.

-The following websites will be accessed and tested:    http://www.classzone.com/books/earth_science/terc/content/visualizations/es1604/es1604page01.cfm?chapter_no=visualization

http://www.onr.navy.mil/Focus/ocean/motion/waves1.htm

            http://kingfish.coastal.edu/biology/sgilman/770Oceansinmotion.htm

 

Lesson

Prediction - Observation - Explanation for the demonstration

-The students will predict whether or not the ping pong balls will move when the waves hit them

-The students will record their observations of the demonstration

-The students will write down why they think the ping pong balls did not move when the waves hit them before we further explain

 

Engagement (3-5 minutes)

                        -Questions       

-What do you think of when you hear the word "beach"?

-What experience do you have with the ocean?

-Ever ride an ocean wave ("boogyboard")?

-Ever float over waves on a raft?

                                    -How do waves occur?

                        -Students will be divided into groups

-Students will predict what will happen in the demonstration and include a reason

 

Exploration (2-4 minutes)

                        -Students will view the demonstration and record their observations

 

Explanation (4-6 minutes)

                        -Students will resolve their prediction and observation from the demonstration

-Students will discuss with their group and come up with a consensus to share with the class

                        -Questions

-Why did the ping pong balls not move with the wave?

-How do waves get bigger?

-Students will view the computer simulated waves and how they are propagated

 

Elaboration (3-5 minutes)

                        -Questions       

-How does a surfer ride a wave?

                                    -How do tsunamis occur?

                                    -What is occurring when waves break at the shore?

 

Evaluation

-Students should understand that a wave is a series of collisions of molecules and not the movement of water

-Evaluation will occur throughout the lesson

 

Websites Used

http://www.classzone.com/books/earth_science/terc/content/visualizations/es1604/es1604page01.cfm?chapter_no=visualization

 

http://www.onr.navy.mil/Focus/ocean/motion/waves1.htm

 

http://kingfish.coastal.edu/biology/sgilman/770Oceansinmotion.htm

 

References

Brown, T. L., E. H. LeMay Jr., B. E. Bursten, and J. R. Burdge.  Chemistry: The Central Science.  9th ed.  New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2002.

Peer Teaching 4 Lesson

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Andy Filipczak
SCIED 411
4/28/09


SCIED 411 Peer Teaching 4 and Clinic 2

April 28, 2009


Presenters
            Andy Filipczak ajf223@psu.edu

Megen Woody            maw5125@psu.edu

Grade Level and Topic
            7th - 8th Grade
            Ocean Waves: Generation and Movement

Standards
           
Pennsylvania's Academic Standards for Science and Technology (Grade 7)

3.4.7-C: Identify and explain principles of force and motion.

Bullet 1: Describe the motion of an object based on its position, direction, and speed.

-In this activity, students will describe the generation and movement of an ocean wave.  Since a wave is created by the collision of individual water molecules, students will need to be able to describe the position, direction, and force of the colliding molecules.

3.7.7-D: Apply computer software to solve specific problems.

Bullet 1:  Identify software designed to meet specific needs (e.g., Computer Aided Drafting, design software, tutorial, financial, presentation software).

-In this activity, students will watch an animation of wave motion in order to clarify that wave energy is passing through the water, which causes water molecules to collide with each other in a continuous manner.

 

National Science Education Standards (Grades 5th - 8th)

Science as Inquiry Standard: Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry.

Think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations.

 

National Science Teaching Standard

Teachers of science plan an inquiry-based science program for their students.

-While this lesson is not a strict inquiry activity, many elements of inquiry are present, such as prediction, observation, and explanation.

Teachers of science guide and facilitate learning.

 

Instructional Objectives

At the completion of this lesson, the students will be able to

-Explain the mechanisms by which ocean waves are generated and move toward shore.

 

During the lesson, the students will

-Predict how waves are generated and move based upon their previous experiences and a demonstration in a fish tank (aquarium).

-Observe the generation and movement of a wave of water in an aquarium and with a computer generated model.

 

Content Explanation

The generation and movement of ocean waves is a commonly misunderstood concept.  Ocean waves are generated by wind blowing across the ocean surface.  Depending upon wind speed and the amount of surface that the wind blows over, waves of various sizes are generated.  Other types of waves, such as tsunamis are generated by geological events. 

 

It is commonly believed that waves are a mass of moving water.  In fact, there is very little movement of water molecules with a wave.  The wave is perpetuated by the collision of water molecules.  Surface wind blows across the ocean surface, which collides with water molecules.  The molecules then collide with neighboring molecules.  The combination of wind and water molecular collision makes the wave grow in size.  Eventually, the wave encounters an obstacle such as a seagoing vessel or coastline and crashes.

 

Administrative Considerations
            Safety

-No safety concerns with this lesson.

 

Clearances

-None required beyond the home school.

 

Classroom Management
            -The normal teacher of the students will be present while activities are occurring. 

Classroom management, including flow, station placement, etc. will be determined by the home school.

 

English Learners

-According to Hademenos et al., 2004, the best way to learn language in the classroom is to actively participate in the lesson with native English speaking students.  No special group placements will be made between native English speaking students and those with English as a second language.  However, to aid in their understanding of the lesson, students will have a guiding concept and lesson materials provided.  Observations and findings will be communicated within groups.

 

Special Education Needs and Concerns
            -None have been provided by the home school.

 

 

 

Materials and Equipment
            -Aquarium (20 gallons)

            -Piece of plastic (12 in. X 12 in.)

            -Ping pong balls

-Computer with internet access

-Projector and white board


Set-Up

-A 20 gallon aquarium will be filled with 15 gallons of water.

-A computer will be connected to the internet and hooked up to a projector.

-The following websites will be accessed and tested:    http://www.classzone.com/books/earth_science/terc/content/visualizations/es1604/es1604page01.cfm?chapter_no=visualization

http://www.onr.navy.mil/Focus/ocean/motion/waves1.htm

            http://kingfish.coastal.edu/biology/sgilman/770Oceansinmotion.htm

 

Lesson

Prediction - Observation - Explanation for the demonstration

-The students will predict whether or not the ping pong balls will move when the waves hit them

-The students will record their observations of the demonstration

-The students will write down why they think the ping pong balls did not move when the waves hit them before we further explain

 

Engagement (3-5 minutes)

                        -Questions       

-What do you think of when you hear the word "beach"?

-What experience do you have with the ocean?

-Ever ride an ocean wave ("boogyboard")?

-Ever float over waves on a raft?

                                    -How do waves occur?

                        -Students will be divided into groups

-Students will predict what will happen in the demonstration and include a reason

 

Exploration (2-4 minutes)

                        -Students will view the demonstration and record their observations

 

Explanation (4-6 minutes)

                        -Students will resolve their prediction and observation from the demonstration

-Students will discuss with their group and come up with a consensus to share with the class

                        -Questions

-Why did the ping pong balls not move with the wave?

-How do waves get bigger?

-Students will view the computer simulated waves and how they are propagated

 

Elaboration (3-5 minutes)

                        -Questions       

-How does a surfer ride a wave?

                                    -How do tsunamis occur?

                                    -What is occurring when waves break at the shore?

 

Evaluation

-Students should understand that a wave is a series of collisions of molecules and not the movement of water

-Evaluation will occur throughout the lesson

 

Websites Used

http://www.classzone.com/books/earth_science/terc/content/visualizations/es1604/es1604page01.cfm?chapter_no=visualization

 

http://www.onr.navy.mil/Focus/ocean/motion/waves1.htm

 

http://kingfish.coastal.edu/biology/sgilman/770Oceansinmotion.htm

 

References

Brown, T. L., E. H. LeMay Jr., B. E. Bursten, and J. R. Burdge.  Chemistry: The Central Science.  9th ed.  New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2002.


Prediction:        □ping pong ball will move left or right

□ping pong ball will move forward or backward

□ping pong ball will move up and down

□ping pong ball will not move

 

Reasons for Prediction (include drawing):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Observation:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resolve Prediction and Observation:

Peer Teaching 3 Lesson

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Andy Filipczak
SCIED 411
4/28/09


SCIED 411 Peer Teaching 3 and Clinic 1 - Tea Activity

Presenters:
Jen Clark:  jlc5013@psu.edu
Andy Filipczak: andy.fillipczak@psu.edu

Grade Level and Topic
Level:  5-7th grade
Topic:  The affect of heat on physical states of matter, molecular motion, and diffusion.

Standards
National Science Education Standards:  Content Standards for Scientific Inquiry
1)  Think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations.  (Grades 5-8)
2)  Communicate scientific procedures and explanations.  (Grades 5-8)

National Science Teaching Standard
1)  A:  Teachers of science plan an inquiry-based science program for their students.
2)  B:  Teachers of science guide and facilitate learning.
 
PA Academic Standards for Science and Technology
1)  3.2.7B:  Apply process knowledge to make and interpret observations.
        a.  Bullet 2:  Describe relationships by making inferences and predictions.
2)  3.4.10A:
        a.  Bullet 4:  Describe phases of matter according to Kinetic Molecular Theory

Instructional Objectives
During the lesson, the students will:
    1)  Record observations and describe what they see happening with the tea over time (note: a data sheet will be provided with specific observations)
    2)  Observe diffusion of tea at different temperatures and  understand that molecules diffuse faster at higher temperatures because they have more energy
    3)  Observe whole tea leaves and normal (broken up) tea leaves at the same temperature and understand that the same substance may behave differently if its size changes.
Upon completion of the lesson, the students will:
    1)  Define the term diffusion
    2)  Understand the process of diffusion.
    3)  Relate the process of diffusion to temperature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Content Explanation (include a concept map)

Diffusion is an easily visible process that can be used to explore molecular motion and temperature in the classroom.  Diffusion is movement of molecules across a concentration gradient via random molecular motion; in this case the tea moving from inside the teabag (high concentration) into the water (low concentration).  Diffusion stops once the system has reached equilibrium, where no net change is observed, but typically when making tea the teabag is removed once the drinker is satisfied that the tea has reached an acceptable strength.  The random molecular motion that drives diffusion comes from the energy of the molecules, generally conceptualized as the translational motion of the individual molecules, vibrations along the bonds, and rotation around some axis.  Temperature provides the average amount of energy in a system; it is important to note that not all molecules will be traveling at the same speeds at a given temperature, some will be moving faster and some slower.  A higher temperature indicates higher average kinetic energy and should result in a faster rate of diffusion.  In this experiment, tea that is made in hot water will thus diffuse faster than tea made in cold water. 

Surface area relative to volume also affects particle behavior.  Smaller particles with larger surface area-to-volume ratios have greater area over which other particles can interact. The kinetic energy necessary for propelling them to a given velocity is less than that of a larger particle, so although the average energy may be the same at a temperature, the process of diffusion will be considerably faster. 

Administrative Considerations
Safety:
Hot Plates will be present but handled only by the instructor and away from the students.  Awareness is essential.  Cold water and burn cream is available in the classroom if necessary.

Clearances:
None required beyond their home school.

Classroom Management:
The normal teacher of the students will be present while activities are occurring.
Classroom management, including flow, station placement, etc. will be determined by the Logistics Committee.

English Learners:
According to Hademenos et al., 2004, the best way to learn language in the classroom is to actively participate in the lesson with native English speaking students.  No special group placements will be made between native English speaking students and those with English as a second language.  However, to aid in their understanding of the lesson, students will have a guiding concept, materials, and methods.  Observations and findings will be communicated within groups.

Special Educations Needs and Concerns:
None have been provided by the middle school. 

Materials, Equipment, & Set-Up
Materials:
    1.  Hot Plate
    2.  3 or 4 transparent glass cups
    3.  3/4 Thermometers
    4.  Approximately 20 tea bags (cranberry apple bigelow tea - red color makes it easy to see)
    5. Color comparison sheets

Set-Up:
    1.  A hot plate will be set up prior to class beginning and the water brought to a boil.
    2.  Into 3 coffee cups, water will be poured - boiling into 1, cold into another, and a cold/boiling mix into the third.
    3.  Into each cup of water, a thermometer will be placed and students will record the temperature.
    4.  Tea bags will be placed into each simultaneously.
    5.  Students will record how long it takes for the tea to mix without agitation.  They will record when the tea starts to diffuse, when the cup is half mixed, when if is completely mixed.

 


Lesson

Engagement (~3 minutes)

Prior to the experiment beginning, students will be shown a cup of water and drop a tea bag into it.  They will watch the tea diffuse and be prompted with questions for thought:

1.      Why does the tea "spread out" (diffuse) into the water?

2.      Will it happen faster in hot or cold water?

3.      Will stirring help it diffuse?

(4.    Does the type of tea used make any difference?) <--I added this in parentheses throughout, but I think it might be too much to tackle in one 20 minute lesson

Exploration (~10 minutes)

For this experiment, students will only test the affect of temperature on diffusion, not agitation or why molecules mix (diffuse). 

1.      Students will form their own hypothesis of the affect water temperature has on diffusion.

2.      They will have three cups of water - cold, room temperature, hot.  They will record any observations they have as well as the temperature and the time that the tea reaches different colors on a worksheet.

(3.   A second cup of hot tea with whole tea leaves will be used as well, and students will be asked if they think the size of the tea leaves will have any effect.  While waiting the students can poke through a tea bag to examine the contents)

Explain (~5 minutes)

1.      Students will explain their hypotheses, i.e. diffusion occurs faster in hot, cold, or medium temperature water.

2.      Students will explain their results - temperature and time of diffusion for tea in three cups of water. (large vs. small tea leaves)

Elaborate (~2 minutes)

1.      Students will understand the term "diffusion".

2.      Using this experiment, students will propose other everyday occurrences where this information might be occurring.  If students are having trouble, the instructors can propose possible occurrences, such as mixing juice and weather.

Evaluate

1.      Students will communicate their results to each other.

2.      Students will listen to the results of several diffusion trials (other groups) and determine in what temperature diffusion occurs the fastest - hot, medium, cold. 

3.      Students will offer explanations on why tea diffuses faster in hot water (and why tea size makes a difference).




References

Hademenos G, N Heires, R Young.  2004.  Teaching science to newcomers.  The Science Teacher 2004: 27-31
Brown, T.L., 

LeMay E.H.Jr., Bursten B.E., Burdge J.R. (2002). Chemistry: The Central Science.  9th Ed.  Prentice Hall: NJ.   

Peer Teaching 2 Interview

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Peer Teaching 1 Reflection

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Andy Filipczak
SCIED 411
2/10/09

 

Peer Teaching 1 Reflection

            In watching the video of my peer teaching presentation, there were several areas in need of improvement but also some areas of strength on my part as the instructor.  I need to improve on my movement in the classroom and decrease my reliance on the screen presentation.  Rate of speed and body language were decent and the overall presentation was strong.

            I need to work on my classroom movement.  Many times, I was near the computer on the side table next to the presentation screen.  Fortunately, this is largely because I had to be at the computer to change slides.  A remote slide changer could easily eliminate this problem.  I enjoy moving around the classroom because it gives me multiple perspectives of the students.  I also need to decrease my reliance on the screen.  While I was comfortable with the material I was presenting, I was not as confident once the content was paired onto specific slides.  I saw myself looking at the screen too often, not to remember the material, but to keep the presentation up with what I was saying.  More practice giving the presentation prior to class would be helpful.  I would then remember better the content that was represented on each slide and I would rely on the screen less.

            My overall speed of presentation was good.  I did not see myself talking too fast or too slow.  However, my speed did fluctuate at times, and more consistency would be beneficial.  In the early introductory exercise, I was planning on giving longer time for students to write down their thoughts, but that simply wasn't possible in the time I had.  My body language seemed fairly neutral.  However, it was pretty evident that I was nervous and occasionally wrung my hands.  Again, more practice in giving the presentation prior to the class should help this issue.

            The presentation itself was good.  The slides were not cluttered with material and they acted as a good outline and complemented the information I was teaching.  The additional props (bottles of water) were also helpful to give the students some perspective on what could be in the picture. 

            Overall, the presentation was good.  I was confident with the subject matter and the specific material being taught.  However, I should practice giving the presentation more before class in order to reduce my reliance on the screen and nervous body language.

 

 

 

Peer Teaching 1 Presentation

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Lesson 5 Evaluation

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Andy Filipczak
SCIED 411
3/24/09

 

Lesson 5 Evaluation

Eyes Through Time:  2005 Teachers Activity Guide.  Published by Penn State.  Activity 3: Accidental Discoveries.

Found in the library for PSU Center for Science and the Schools.  Number 2763.

 

Introduction

            In evaluating any lesson, there are several criteria that should be considered depending upon the nature of the lesson.  Currently, our class has five models with which to evaluate lesson plans.  Those models are:

  1. Goals of Inquiry
  2. Defining Inquiry
  3. List of Science Practices
  4. Content Standards
  5. 5 "E" Model

The analysis will evaluate the Eyes Through Time:  2005 Teachers Activity Guide, Activity 3: Accidental Discoveries.  This lesson is designed to have students begin to understand that scientific discovery does not necessarily proceed in an orderly fashion from beginning to end according to a prearranged plan.  This lesson book is designed to foster inquiry based understanding even though the specific objective of this lesson relates to the history, philosophy, and sociology of science (HPS).  Since this is an inquiry focused lesson, all five models will be used for evaluation.  Overall, this lesson relates to included some, but not all, of the elements of effective inquiry and addressed some of the components of the Science and Technology Standards for Inquiry.

 

Lesson

            This lesson was a beginning-level investigation into the "process" of scientific discovery.  Their objectives are to investigate five historically important discoveries and understand "the process" (accident) by which those discoveries were accomplished.  Students are broken up into five teams, each investigating a historically important discovery, and report their findings back to the class. 

 

Goals of Inquiry

            The main goals of inquiry science include a guiding conception, problem for enquiry, data collection and analysis, and some conclusion based on the data.  This lesson lacked many of those elements.  Even though this is an activity guide and not a lab or text book per se, no guiding conception was given.  The problem and objectives are not clearly defined but can be deduced from background reading.  Students collect data and draw conclusions.  However, there is little guidance on what questions students should answer.

 

 

 

 

Defining Inquiry

            According to Martin-Hansen (2002), there are five essential elements of inquiry - questioning, evidence, explanation, connection to scientific knowledge, communication of findings.  Inquiry activities have all five elements but the degree of self-direction vs. direction from the book and teacher should vary depending upon the age level.  As described in the previous section, Goals of Inquiry, this lesson lacks many of those elements.  A few questions are presented to help guide students.  However, I am unable to discern the reason as to why such little guidance is given.  Under full student centered inquiry, students guide their own discovery.  I cannot tell if this lesson was meant for those students or if it was just a poorly thought out lesson.  There was little collection of evidence so explanation and connection to other scientific knowledge was lacking.  Students did communicate their "results" though.

 

List of Science Practices

            According to Smith et al, 2005, there are twelve essential scientific practices - defining and describing, representing data and interpreting representations, identifying and classifying, measuring, ordering/comparing, quantifying, predicting/inferring, posing questions, designing and conducting investigations, evidence based explanation, analyzing and interpreting data, and evaluation.  This lesson has almost none of those elements.  Questions and objectives are not provided but can be deduced from the reading.

 

Content Standards

            This lesson addresses, in part, several state educational standards.  It includes elements of PA Academic Standards for Science and Technology 3.2.10 Inquiry and Design, by focusing on the HPS of science.

 

5 "E" Model

            Bybee in 1997 argued that to attain "scientific literacy", lessons needed to include engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, and evaluation.  This lesson actually had all five elements in the 5 E Model spelled out specifically.  Despite being addressed individually, the content in each "E" was lacking.  Students are basically reading history and reporting it to their class.  That can be engaging for those who enjoy history but there is little to engage other students.  Exploration, explanation, etc. are also lacking.  The lesson is important and significant to the advancement of HPS in science.  However, it lacks all other content.

            See the attached evaluation sheet for scoring on the 5 "E" Model.

 

Evaluation Sheet

            See attached sheet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 6 Research Findings

            This lesson addresses four of the research findings on Chapter 6 of Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards.  The six research findings were that understanding science is more than knowing facts, students build new knowledge and understanding on what they already know and believe, students formulate new knowledge by modifying and refining their current concepts and by adding new concepts to what they already know, learning is mediated by the social environment in which the learners interact with others, effective learning requires that students take control of their own learning, and the ability to apply knowledge to novel situations, that is, the transfer of learning is affected by the degree to which students learn with understanding.  While the six findings are not addressed individually, the lesson is designed to have students build new knowledge and adapt previously held conceptions in a social environment.  However, all discovery is related to history only and there is very little inquiry involved. 

 

Conclusion

            This lesson addressed some of the evaluation criteria.  This lesson analysis employed five methods of assessment and an evaluation sheet provided in class.  The lesson met some of the criteria in all assessment methods.  However, due to subject matter, it was lacking in science content.  It did begin to address the HPS of science but largely through a history lesson.   

 

 

 

Works Cited

 

Bybee RW.  1997.  Achieving Scientific Literacy.  Portsmouth NH: Heinemann

 

Martin-Hansen L.  2002.  Defining inquiry.  The Science Teacher p 34-37

Smith et al. 2005

 

National Academy of Sciences.  2004.  "Chapter 6:  Making the Case for Inquiry in Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards.  Copyright 2004 by National Academy of Sciences

 

PA Dept of Education.  2002.  Academic Standards for Science and Technology.  22 PA Code, Ch 4, App B.

 

Penn State Public Broadcasting.  Eyes Through Time:  2005 Teacher's Activity Guide.  Copyright 2005.  Published by Penn State University.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCIED 411 Lesson Plan Evaluation Form

Component

Description

Max Points

Points

Source Information

The authors of the lesson are clearly indicated, as well as the source of the lesson plan.

5

3

Grade Level and Topic

Is the grade level and general topic of the lesson clearly indicated and appropriate?

5

5

Standards and Inquiry

Is at least one relevant state or national science or environmental education standard clearly identified, and subsequently addressed in the lesson?

5

3

Instructional Objectives

Is it clear from the statement of lesson objectives was a student should be able to do as a result of completing the lesson?

10

5

Materials, Equipment, Set-up

Are the materials and equipment for this lesson described clearly enough that another teacher could set it up and carry it out?

10

10

Body of the Lesson

If evaluating a unit or entire curriculum, look for the following elements in at least a couple of lessons

Engagement

Will the students' attention be gained early in the lesson?  Will their initial conceptions be solicited?

10

5

Exploration

Can you perceive a clear guiding question/purpose for the lesson?  Will the students collect data or retrieve interesting data from elsewhere?  Are the instructions for doing this clear?

15

10

Explanation

Will the students be able to make sense of the exploration?  Are they asked to report what they learned?

15

10

Elaboration

Are there suggestions for extending the lesson (e.g., for advanced students)?

10

5

Evaluation

Is there a mechanism for evaluating students' understandings?  Does that mechanism match the lesson's objectives? 

15

5

DISCRETIONARY

Any additional points you wish to assign for especially good treatment in any section of the lesson plan.

10

-----------

Total:  56/95

 

 

 

Lesson 4 Evaluation

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Andy Filipczak
SCIED 411
3/24/09

 

Lesson 4 Evaluation

Human Biology: Nervous System.  Published by Everyday Learning.  Activity 5: Sensation.

Found in the library for PSU Center for Science and the Schools.  Number 1841.

 

Introduction

            In evaluating any lesson, there are several criteria that should be considered depending upon the nature of the lesson.  Currently, our class has five models with which to evaluate lesson plans.  Those models are:

  1. Goals of Inquiry
  2. Defining Inquiry
  3. List of Science Practices
  4. Content Standards
  5. 5 "E" Model

The analysis will evaluate the Human Biology: Nervous System, Activity 5: Sensation.  This lesson is designed to have students begin to understand the nature sensory perception.  It builds upon the knowledge of neurons gained in the previous lesson and now incorporates the five main human senses.  This lesson book is designed to also foster inquiry based understanding.  Since this is an inquiry focused lesson, all five models will be used for evaluation.  Overall, this lesson relates to included several, but not all, of the elements of effective inquiry and addressed some of the components of the Science and Technology Standards for Inquiry.

 

Lesson

            This lesson was a beginning-level investigation into the role of the five main human senses and environmental perception.  There were no clear objectives listed.  The lesson begins immediately with background reading of sense and a person's surrounding environment.  Through a series of 3 main activities, 4 mini-activities, and 5 areas to apply knowledge, students gain an understanding of the process of reflex action.  This includes the roles of stimuli and sensory organs such as eyes. 

 

Goals of Inquiry

            The main goals of inquiry science include a guiding conception, problem for enquiry, data collection and analysis, and some conclusion based on the data.  This lesson had all five elements.  The guiding conceptions were not specifically addressed but could be deduced from the background reading.  In the series of activities and knowledge applications, students collect data and draw conclusions.  Students are given some direction in the activities.  Often, it begins with a simple procedure but later builds on those procedures to expand the lesson.  It is up to the student to explain what occurred.  With the given background reading and semi-guided lesson, it is potentially an effective inquiry procedure. 

 

 

 

 

Defining Inquiry

            According to Martin-Hansen (2002), there are five essential elements of inquiry - questioning, evidence, explanation, connection to scientific knowledge, communication of findings.  Inquiry activities have all five elements but the degree of self-direction vs. direction from the book and teacher should vary depending upon the age level.  As described in the previous section, Goals of Inquiry, this lesson has all five elements.  The questions for inquiry are provided but the students are primarily responsible for the collection of evidence, explaining their findings, making connections to previous knowledge and reading, and communicating their findings to the class.  For high school age students, the nervous system and sensory perception are very difficult concepts to grasp.  This lesson is designed for those who are comfortable with guiding their own experimentation.  However, there is the potential to alter the lesson in either direction - make it more student driven or more teacher controlled  - depending upon the abilities of the students.

 

List of Science Practices

            According to Smith et al, 2005, there are twelve essential scientific practices - defining and describing, representing data and interpreting representations, identifying and classifying, measuring, ordering/comparing, quantifying, predicting/inferring, posing questions, designing and conducting investigations, evidence based explanation, analyzing and interpreting data, and evaluation.  This lesson has most of those elements.  Throughout the lesson, students describe occurrences, collect data, identify reactions, predict, collect evidence, communicate their findings to classmates, etc.  While the investigation is structured and not designed by students, it can be adapted to give the students or teacher more control depending upon the needs of the students.

 

Content Standards

            This lesson addresses, in part, PA Academic Standards for Science and Technology 3.3.10B Biological Sciences.

 

5 "E" Model

            Bybee in 1997 argued that to attain "scientific literacy", lessons needed to include engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, and evaluation.  The lesson does not have a clear purpose or objective.  Students are forced to deduce the objective from the background reading, which is possible.  Student's engagement was moderate because they began the lesson with common experiences and sensations.  Exploration and explanation were significant for high school students and, as mentioned previously, these elements could be enhanced or scaled back if necessary.  Students could explore different sensations and predict possible body reactions to stimuli (ex. hot, cold).  The lesson could also be enhanced to include limiting the reaction to certain senses or aggregating the senses to see the impact of sensation individually and as an aggregate.  Teachers could arrange for students to communicate the stimulus investigated, the sensation used, and their results to classmates.  There are many methods of evaluation applicable.

            See the attached evaluation sheet for scoring on the 5 "E" Model.

 

Evaluation Sheet

            See attached sheet.

Chapter 6 Research Findings

            This lesson addresses some of the research findings on Chapter 6 of Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards.  The six research findings were that understanding science is more than knowing facts, students build new knowledge and understanding on what they already know and believe, students formulate new knowledge by modifying and refining their current concepts and by adding new concepts to what they already know, learning is mediated by the social environment in which the learners interact with others, effective learning requires that students take control of their own learning, and the ability to apply knowledge to novel situations, that is, the transfer of learning is affected by the degree to which students learn with understanding.  While the six findings are not addressed individually, the lesson is designed to have students build new knowledge and adapt previously held conceptions in a social environment.  Students have limited control over the course of the inquiry but that can be changed.  There is significant potential to apply the knowledge to new situations and build upon knowledge in previous lessons, such as Activity 4, Neurons. 

 

Conclusion

            This lesson addressed much of the evaluation criteria.  This lesson analysis employed five methods of assessment and an evaluation sheet provided in class.  The lesson many of the criteria in all assessment methods.  Some of the components were left out of the lesson, but could be easily incorporated in possible.  However, I also think it would be unrealistic to expect every lesson to meet all evaluation standards in full. 

 

 

 

Works Cited

 

Bybee RW.  1997.  Achieving Scientific Literacy.  Portsmouth NH: Heinemann

 

Martin-Hansen L.  2002.  Defining inquiry.  The Science Teacher p 34-37

Smith et al. 2005

 

National Academy of Sciences.  2004.  "Chapter 6:  Making the Case for Inquiry in Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards.  Copyright 2004 by National Academy of Sciences

 

PA Dept of Education.  2002.  Academic Standards for Science and Technology.  22 PA Code, Ch 4, App B.

 

Lawry JV and HC Heller.  Human Biology: Nervous System.  Copyright 1999.  Published by Everyday Learning.  Chicago IL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCIED 411 Lesson Plan Evaluation Form

Component

Description

Max Points

Points

Source Information

The authors of the lesson are clearly indicated, as well as the source of the lesson plan.

5

5

Grade Level and Topic

Is the grade level and general topic of the lesson clearly indicated and appropriate?

5

5

Standards and Inquiry

Is at least one relevant state or national science or environmental education standard clearly identified, and subsequently addressed in the lesson?

5

4

Instructional Objectives

Is it clear from the statement of lesson objectives was a student should be able to do as a result of completing the lesson?

10

5

Materials, Equipment, Set-up

Are the materials and equipment for this lesson described clearly enough that another teacher could set it up and carry it out?

10

10

Body of the Lesson

If evaluating a unit or entire curriculum, look for the following elements in at least a couple of lessons

Engagement

Will the students' attention be gained early in the lesson?  Will their initial conceptions be solicited?

10

5

Exploration

Can you perceive a clear guiding question/purpose for the lesson?  Will the students collect data or retrieve interesting data from elsewhere?  Are the instructions for doing this clear?

15

10

Explanation

Will the students be able to make sense of the exploration?  Are they asked to report what they learned?

15

10

Elaboration

Are there suggestions for extending the lesson (e.g., for advanced students)?

10

5

Evaluation

Is there a mechanism for evaluating students' understandings?  Does that mechanism match the lesson's objectives? 

15

5

DISCRETIONARY

Any additional points you wish to assign for especially good treatment in any section of the lesson plan.

10

-----------

Total:  59/95

 

 

 

Lesson 3 Evaluation

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Andy Filipczak
SCIED 411
3/24/09

 

Lesson 3 Evaluation

Human Biology: Nervous System.  Published by Everyday Learning.  Activity 4: Reflexes, Neurons In Action.

Found in the library for PSU Center for Science and the Schools.  Number 1841.

 

Introduction

            In evaluating any lesson, there are several criteria that should be considered depending upon the nature of the lesson.  Currently, our class has five models with which to evaluate lesson plans.  Those models are:

  1. Goals of Inquiry
  2. Defining Inquiry
  3. List of Science Practices
  4. Content Standards
  5. 5 "E" Model

The analysis will evaluate the Human Biology: Nervous System, Activity 4: Reflexes, Neurons In Action.  This lesson is designed to have students begin to understand the nature of neurons and their method of carrying impulse signals to the central nervous system.  This lesson book is designed to also foster inquiry based understanding.  Since this is an inquiry focused lesson, all five models will be used for evaluation.  Overall, this lesson relates to included several, but not all, of the elements of effective inquiry and addressed some of the components of the Science and Technology Standards for Inquiry.

 

Lesson

            This lesson was a beginning-level investigation into the actions of neurons and the role in reflex.  There were no clear objectives listed.  The lesson begins immediately with background reading of stimuli and reflex action.  Through a series of 1 main activity, 3 mini-activities, and 3 areas to apply knowledge, students gain an understanding of the process of reflex action.  This includes the roles of neurons, stimuli, and nerve impulse. 

 

Goals of Inquiry

            The main goals of inquiry science include a guiding conception, problem for enquiry, data collection and analysis, and some conclusion based on the data.  This lesson had all five elements, albeit piecemeal and not very effectively.  The guiding conceptions were not specifically addressed but could be deduced from the background reading.  In the series of activities and knowledge applications, students collect data and draw conclusions.  Students are given very little direction in the activities.  Often, it begins with a simple procedure such as "tap your knee and see what happens".  It is up to the student to explain what occurred.  It is not an effective inquiry procedure.  What little procedure exists is given and it is hoped that the students will explain what occurred from the previous reading.

 

 

 

Defining Inquiry

            According to Martin-Hansen (2002), there are five essential elements of inquiry - questioning, evidence, explanation, connection to scientific knowledge, communication of findings.  Inquiry activities have all five elements but the degree of self-direction vs. direction from the book and teacher should vary depending upon the age level.  As described in the previous section, Goals of Inquiry, this lesson has all five elements.  However, the questions are provided and only a little evidence is collected.  There is little explanation, connection, and communication.  However, for high school age students, the nervous system is a very difficult concept to grasp.  It is possible that this lesson is designed for those who are inexperienced with inquiry and guiding your own discovery.

 

List of Science Practices

            According to Smith et al, 2005, there are twelve essential scientific practices - defining and describing, representing data and interpreting representations, identifying and classifying, measuring, ordering/comparing, quantifying, predicting/inferring, posing questions, designing and conducting investigations, evidence based explanation, analyzing and interpreting data, and evaluation.  This lesson has very few of those elements.  There is only minimal description and interpretation.  No other practices are addresses.  The investigation is structured and not designed by students.  However, a savvy teacher can compensate for the lack of many of these elements.  Students could explore different reflexes and predict possible body reactions to stimuli (ex. hot, cold).  Teachers could arrange for students to communicate the stimulus investigated and their results to classmates.  Body reactions could then be compared and the route of nerve impulse.

 

Content Standards

            This lesson addresses, in part, PA Academic Standards for Science and Technology 3.3.10B Biological Sciences.

 

5 "E" Model

            Bybee in 1997 argued that to attain "scientific literacy", lessons needed to include engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, and evaluation.  The lesson does not have a clear purpose or objective.  Students are forced to deduce the objective from the background reading, which is possible.  Student's engagement was minimal due to the very simple, almost elementary activities.  Exploration and explanation were lacking for the same reason.  However, as mentioned previously, these deficiencies can be compensated for.  Students could explore different reflexes and predict possible body reactions to stimuli (ex. hot, cold).  Teachers could arrange for students to communicate the stimulus investigated and their results to classmates.  Body reactions could then be compared and the route of nerve impulse.  The lesson has many methods of evaluation applicable.

            See the attached evaluation sheet for scoring on the 5 "E" Models.

 

Evaluation Sheet

            See attached sheet.

 

 

 

 

Chapter 6 Research Findings

            This lesson addresses some of the research findings on Chapter 6 of Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards.  The six research findings were that understanding science is more than knowing facts, students build new knowledge and understanding on what they already know and believe, students formulate new knowledge by modifying and refining their current concepts and by adding new concepts to what they already know, learning is mediated by the social environment in which the learners interact with others, effective learning requires that students take control of their own learning, and the ability to apply knowledge to novel situations, that is, the transfer of learning is affected by the degree to which students learn with understanding.  While the six findings are not addressed individually, the lesson is designed to have students build new knowledge and adapt previously held conceptions in a social environment.  However, students have limited control over the course of the inquiry and there is little ability to apply the knowledge to new situations. 

 

Conclusion

            This lesson addressed few of the evaluation criteria.  This lesson analysis employed five methods of assessment and an evaluation sheet provided in class.  The lesson met some of criteria in all assessment methods.  Many of the components were left out of the lesson.  However, I think it would be unrealistic to expect every lesson to meet all evaluation standards in full.  It's possible that with a decent teacher that many of the deficient elements could be addressed. 

 

 

 

Works Cited

 

Bybee RW.  1997.  Achieving Scientific Literacy.  Portsmouth NH: Heinemann

 

Martin-Hansen L.  2002.  Defining inquiry.  The Science Teacher p 34-37

Smith et al. 2005

 

National Academy of Sciences.  2004.  "Chapter 6:  Making the Case for Inquiry in Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards.  Copyright 2004 by National Academy of Sciences

 

PA Dept of Education.  2002.  Academic Standards for Science and Technology.  22 PA Code, Ch 4, App B.

 

Lawry JV and HC Heller.  Human Biology: Nervous System.  Copyright 1999.  Published by Everyday Learning.  Chicago IL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCIED 411 Lesson Plan Evaluation Form

Component

Description

Max Points

Points

Source Information

The authors of the lesson are clearly indicated, as well as the source of the lesson plan.

5

5

Grade Level and Topic

Is the grade level and general topic of the lesson clearly indicated and appropriate?

5

5

Standards and Inquiry

Is at least one relevant state or national science or environmental education standard clearly identified, and subsequently addressed in the lesson?

5

2

Instructional Objectives

Is it clear from the statement of lesson objectives was a student should be able to do as a result of completing the lesson?

10

5

Materials, Equipment, Set-up

Are the materials and equipment for this lesson described clearly enough that another teacher could set it up and carry it out?

10

10

Body of the Lesson

If evaluating a unit or entire curriculum, look for the following elements in at least a couple of lessons

Engagement

Will the students' attention be gained early in the lesson?  Will their initial conceptions be solicited?

10

5

Exploration

Can you perceive a clear guiding question/purpose for the lesson?  Will the students collect data or retrieve interesting data from elsewhere?  Are the instructions for doing this clear?

15

10

Explanation

Will the students be able to make sense of the exploration?  Are they asked to report what they learned?

15

10

Elaboration

Are there suggestions for extending the lesson (e.g., for advanced students)?

10

5

Evaluation

Is there a mechanism for evaluating students' understandings?  Does that mechanism match the lesson's objectives? 

15

5

DISCRETIONARY

Any additional points you wish to assign for especially good treatment in any section of the lesson plan.

10

-----------

Total:  57/95

 

 

 

 

Lesson 2 Evaluation

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Andy Filipczak
SCIED 411
3/24/09

 

Lesson 2 Evaluation

Holt Biosources Lab Program: Inquiry Skills Development.  Published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.  Experiment B10, Ecology Scavenger Hunt.

Found in the library for PSU Center for Science and the Schools.  Number 1853.

 

Introduction

            In evaluating any lesson, there are several criteria that should be considered depending upon the nature of the lesson.  Currently, our class has five models with which to evaluate lesson plans.  Those models are:

  1. Goals of Inquiry
  2. Defining Inquiry
  3. List of Science Practices
  4. Content Standards
  5. 5 "E" Model

The analysis will evaluate the Holt Biosources Lab Program: Inquiry Skills Development, Lesson B10: Ecology Scavenger Hunt.  This lesson is designed to have students begin to understand the interconnectedness of nature by having them locate organisms with specific ecological criteria.  This lesson book is designed to also foster inquiry based understanding.  Since this is an inquiry focused lesson, all five models will be used for evaluation.  Overall, this lesson relates to included several, but not all, of the elements of effective inquiry and addressed many of the components of the Science and Technology Standards for Inquiry.

 

Lesson

            This lesson was a beginning-level investigation into the interconnectedness of nature.  Their objectives are to "identify organisms found in the field and classify the organisms found in the field".  Students are broken up into teams and given a list of "items" to collect.  The list contains descriptions of organisms.  It is up to the students to locate an organism that fits that classification.  For example, students are tasked with finding an annelid.  Students must know what an annelid is in order to locate that type of organism.    

 

Goals of Inquiry

            The main goals of inquiry science include a guiding conception, problem for enquiry, data collection and analysis, and some conclusion based on the data.  This lesson had a guiding conception - interrelationships or nature and ecological classification.  However, all other elements of effective inquiry were lacking (problem, data, conclusion).  The objectives are clearly identified and students follow their tasks.  However, this is not really an inquiry lesson.  It seems to be more of a lesson where students can apply their knowledge of classification, see ecological classification in their everyday lives, and provide students with a common experience of classification. 

 

 

 

Defining Inquiry

            According to Martin-Hansen (2002), there are five essential elements of inquiry - questioning, evidence, explanation, connection to scientific knowledge, communication of findings.  Inquiry activities have all five elements but the degree of self-direction vs. direction from the book and teacher should vary depending upon the age level.  As described in the previous section, Goals of Inquiry, this lesson hacked nearly all elements of inquiry.  Only a guiding conception was present.  The lesson is highly structured with little evidence and explanation, and communication in the plan.  However, when students have collected their organisms, they can argue why they decided a certain organism fit a particular classification.  That would cover explanation, evidence, and communication.  However, that is not specifically mentioned in the lesson.

 

List of Science Practices

            According to Smith et al, 2005, there are twelve essential scientific practices - defining and describing, representing data and interpreting representations, identifying and classifying, measuring, ordering/comparing, quantifying, predicting/inferring, posing questions, designing and conducting investigations, evidence based explanation, analyzing and interpreting data, and evaluation.  This lesson has two of those elements - defining and describing, identifying and classifying.  The investigation is structured and not designed by students.  However, if students were to collectively describe their organisms, why they were in a particular ecological classification, debated where they belonged, etc., then most of those other ten lacking practices would be included in the lesson.

 

Content Standards

            This lesson addresses, in part, several state educational standards.  It includes elements of PA Academic Standards for Science and Technology 3.2.10 Inquiry and Design, 3.3.10B Biological Sciences, and 3.5.10D Earth Sciences.

 

5 "E" Model

            Bybee in 1997 argued that to attain "scientific literacy", lessons needed to include engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, and evaluation.  The lesson has a clear purpose and objectives that will enable student to understand their activity.  The lesson also has appropriate background reading to give a basis of the underlying phenomena in the experiment. 

            This activity is very strong in exploration and engagement.  It is an active lesson where students can "hunt" where they want.  The classroom studies are placed into an everyday context for students, which may lead to significant engagement and exploration.  Explanation, elaboration, and evaluation can be covered if students collectively discuss and argue their organism classifications.

            See the attached evaluation sheet for scoring on the 5 "E" Model.

 

Evaluation Sheet

            See attached sheet.

 

 

 

 

Chapter 6 Research Findings

            This lesson addresses some of the research findings on Chapter 6 of Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards.  The six research findings were that understanding science is more than knowing facts, students build new knowledge and understanding on what they already know and believe, students formulate new knowledge by modifying and refining their current concepts and by adding new concepts to what they already know, learning is mediated by the social environment in which the learners interact with others, effective learning requires that students take control of their own learning, and the ability to apply knowledge to novel situations, that is, the transfer of learning is affected by the degree to which students learn with understanding.  While the six findings are not addressed individually, the lesson is designed to have students build new knowledge and adapt previously held conceptions in a social environment.  Students work in teams, will probably search for already known organisms and fit them into the appropriate classification. 

 

Conclusion

            This lesson addressed a fair amount of all evaluation criteria.  This lesson analysis employed five methods of assessment and an evaluation sheet provided in class.  The lesson met a significant portion of criteria in all assessment methods and many of the remaining criteria were addressed in part.  Only a few components were left out of the lesson.  However, I think it would be unrealistic to expect every lesson to meet all evaluation standards in full.  It's possible that the components that were not included or addressed in part are the result of subject matter or age related ability of students.  It is also possible to expand upon the lesson and incorporate many of the deficient elements.

 

 

 

Works Cited

 

Bybee RW.  1997.  Achieving Scientific Literacy.  Portsmouth NH: Heinemann

 

Martin-Hansen L.  2002.  Defining inquiry.  The Science Teacher p 34-37

Smith et al. 2005

 

National Academy of Sciences.  2004.  "Chapter 6:  Making the Case for Inquiry in Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards.  Copyright 2004 by National Academy of Sciences

 

PA Dept of Education.  2002.  Academic Standards for Science and Technology.  22 PA Code, Ch 4, App B.

 

Holt Biosources Lab Program: Inquiry Skills Development.  Published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. 

 

 

 

 

 

SCIED 411 Lesson Plan Evaluation Form

Component

Description

Max Points

Points

Source Information

The authors of the lesson are clearly indicated, as well as the source of the lesson plan.

5

5

Grade Level and Topic

Is the grade level and general topic of the lesson clearly indicated and appropriate?

5

5

Standards and Inquiry

Is at least one relevant state or national science or environmental education standard clearly identified, and subsequently addressed in the lesson?

5

1

Instructional Objectives

Is it clear from the statement of lesson objectives was a student should be able to do as a result of completing the lesson?

10

10

Materials, Equipment, Set-up

Are the materials and equipment for this lesson described clearly enough that another teacher could set it up and carry it out?

10

10

Body of the Lesson

If evaluating a unit or entire curriculum, look for the following elements in at least a couple of lessons

Engagement

Will the students' attention be gained early in the lesson?  Will their initial conceptions be solicited?

10

10

Exploration

Can you perceive a clear guiding question/purpose for the lesson?  Will the students collect data or retrieve interesting data from elsewhere?  Are the instructions for doing this clear?

15

10

Explanation

Will the students be able to make sense of the exploration?  Are they asked to report what they learned?

15

10

Elaboration

Are there suggestions for extending the lesson (e.g., for advanced students)?

10

15

Evaluation

Is there a mechanism for evaluating students' understandings?  Does that mechanism match the lesson's objectives? 

15

15

DISCRETIONARY

Any additional points you wish to assign for especially good treatment in any section of the lesson plan.

10

-----------

Total:  76/95

 

 

 

 

Lesson 1 Evaluation

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Andy Filipczak
SCIED 411
3/24/09

 

Lesson 1 Evaluation

Holt Biosources Lab Program: Inquiry Skills Development.  Published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.  Experiment B4, Plant and Animal Interactions.

Found in the library for PSU Center for Science and the Schools.  Number 1853.

 

Introduction

            In evaluating any lesson, there are several criteria that should be considered depending upon the nature of the lesson.  Currently, our class has five models with which to evaluate lesson plans.  Those models are:

  1. Goals of Inquiry
  2. Defining Inquiry
  3. List of Science Practices
  4. Content Standards
  5. 5 "E" Model

The analysis will evaluate the Holt Biosources Lab Program: Inquiry Skills Development, Lesson B4: Plant and Animal Interrelationships.  This lesson is designed to have students begin to understand the nature of plant and animal relationships.  This lesson book is designed to also foster inquiry based understanding.  Since this is an inquiry focused lesson, all five models will be used for evaluation.  Overall, this lesson relates to included several, but not all, of the elements of effective inquiry and addressed many of the components of the Science and Technology Standards for Inquiry.

 

Lesson

            This lesson was a beginning-level investigation into the relationships between plants and animals.  Their objectives are to "interpret the actions of an indicator and relate the interdependence of the processes of cellular respiration and photosynthesis to living organisms".  Closed systems will be set up in beakers containing plants and animals.  Students will use chemical indicators to detect the presence of oxygen and carbon dioxide in water. 

 

Goals of Inquiry

            The main goals of inquiry science include a guiding conception, problem for enquiry, data collection and analysis, and some conclusion based on the data.  This lesson had all five elements.  Guiding conceptions of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and the use of indicators is provided.  The problem and objectives are clearly identified.  Students collect data and draw conclusions based on prompts from specific questions.  While all five elements are contained in the lesson, the student book guides the inquiry.  This is probably necessary due to the inexperience and expertise of ninth/tenth grade students.

 

 

 

 

 

Defining Inquiry

            According to Martin-Hansen (2002), there are five essential elements of inquiry - questioning, evidence, explanation, connection to scientific knowledge, communication of findings.  Inquiry activities have all five elements but the degree of self-direction vs. direction from the book and teacher should vary depending upon the age level.  As described in the previous section, Goals of Inquiry, this lesson has all five elements.  The book provides strong prompts for students so the amount of student self-direction is limited.

 

List of Science Practices

            According to Smith et al, 2005, there are twelve essential scientific practices - defining and describing, representing data and interpreting representations, identifying and classifying, measuring, ordering/comparing, quantifying, predicting/inferring, posing questions, designing and conducting investigations, evidence based explanation, analyzing and interpreting data, and evaluation.  This lesson has nine of those elements.  It does not contain identifying and classifying, measuring, and quantifying.  Also, several criteria are not fully used.  Questions and objectives are included but not developed by students.  The investigation is structured and not designed by students.  Evaluation of data is guided by specific questions and data tables are provided.  Overall, most of the elements of scientific practices are considered but modified to account for the age and inexperience of students.

 

Content Standards

            This lesson addresses, in part, several state educational standards.  It includes elements of PA Academic Standards for Science and Technology 3.2.10 Inquiry and Design, 3.3.10B Biological Sciences, and 3.5.10D Earth Sciences.

 

5 "E" Model

            Bybee in 1997 argued that to attain "scientific literacy", lessons needed to include engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, and evaluation.  The lesson has a clear purpose and objectives that will enable student to understand their investigation.  The lesson also has appropriate background reading to give a basis of the underlying phenomena in the experiment.  Specific questions provide a clear method of evaluation of student performance.  Those questions also guide the inquiry and draw the attention of students to specific observations.  The nature of the experiment does not preclude other methods of evaluation such as a lab report, presentation, group debate, etc.

            The lesson also goes beyond the stated objective and purpose to include ways to expand the inquiry.  While, they can be adapted for gifted students/teams, these suggested expansions are meant for the class as a whole.  Put more simply, the entire class should stick to the basic or expanded investigation and not try to do both at the same time. 

            See the attached evaluation sheet for scoring on the 5 "E" Model.

 

Evaluation Sheet

            See attached sheet.

 

 

 

 

Chapter 6 Research Findings

            This lesson addresses four of the research findings on Chapter 6 of Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards.  The six research findings were that understanding science is more than knowing facts, students build new knowledge and understanding on what they already know and believe, students formulate new knowledge by modifying and refining their current concepts and by adding new concepts to what they already know, learning is mediated by the social environment in which the learners interact with others, effective learning requires that students take control of their own learning, and the ability to apply knowledge to novel situations, that is, the transfer of learning is affected by the degree to which students learn with understanding.  While the six findings are not addressed individually, the lesson is designed to have students build new knowledge and adapt previously held conceptions in a social environment.  Students have limited control over the course of the inquiry.  The lesson is highly structured with guiding procedures and questions for analysis.  Data tables and graphs are also provided.    

 

Conclusion

            This lesson addressed the majority of all evaluation criteria.  This lesson analysis employed five methods of assessment and an evaluation sheet provided in class.  The lesson met the majority of criteria in all assessment methods and many of the remaining criteria were addressed in part.  Only a few components were left out of the lesson.  However, I think it would be unrealistic to expect every lesson to meet all evaluation standards in full.  It's possible that the components that were not included or addressed in part are the result of subject matter or age related ability of students. 

 

 

 

Works Cited

 

Bybee RW.  1997.  Achieving Scientific Literacy.  Portsmouth NH: Heinemann

 

Martin-Hansen L.  2002.  Defining inquiry.  The Science Teacher p 34-37

Smith et al. 2005

 

National Academy of Sciences.  2004.  "Chapter 6:  Making the Case for Inquiry in Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards.  Copyright 2004 by National Academy of Sciences

 

PA Dept of Education.  2002.  Academic Standards for Science and Technology.  22 PA Code, Ch 4, App B.

 

Holt Biosources Lab Program: Inquiry Skills Development.  Published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. 

 

 

 

 

 

SCIED 411 Lesson Plan Evaluation Form

Component

Description

Max Points

Points

Source Information

The authors of the lesson are clearly indicated, as well as the source of the lesson plan.

5

5

Grade Level and Topic

Is the grade level and general topic of the lesson clearly indicated and appropriate?

5

5

Standards and Inquiry

Is at least one relevant state or national science or environmental education standard clearly identified, and subsequently addressed in the lesson?

5

4

Instructional Objectives

Is it clear from the statement of lesson objectives was a student should be able to do as a result of completing the lesson?

10

10

Materials, Equipment, Set-up

Are the materials and equipment for this lesson described clearly enough that another teacher could set it up and carry it out?

10

10

Body of the Lesson

If evaluating a unit or entire curriculum, look for the following elements in at least a couple of lessons

Engagement

Will the students' attention be gained early in the lesson?  Will their initial conceptions be solicited?

10

9

Exploration

Can you perceive a clear guiding question/purpose for the lesson?  Will the students collect data or retrieve interesting data from elsewhere?  Are the instructions for doing this clear?

15

13

Explanation

Will the students be able to make sense of the exploration?  Are they asked to report what they learned?

15

13

Elaboration

Are there suggestions for extending the lesson (e.g., for advanced students)?

10

10

Evaluation

Is there a mechanism for evaluating students' understandings?  Does that mechanism match the lesson's objectives? 

15

15

DISCRETIONARY

Any additional points you wish to assign for especially good treatment in any section of the lesson plan.

10

-----------

Total:  89/95

 

 

Fortune Lines Evaluation

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Andy Filipczak
SCIED 411
3/5/09

 

 

Peer 2 Evaluation - Fortune Lines

 

            Amazingly, I made the same comments on the fortune lines of all three groups.  All three groups lack some basic history, such as the fire of Apollo 1.  According to their fortune lines, Apollo 1 was a brighter point in history.  All groups also had some misconceptions on graphing and understanding relative relationships.  For example, only one of the graphs began at "time 0".  Also, points in history are marked as endpoints, rather than over time.  According to the graphs, the time leading up to the Challenger explosion was bad and that the Challenger explosion itself was the lowest point.  The graph should show that the explosion itself was a downward point in relation to other moments in history.  However, most history was known and student values may be causing the Apollo missions to rank better than the international space station.

 

 

Groups 1, 2, 3

Known

1.      Most Basic history

a.       Challenger, Columbia blew up

b.      Apollo 13

Misconceptions

1.      Graphing

a.       Doesn't Start at Time 0

2.      Relative Relationships

a.       Historic points are marked as endpoints, not over time

b.      Group 2 said the Challenger explosion was worse than the Columbia

            Unknown

1.      Some Basic History

a.       Apollo 1 Exploded

Check

1.      Values of Students:

a.       ISS achievement equal to or lower than Apollo 1?

Fortune Lines Presentation

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Peer Teaching 3 - Critique B

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Andy Filipczak
SCIED 411
4/10/09

 

Critique B

 

Lesson

            The lesson taught by Shane Miller was an investigation to decomposition and the relationship between the material decomposing and time.  His purpose was to "teach the students how long relatively it takes for different types of trash to break down into their smallest units".  He began by asking the students what they knew about decomposition and then described the process for them.  The students then conducted an activity where they had to match up the time it took to decompose with the material decomposing.  As the activity progressed, he gave the students "new evidence" to guide their responses.  In the end, the students were given the correct answers.  The students finished by graphing the values to "get them to realize the relativity of the lengths".

 

Teaching Session:  Shane

            In my discussion with Shane and reading his personal critique, I identified what appeared to me to be his strengths and weaknesses oh his lesson and the changes he made following his partner's lesson.  I also identified the following suggestions.

Strengths

1.      Concern About Student Engagement

a.       Shane was very concerns about the engagement of the students.  He began by probing their understanding and showing the students various forms of trash common to their lives to gain their attention

2.      Improvisation

a.       Like me, Shane was surprised by the depth of the knowledge of the students.  He recognized the need and adapted his lesson to account for the advanced knowledge. 

3.      Nature of Science

a.       Shane tried to incorporate the nature of science (history, philosophy, sociology) into the lesson.

Weaknesses

1.      Engagement and Improvisation

a.       Shane realized the need to adapt his lesson.  However, the main method available was to ask more questions.  It would have been helpful to have additional forms of trash or expansions on the activity to compensate. 

2.      Lack of Prior Knowledge of Students

a.       This was a problem with all groups and not necessarily possible to address.

b.      The students were not ours and the first time we had met them was as we began our lessons.  In reality, teachers are able to know the course progression and the curricula of other classes in their schools.  Therefore, they should have some concept of the students' prior lessons and knowledge.

c.       A practical solution would be to talk to their teacher beforehand to ascertain their previous lessons and background. 

Inquiry

According to Lisa Martin-Hansen (2002), inquiry exists along a continuum depending upon the experience of the students and difficulty of the subject matter.  In some instances, such as when students have little experience guiding their own study or with exceptionally difficult subject matters, inquiry is more teacher-driven.  On the other end of the spectrum, students with experience guiding their own discovery, there is less teacher guidance and more student direction.

              A key component of determining the level of guidance needed, teachers must understand the background and experience levels of their students.  As mentioned above, all groups had difficulty determining the level of guidance necessary, since we lacked understanding of their prior knowledge.  Shane underestimated how much guidance the students would need as did I in my own lesson.

             Shane was very concerned with making the lesson as student driven and centered as possible.  He was unable to have the students generate their own questions due to time and their age.  However, he tried to have the students drive the activity as much as possible.  The only weaker spot was reliance on questions.  While questioning is a part of inquiry, it is not the only part.  If he had known the prior knowledge of the students, I believe he would have compensated with expansions and would not have relied on questioning as the only part of inquiry. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

 

Martin-Hansen L.  2002.  Defining Inquiry.  The Science Teacher (2002): 34-37

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peer Teaching 3 - Critique A

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Andy Filipczak
SCIED 411
4/2/09

 

Critique A

 

Lesson Outline

Title:  Tea Party:  Understanding Diffusion and its Relationship to Heat

Presenters:  Andy Filipczak (Partner:  Jennifer Clark)

 

The objective of the lesson was to have students observe the process of diffusion and gain a more sophisticated understanding of the process of diffusion and its relation to temperature.  Students were first asked to describe their experiences mixing juice, tea, etc. at home and if they ever wondered why substances did not always mix the same or as fast as others.  Students were then divided into 3 groups of 2 students each and were given a beaker of water, a thermometer, a data sheet (see attached), and a tea bag.  The water temperature was different in each beaker.  Students placed the tea bag in the water and recorded how long it took to the tea to mix and water temperature.  Students had to judge when it was a quarter, half, three quarter, and fully mixed with the water in the beaker.  The instructor acted as the time keeper and helped students judge the level of tea mixing.  Students recorded their data and shared it with the other groups.  Each student had to offer an explanation for what occurred.

See attached for full lesson plan.

 

Teaching Session 1:  Andy Filipczak (me)

            Overall, my teaching session went well and a number of strengths and weaknesses were identified upon review and reflections.

Strengths

1.      Involved all students. 

a.       I made it a point to make sure every student had a chance to collect data and speak to the group by explaining phenomenon, asking questions, etc.

b.      It was especially difficult to elicit responses from the girls.  According to Suzie Lee (2003), girls tend to respond after more reflection and longer time than their male counterparts.  This was certainly the case during the lesson when the male students responded quicker and with more confidence.  However, there is a confounding variable of age to be considered.  The boys were in 6th grade and the girls in 5th.

2.      Enthusiastic.

a.       I moved around so that students were not bored or accustomed to me being in one place.  I spoke with a strong voice, offered jokes, and gave praise.  Students responded in kind.

3.      Clear in description.

a.       I followed the lesson plan and addressed all five E's of the 5 E Model (Bybee, 1997).

 

 

 

4.      Good improvisation on student background

a.       Initially, I tried to relate the mixing of tea and diffusion to the students' lives by having them recall times they or their parents made juice, tea, etc.  I also gave a story of how I had to mix juice in hot water when I was a kid.  I asked each student for their explanation on how things mix.  After hearing the explanations, there was a clear distinction between the three boys and the three girls in the group.  It turned out that the three boys were in 6th grade and covered some theory on molecules and molecular motion.  The three girls were in 5th grade and did not cover that lesson yet.

b.      The girls and boys had clear differences in the amount of education they had received (6th vs. 5th grade).  Therefore, it was a complicated task to teaching the lesson to both groups together.  I needed to make it sufficiently advancing and understandable to the 5th graders while not boring the 6th graders.  Recall Vygotsky's theory of the Zone of Proximal Development (1978).

 

Weaknesses

1.      Need to slow down.

a.       In my excitement and desire to keep the lesson interesting, involve all students, be enthusiastic and impart that enthusiasm onto the students, I did move fast.  I need to find a better balance between excitement and speed/clarity.

2.      Wait to hear full answers (Don't get stuck on time remaining).

a.       Similar to the weakness above, I need to be sure to slow down and allow all students to speak fully.  I was afraid of dead air time or running out of time to complete the lesson.

 

Teaching Session 2:  Jennifer Clark (partner)

            Jen and I have markedly different teaching styles and upon reflection, her strengths were my weaknesses and her weaknesses were my strengths.

Strengths

1.      Slow, Clear.

a.       Jen spoke very slowly and clearly.  She was easy to understand.

2.      Gave students full time to speak.

a.       Jen solicited responses from everyone as I did.  However, she was not afraid of dead air time and let responses hang in the air if necessary to spur further conversation.

Weaknesses

1.      Slow vs. Enthusiasm

a.       While being slow and clear, Jen did not seem overly excited about the lesson and her students also were not that excited.  She remained in one place and a monotone of voice kept the lesson suppressed.

2.      Involvement

a.       Going along with the statement above, Jen did not engage the students as well.  This may be due to lack of enthusiasm in combination with less time spent on engaging and interesting the students.

 

Lesson 1 vs. Lesson 2 Difference

            Seeing differences between the first and second lessons was easy.  The difficult part is in determining the cause of the differences.  Jen and I had very different teaching styles which led many differences in how the first and second lessons were conducted.  After removing differences in teaching style, there was only one discernable difference between lessons 1 and 2 that is attributable to experience.  After seeing the mixed group in my lesson (5th and 6thgrade students), Jen made sure to ask each student a little bit more about their educational background that I did.  She asked what grade they were in, what lessons they may have covered, etc.

 

 

Inquiry

            According to Lisa Martin-Hansen (2002), inquiry exists along a continuum depending upon the experience of the students and difficulty of the subject matter.  In some instances, such as when students have little experience guiding their own study or with exceptionally difficult subject matters, inquiry is more teacher-driven.  On the other end of the spectrum, students with experience guiding their own discovery, there is less teacher guidance and more student direction.

              A key component of determining the level of guidance needed, teachers must understand the background and experience levels of their students.  Since I am not their primary instructor and could not obtain such information prior to the lesson, determining the amount of direction necessary as difficult.  The level of guidance I chose prior to giving the lesson was appropriate for 5th grade students.  However, I also had 6th grade students in my lesson.  The level of guidance was inappropriate for them.  It appeared to me that they could have guided more of their own study and understood more about diffusion than their 5th grade counterparts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

 

Bybee RW.  1997.  Achieving Scientific Literacy.  Portsmouth NH: Heinemann

 

Lee S.  2003.  Achieving gender equality in middle school science classrooms.  Science Scope 42-43.

 

Martin-Hansen L.  2002.  Defining Inquiry.  The Science Teacher (2002): 34-37

 

Vygotsky LS.  1978.  Mind and Society: The Development of higher Psychological Processes.  Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

 

 

 

 

 

Lesson Plan

            The following is the lesson plan followed during Clinic 1.

 

 

 

SCIED 411 Peer Teaching 3 and Clinic 1 - Tea Activity

Presenters:
Jen Clark:  jlc5013@psu.edu
Andy Filipczak: andy.fillipczak@psu.edu

Grade Level and Topic
Level:  5-7th grade
Topic:  The affect of heat on physical states of matter, molecular motion, and diffusion.

Standards
National Science Education Standards:  Content Standards for Scientific Inquiry
1)  Think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations.  (Grades 5-8)
2)  Communicate scientific procedures and explanations.  (Grades 5-8)

National Science Teaching Standard
1)  A:  Teachers of science plan an inquiry-based science program for their students.
2)  B:  Teachers of science guide and facilitate learning.
 
PA Academic Standards for Science and Technology
1)  3.2.7B:  Apply process knowledge to make and interpret observations.
        a.  Bullet 2:  Describe relationships by making inferences and predictions.
2)  3.4.10A:
        a.  Bullet 4:  Describe phases of matter according to Kinetic Molecular Theory

Instructional Objectives
During the lesson, the students will:
    1)  Record observations and describe what they see happening with the tea over time (note: a data sheet will be provided with specific observations)
    2)  Observe diffusion of tea at different temperatures and  understand that molecules diffuse faster at higher temperatures because they have more energy
    3)  Observe whole tea leaves and normal (broken up) tea leaves at the same temperature and understand that the same substance may behave differently if its size changes.
Upon completion of the lesson, the students will:
    1)  Define the term diffusion
    2)  Understand the process of diffusion.
    3)  Relate the process of diffusion to temperature.

 

 

 


Content Explanation (include a concept map)

Diffusion is an easily visible process that can be used to explore molecular motion and temperature in the classroom.  Diffusion is movement of molecules across a concentration gradient via random molecular motion; in this case the tea moving from inside the teabag (high concentration) into the water (low concentration).  Diffusion stops once the system has reached equilibrium, where no net change is observed, but typically when making tea the teabag is removed once the drinker is satisfied that the tea has reached an acceptable strength.  The random molecular motion that drives diffusion comes from the energy of the molecules, generally conceptualized as the translational motion of the individual molecules, vibrations along the bonds, and rotation around some axis.  Temperature provides the average amount of energy in a system; it is important to note that not all molecules will be traveling at the same speeds at a given temperature, some will be moving faster and some slower.  A higher temperature indicates higher average kinetic energy and should result in a faster rate of diffusion.  In this experiment, tea that is made in hot water will thus diffuse faster than tea made in cold water. 

Surface area relative to volume also affects particle behavior.  Smaller particles with larger surface area-to-volume ratios have greater area over which other particles can interact. The kinetic energy necessary for propelling them to a given velocity is less than that of a larger particle, so although the average energy may be the same at a temperature, the process of diffusion will be considerably faster. 

Administrative Considerations
Safety:
Hot Plates will be present but handled only by the instructor and away from the students.  Awareness is essential.  Cold water and burn cream is available in the classroom if necessary.

Clearances:
None required beyond their home school.

Classroom Management:
The normal teacher of the students will be present while activities are occurring.
Classroom management, including flow, station placement, etc. will be determined by the Logistics Committee.

English Learners:
According to Hademenos et al., 2004, the best way to learn language in the classroom is to actively participate in the lesson with native English speaking students.  No special group placements will be made between native English speaking students and those with English as a second language.  However, to aid in their understanding of the lesson, students will have a guiding concept, materials, and methods.  Observations and findings will be communicated within groups.

Special Educations Needs and Concerns:
None have been provided by the middle school. 
Materials, Equipment, & Set-Up
Materials:
    1.  Hot Plate
    2.  3 or 4 transparent glass cups
    3.  3/4 Thermometers
    4.  Approximately 20 tea bags (cranberry apple bigelow tea - red color makes it easy to see)
    5. Color comparison sheets

Set-Up:
    1.  A hot plate will be set up prior to class beginning and the water brought to a boil.
    2.  Into 3 coffee cups, water will be poured - boiling into 1, cold into another, and a cold/boiling mix into the third.
    3.  Into each cup of water, a thermometer will be placed and students will record the temperature.
    4.  Tea bags will be placed into each simultaneously.
    5.  Students will record how long it takes for the tea to mix without agitation.  They will record when the tea starts to diffuse, when the cup is half mixed, when if is completely mixed.

Lesson

Engagement (~3 minutes)

Prior to the experiment beginning, students will be shown a cup of water and drop a tea bag into it.  They will watch the tea diffuse and be prompted with questions for thought:

1.      Why does the tea "spread out" (diffuse) into the water?

2.      Will it happen faster in hot or cold water?

3.      Will stirring help it diffuse?

(4.    Does the type of tea used make any difference?) <--I added this in parentheses throughout, but I think it might be too much to tackle in one 20 minute lesson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exploration (~10 minutes)

For this experiment, students will only test the affect of temperature on diffusion, not agitation or why molecules mix (diffuse). 

1.      Students will form their own hypothesis of the affect water temperature has on diffusion.

2.      They will have three cups of water - cold, room temperature, hot.  They will record any observations they have as well as the temperature and the time that the tea reaches different colors on a worksheet.

              (3.   A second cup of hot tea with whole tea leaves will be used as well, and students will be asked if they think the size of the tea leaves will have any effect.  While waiting                         the students can poke through a tea bag to examine the contents)

 

Explain (~5 minutes)

1.      Students will explain their hypotheses, i.e. diffusion occurs faster in hot, cold, or medium temperature water.

2.      Students will explain their results - temperature and time of diffusion for tea in three cups of water. (large vs. small tea leaves)

 

Elaborate (~2 minutes)

1.      Students will understand the term "diffusion".

2.      Using this experiment, students will propose other everyday occurrences where this information might be occurring.  If students are having trouble, the instructors can propose possible occurrences, such as mixing juice and weather.

 

 

 

 

 

Evaluate

1.      Students will communicate their results to each other.

2.      Students will listen to the results of several diffusion trials (other groups) and determine in what temperature diffusion occurs the fastest - hot, medium, cold. 

3.      Students will offer explanations on why tea diffuses faster in hot water (and why tea size makes a difference).




References

Hademenos G, N Heires, R Young.  2004.  Teaching science to newcomers.  The Science Teacher 2004: 27-31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data Sheet

            The following data sheet was provided to students to record their measurements.

 

 

NAME:__________________________________________

Diffusion - Tea Activity

 

Table 1.  Temperature (degrees F)

Cold Water Beaker - _________

Medium Water Beaker - _________

Hot Water Beaker - __________

 

Table 2.  Time for Tea to Mix

Mixing

Time (minutes)

 

Cold Water

Medium Water

Hot Water

No Mix

0

0

0

One Quarter Mixed

 

 

 

Half Mixed

 

 

 

Three Quarters Mixed

 

 

 

Fully Mixed

 

 

 

 

 

Time

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Level of Mixing

 
 

 

 


Figure 1.  Time for Tea to Mix

Critical Analysis 1 - Pat (Video)

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Andy Filipczak
SCIED 411
3/3/09

 

Lesson 1 Evaluation

            Class Video - Pat

Introduction

            In evaluating any lesson, there are several criteria that should be considered depending upon the nature of the lesson.  Currently, our class has five models with which to evaluate lesson plans.  Those models are the Goals of Inquiry, Defining Inquiry, List of Science Practices, Content Standards, and the Five "E" Model

This analysis will evaluate the teaching of "Pat", shown on video in SCIED 411 on 2/26/09.  Pat is a strong supporter of "mystery labs", where the overall outcome of the lab is unknown to students.  As the lab progresses, students inquire and proceed according to worksheets and their own questions.  Since this is an inquiry focused lesson, all five models will be used for evaluation.  Overall, this lesson relates to included several, but not all, of the elements of effective inquiry and addressed some of the components of the Science and Technology Standards for Inquiry.

Lesson

            This lesson was an eighth grade investigation into the structure and function of fruit.  From my observance, the objective was to have the students identify the structures of a fruit, their function, and their relationship to plant reproduction.  Students were given apples to dissect and analyze.  Worksheets were provided to guide their analysis. 

Goals of Inquiry

            The main goals of inquiry science include a guiding conception, problem for enquiry, data collection and analysis, and some conclusion based on the data.  Even though it was an inquiry lesson, most of these elements were lacking.  There was no guiding conception, problem, or conclusion.  Students collected data but did not have any direction.

Defining Inquiry

            According to Martin-Hansen (2002), there are five essential elements of inquiry - questioning, evidence, explanation, connection to scientific knowledge, communication of findings.  Inquiry activities have all five elements but the degree of self-direction vs. direction from the book and teacher should vary depending upon the age level.  This lesson lacked student explanation, connection to scientific knowledge, and communication.

List of Science Practices

            According to Smith et al, 2005, there are twelve essential scientific practices - defining and describing, representing data and interpreting representations, identifying and classifying, measuring, ordering/comparing, quantifying, predicting/inferring, posing questions, designing and conducting investigations, evidence based explanation, analyzing and interpreting data, and evaluation.  As above, there was much data collection and description, but no guiding conception, prediction, design, interpretation, analysis, etc. which is at the heart of effective inquiry.

Content Standards

            This lesson addresses, in part, several state educational standards.  It includes elements of PA Academic Standards for Science and Technology 3.2.10 Inquiry and Design and 3.3.10B Biological Sciences.

5 "E" Model

            Bybee in 1997 argued that to attain "scientific literacy", lessons needed to include engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, and evaluation.  Students were initially engaged by the lesson dragged on without significant elaboration.  Engagement then suffered and there was no clear evaluation of students.  Students explored but without a guiding conception their exploration and explanation also suffered.  They did not know what they were driving towards.

Conclusion

            This lesson analysis employed five methods of assessment and he evaluated lesson met some of the criteria for an effective lesson.  Without a guiding conception and more pointed direction, student exploration and explanation suffered because they could not see the big picture.  Student design, prediction, analysis, explanation, communication, etc. were all minimal.  Engagement was initially good but suffered as the lesson drug on without significant elaboration, guidance, or communication.  A guiding conception combined with more student group involvement to elicit communication, collaboration, etc. may help the most significantly lacking areas - engagement, communication, explanation/prediction, etc.

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

 

Bybee RW.  1997.  Achieving Scientific Literacy.  Portsmouth NH: Heinemann

 

Martin-Hansen L.  2002.  Defining inquiry.  The Science Teacher p 34-37

Smith et al. 2005

 

National Academy of Sciences.  2004.  "Chapter 6:  Making the Case for Inquiry in Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards.  Copyright 2004 by National Academy of Sciences

 

PA Dept of Education.  2002.  Academic Standards for Science and Technology.  22 PA Code, Ch 4, App B.

 

Holt Biosources Lab Program: Inquiry Skills Development.  Published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. 

 

Conceptual Interview Write-Up

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Andy Filipczak

SCIED 411

2/17/09

 

Conceptual Interview Write-Up

Introduction

            People form conceptions about how the world works and those conceptions may be accurate or inaccurate.  As educators, we need to be sensitive to those student beliefs.  In the earth sciences, there are many misconceptions about why trees grow they way that they do and this was the potential area of misconception I investigated with this interview (tree growth).

Tree growth, including size, shape, and design, are the result of several factors.  The main two variables are sunlight and gravity.  Some trees, typically deciduous trees, grow toward the sun, while others, typically conifer trees, grow away from gravity.  Crooks, bends, forks, and scars in trees are the result of insect infestation, disease, and climate, improper meristem division, and many other variables.  These factors are typically ignored or weighted improperly in their significance. 

            When asked about their views on how trees grow, many people only consider the sun and climate and this is a logical result.  People are taught as small children that trees grow toward the sun because they need light to make food.  More sophisticated ideas of growth and development are reserved for later science classes and gravity is a topic in a totally separate field (physics).  Even when a person does recognize that these other variables may play a role, they do not know how a tree detects and responds to those factors.  For example, how does the tree know where the sun is or which way gravity is pulling?  

There are many possible misconceptions regarding tree growth that students have and it would be impossible to try to understand all of them with a fifteen minute interview.  I decided to look at the three most common misconceptions in my experience regarding tree growth (size, shape, design):

1.      Deciduous and conifer trees grow similarly toward the sun

2.      Gravity does not play a role in tree growth

3.      Insects and disease do not play a significant role

Procedure

            A conceptual interview was used to understand student's beliefs on how tree grow.  Prior to the interview a sheet of thirteen questions were developed.  The intent was not to use them verbatim but to use them as a stimulus for thought if the student did not respond.  Four pictures of trees were also provided to the student.

            The interview began by asking "can you tell me what you know about how trees grow".  After the student answered, he/she elaborated on that description by using questions from the interview sheet and from statements that the student had made.  Pictures were then provided and the student was asked to apply their knowledge to that specific tree and discuss why that tree was shaped the way it was.  The interview concluded by having the student draw a picture of a tree and all of the factors that the student believed affected its growth.

            (Interview questions, picture props, and drawings are included at the end of this report).

Results

            Both students that were interviewed had well formed ideas about the growth and shapes of trees.  Some of their knowledge was correct while other parts reflected some common misconceptions.  Both students recognized the importance of sunlight in determining tree growth and shape, as well as climate.  Both students also recognized that competition with other plants plays a role in development.  Both students also felt that climate and animal relationships are significant variables in determining tree growth.  Student 1 also recognized that deciduous and coniferous trees grew differently, while student 2 did not.

            Neither student understood the importance of gravity nor could they definitively answer how the tree knew which way the sun was located in order to grow toward it.  Student 1 thought it might have something to do with leaves and chloroplasts.  Student 2 said "magic".  Results in relation to the three main misconceptions being investigated are summarized below in the following table.

 

Table 1.  Occurrence of commonly held misconceptions on tree growth and shape.

Misconception

Student w/ Misconception

Deciduous and conifer trees grow similarly

Student 1, 2

Gravity does not play a significant role

Student 1, 2

Insects and disease do not play a significant role

Student 1, 2

 

            Overall, the main misconceptions regarding tree growth and shape were exhibited by both students.  They did not feel that deciduous and conifer trees grew similarly.  Also, gravity, insects, and disease did not play a significant role in development.  Other variables were mentioned including competition with other plants, interaction with humans, and animal relationships.  However, these last were beyond the scope of what I was trying to understand.  There was also some difference in the weight assigned to each variable between the students.  In general though, these results were expected.

            In the future, there are several changes that could be made to make the analysis of data more accurate and precise.  Tape recording the session, changing the order of activities in the interview, and a time unlimited interview could be useful.  First, tape recording the interview and generating a transcript would be useful toward a more robust analysis.  With the interview conducted as it was without the transcript, only student drawings and interviewer notes could be analyzed as data.  A transcript with exact answers would be more precise and also provide the opportunity to analyze specific claims.  Second, the order of activity could be changed.  The drawing activity could have been used early in the process to help the student visualize all of the factors.  It might also highlight other factors that they did not initially consider.  Third, we were limited to fifteen minutes.  A longer time might have allowed the interview to continue and elicit more student conceptions. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Filipczak

SCIED 411

2/5/09

 

Peer Teaching 2 - Interview

 

Topic:  Why do trees grow the way that they do?  (i.e. up and tall instead of outward like vines, grasses, etc.)

 

 

Question Topics, Breakdown:

(The questions below are to spur thought if the interviewee doesn't take things very far.  They are not going to be worded as formally as this during the interview.)

 

 

Introduction, Cognitive Dump

1.  Can you tell what you know about how trees grow?

2.  Can you draw it?

 

 

If, wood makes it go up:

1.  Why would the wood go up?  Is the wood following something?

 

 

If, go against gravity,

1.  How does the tree know which way gravity is pulling?

 

 

If, follow sun:

1.  Why don't vines grow straight up?

            a.  What makes them different from the tree?

2.  Why do branches go outward instead of up like the trunk?

            a.  How are they similar to vines?

3.  How does the tree know where the sun is?

 

 

Not all trees are straight, why do you think that is?  (Pictures)

1.  Why are some trees crooked?

2.  Why do some trees fork instead of growing straight?

            a.  Why do conifer trees tend to be straighter than deciduous trees?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture Props

(See Pictures)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Computer Lesson Evaluation

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Andy Filipczak
SCIED 411
4/19/09

 

Computer Lesson Evaluation

Protocol 10: Computer Modeling with STELLA; Activity 10.2: Modeling the Management of a Watershed to Limit Eutrophication.  Found in Watershed Dynamics, Cornell Scientific Inquiry Series, Student Edition, by William Carlsen, April 2004, Published by the National Science Teachers association.

 

Introduction

            In evaluating any lesson, there are several criteria that should be considered depending upon the nature of the lesson.  Currently, our class has five models with which to evaluate lesson plans.  Those models are:

  1. Goals of Inquiry
  2. Defining Inquiry
  3. List of Science Practices
  4. Content Standards
  5. 5 "E" Model

The analysis will evaluate the Watershed Dynamics Activity 10.2: Modeling the Management of a Watershed to Limit Eutrophication.  This lesson is designed to have students begin to understand the nature of watershed dynamics and computer modeling.  It is a computer guided activity that traces the phosphorous output of a watershed based upon area demographics, such as agricultural usage and population size.  This lesson is designed to also foster inquiry based understanding.  Since this is an inquiry focused lesson, all five models will be used for evaluation.  Overall, this lesson contains most, but not all, of the elements of effective inquiry and addressed many of the components of the Science and Technology Standards for Inquiry.

 

Lesson

            This lesson was a beginning-level investigation into the nature of watershed dynamics and computer modeling.  Its objective is to "become familiar with how modeling software can be used to predict land use effects on eutrophication".  Students use the computer program STELLA in their inquiry.  Upon opening the program (STELLA), they are given a variety of factors affecting watershed dynamics, such as population size, agricultural use, agricultural practices, land use, sewage plant efficiency, and several others.  Students manipulate these factors to see the resultant change in the theoretical watershed.  Students can manipulate these factors on their own or they can follow an included guided activity.      

 

Goals of Inquiry

            The main goals of inquiry science include a guiding conception, problem for enquiry, data collection and analysis, and some conclusion based on the data.  This lesson had four of the five elements.  No guiding conception is given in the lesson.  However, this can be easily provided by the teacher or unit the students are studying.  The problem and objectives are clearly identified.  Students collect data based upon the input/output model and draw conclusions.  Their analysis can follow the prescribed lesson or be allowed to conduct their own investigation based upon their abilities. 

Defining Inquiry

            According to Martin-Hansen (2002), there are five essential elements of inquiry - questioning, evidence, explanation, connection to scientific knowledge, communication of findings.  Inquiry activities have all five elements but the degree of self-direction vs. direction from the book and teacher should vary depending upon the age level.  As described in the previous section, Goals of Inquiry, this lesson has all five elements.  The lesson provides prompts for students so the amount of student self-direction is potentially limited.  However, the lesson could easily be expanded to accommodate more advanced or older students.

 

List of Science Practices

            According to Smith et al, 2005, there are twelve essential scientific practices - defining and describing, representing data and interpreting representations, identifying and classifying, measuring, ordering/comparing, quantifying, predicting/inferring, posing questions, designing and conducting investigations, evidence based explanation, analyzing and interpreting data, and evaluation.  This lesson has nine of those elements.  It does not contain identifying and classifying, ordering/comparing, and posing questions.  With slight modification, posing questions can also be included in the lesson.

 

Content Standards

            This lesson addresses, in part, several state educational standards.  It includes elements of PA Academic Standards for Science and Technology 3.2.10 Inquiry and Design, 3.3.10B Biological Sciences, and 3.5.10D Earth Sciences.

 

5 "E" Model

            Bybee in 1997 argued that to attain "scientific literacy", lessons needed to include engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, and evaluation.  With instruction, the lesson is easily relatable to the lives of students, hopefully, engaging them.  The lesson has a clear purpose and objectives that will enable student to understand their investigation.  The lesson also has appropriate background reading to give a basis of the underlying phenomena in the experiment.  Using that basis, the student can work through the program and explore the affects of several land use factors on the watershed.  Specific questions provide a clear method of evaluation of student performance.  Those questions also guide the inquiry and draw the attention of students to specific observations.  The nature of the experiment does not preclude other methods of evaluation such as a lab report, presentation, group debate, etc.

            See the attached evaluation sheet for scoring on the 5 "E" Model.

 

Evaluation Sheet

            See attached sheet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 6 Research Findings

            This lesson addresses four of the research findings on Chapter 6 of Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards.  The six research findings were that understanding science is more than knowing facts, students build new knowledge and understanding on what they already know and believe, students formulate new knowledge by modifying and refining their current concepts and by adding new concepts to what they already know, learning is mediated by the social environment in which the learners interact with others, effective learning requires that students take control of their own learning, and the ability to apply knowledge to novel situations, that is, the transfer of learning is affected by the degree to which students learn with understanding.  While the six findings are not addressed individually, the lesson is designed to have students build new knowledge and adapt previously held conceptions in a social environment.  Students collect data from the model but must also analyze for trends and understand the mechanisms behind the data. 

Students have limited control over the course of the inquiry.  However, the lesson could easily be adapted to have the students take greater control of their learning.  For example, rather than following a preplanned sheet, the students could approach it from a research perspective.  With background material on the subject, students could make predictions or formulate arguments for land use practices and use the model to generate evidence to support their assertions.       

 

Conclusion

            This lesson addressed the majority of all evaluation criteria.  This lesson analysis employed five methods of assessment and an evaluation sheet provided in class.  The lesson met the majority of criteria in all assessment methods and many of the remaining criteria were addressed in part.  Only a few components were left out of the lesson.  However, I think it would be unrealistic to expect every lesson to meet all evaluation standards in full.  It's possible that the components that were not included or addressed in part are the result of subject matter or age related ability of students.  Those missing components could easily be incorporated with minor modifications. 

 

Works Cited

Bybee RW.  1997.  Achieving Scientific Literacy.  Portsmouth NH: Heinemann

 

Martin-Hansen L.  2002.  Defining inquiry.  The Science Teacher p 34-37

Smith et al. 2005

 

National Academy of Sciences.  2004.  "Chapter 6:  Making the Case for Inquiry in Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards.  Copyright 2004 by National Academy of Sciences

 

PA Dept of Education.  2002.  Academic Standards for Science and Technology.  22 PA Code, Ch 4, App B.

 

Carlsen W.  2004.  Protocol 10: Computer Modeling with STELLA; Activity 10.2: Modeling the Management of a Watershed to Limit Eutrophication.  Found in Watershed Dynamics, Cornell Scientific Inquiry Series, Student Edition.  Published by the National Science Teachers Association.

SCIED 411 Lesson Plan Evaluation Form

Component

Description

Max Points

Points

Source Information

The authors of the lesson are clearly indicated, as well as the source of the lesson plan.

5

5

Grade Level and Topic

Is the grade level and general topic of the lesson clearly indicated and appropriate?

5

5

Standards and Inquiry

Is at least one relevant state or national science or environmental education standard clearly identified, and subsequently addressed in the lesson?

5

3

Instructional Objectives

Is it clear from the statement of lesson objectives was a student should be able to do as a result of completing the lesson?

10

10

Materials, Equipment, Set-up

Are the materials and equipment for this lesson described clearly enough that another teacher could set it up and carry it out?

10

10

Body of the Lesson

If evaluating a unit or entire curriculum, look for the following elements in at least a couple of lessons

Engagement

Will the students' attention be gained early in the lesson?  Will their initial conceptions be solicited?

10

8

Exploration

Can you perceive a clear guiding question/purpose for the lesson?  Will the students collect data or retrieve interesting data from elsewhere?  Are the instructions for doing this clear?

15

13

Explanation

Will the students be able to make sense of the exploration?  Are they asked to report what they learned?

15

13

Elaboration

Are there suggestions for extending the lesson (e.g., for advanced students)?

10

10

Evaluation

Is there a mechanism for evaluating students' understandings?  Does that mechanism match the lesson's objectives? 

15

15

DISCRETIONARY

Any additional points you wish to assign for especially good treatment in any section of the lesson plan.

10

-----------

Total:  87/95

 

 

Clinic 1 Logistics

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Logistics

 

Classroom Set-Up

 

(See Attached)

 

 

Teaching Schedule

Station

Period 1

Period 2

Period 3

1

 

Teach

Teach

2

Teach

Teach

 

3

Teach

 

Teach

4

Teach

 

Teach

5

Teach

Teach

 

6

 

Teach

Teach

Instructors on the outside;  Students on the inside.

 

 

 

Group Routing

Group

Station

1

3

2

1

2

4

5

6

3

2

1

3

4

5

6

4

Group 4 has 7 students;  All others have 6.

 

 

 

 

Bioassay Final Report

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The Toxicity of Ethylene Glycol (Antifreeze) on Lettuce (Lechuga americana).

 

Introduction

            There are many substances in common usage that are potentially toxic to humans.  In many cases, we are unaware that even the chemicals stored under our kitchen sink in low concentrations or in low amounts are actually classified as hazardous materials.  For example, ethylene glycol is a colorless, odorless, and sweet tasting water soluble alcohol compound.  It is widely used as the active ingredient in automotive antifreeze.  In recent years, it has also been used by people to kill rodents.  Its sweet taste makes it attractive to rodents, such as ground hogs and other garden pests, who drink the fluid and die.  Because of its widespread use in transportation and in the home, it is necessary for people to understand the reactivity of this chemical.  Specific attention should be paid to its health and environmental impacts.

            Determining toxicity though is often a contentious subject.  Debates typically occur regarding the test subject.  Because of its use and proximity in transportation (roadways) and around the house, it makes sense that a potential test subject would be a plant.  Lechuga americana is a lettuce native to North American that is commonly grown in household gardens.  It has a high water concentration within its structures and fairly low tolerance for toxic substances.  Its high water concentration ensures that water soluble substances are readily taken up and incorporated into structure, such as ethylene glycol.

This experiment aimed to address the toxicity of ethylene glycol to lettuce seeds (Lechuga americana).  Specifically, it will determine the Toxic Concentration 50% (TC50) of ethylene glycol on lettuce seeds.  TC50 is the concentration of a chemical necessary to result in a 50% mortality of the test subjects.

 

Procedure

            A serial dilution of ethylene glycol (antifreeze) was prepared. We began with 100mL of unmixed antifreeze. From that initial amount a 10%, 1%, 0.1% 0.01%, and 0.001% solution was prepared. Lettuce seeds were soaked in a 10% bleach solution for 5 minutes then rinsed. Into 21 petri dishes with filter paper, 5 lettuce seeds were added. To each dish, 2mL of test solution was added using a disposable pipette. 3 petri dishes received 100% solution, 3 petri dishes received 10% solution, and so on. Distilled water was added to 3 dishes as a control solution. All petri dishes were wrapped in aluminum foil and plastic to prevent sunlight and water loss and stored in a classroom over five days. After five days, the petri dishes were removed from storage. The number of germinating seeds was counted and the length of the radical was measured. The mean number of germinating seeds and mean radical length was then calculated for each solution concentration. Seeds that germinated, but had no radical, were recorded as 0mm for radical length. If the seed did not germinate, it was not counted in the mean radical length calculations. Including non-germinating seeds in the calculation would skew the mean length downward.

 

Results

            Mean germinating seeds holds steady around 4.667 for the 0.001%, 0.01% and 0.1% solutions.  Following the 0.1% solution, the average number of germinating seeds drops sharply to 3.333mm at the 1.0% solution and to 0mm at 10.0%.  It was not a smooth curve though. At the 0.001% solution, the average number of germinating seeds drops to 4. This is due to an outlier in the data. The second trial only had 3 seeds germinate and that pulled the average down significantly when only 5 seeds were used per trial.  See Table 1, Figure 1.

The individual number of seeds germinating in each dish did not vary significantly with concentration. For example, a dish may germinate 5 seeds or only 1 seed at a given concentration. Only the average number of germinating seeds showed any pattern. With only five seeds in each dish, a trend would be difficult to see, therefore, I would expect a trend to be seen using the average number of germinating seeds only.

The mean radical length actually increases from the control (no ethylene glycol) at 9.214mm through the 0.001 and the 0.01% solution.  It begins to decline only after the 0.01% solution as the concentration of ethylene glycol increases. This may be due to the chemical composition of the test solutions. The control solution was distilled water. The test solutions containing ethylene glycol may be more "nutrient rich" than distilled water. The lettuce seeds were able to use ethylene glycol or some other chemical in the solution for growth until the chemical was too toxic and growth suffered. See Table 1, Figure 2.

There was no pattern of individual radical length according to concentration. Only the mean length showed any trend.

 

Table 1.  Affect of ethylene glycol on seed germination and radical length at varying concentrations.

Concentration

(% Ethylene Glycol)

Mean Germinating Seeds

(#)

Mean Radical Length

(mm)

Control

4.667

9.214

0.001

4.000

13.417

0.01

4.667

15.643

0.1

4.333

14.462

1.0

3.333

13.7

10

0.000

0.000

100

0.000

0.000

 

Figure 1.  Affect of ethylene glycol on seed germination at varying concentrations.

 

Figure 2.  Affect of ethylene glycol on radical length at varying concentrations.

 

 

Discussion

After graphing the mean germination and adding a trend line, the TC50 is approximately 3% ethylene glycol. After graphing the mean radical length and adding a trend line, the TC50 of ethylene glycol is approximately 5%. Both methods of determining the TC50 yielded similar results. This substance is clearly toxic to lettuce seeds in single dose low concentrations. Extrapolating to multiple dose scenarios or its toxicity to other organisms is not possible from this experiment or data. Ethylene glycol is water soluble and may pass quickly through an organism. Also, the metabolism and physiology of lettuce and those of higher order mammals are very different making estimates of toxicity for other organisms difficult. Lettuce seeds may be a useful bioassay organism for water samples from the environment but it is not possible to say so definitely from the data ion this study. In choosing an indicator, the indicator must more sensitive to toxins than the organism of interest. For example, if we are trying to alert man to a potential environmental hazard, the indicator must be more sensitive and experience adverse affects due to the environment at lower toxicity levels than humans. However, it must also not be so sensitive that we cannot determine a meaningful threshold toxic value.

            If this study were repeated, expanded, or if I had previous information on the toxicity of ethylene glycol, I would have narrowed the range of the test solutions. In this study, a wide range of concentrations were used to test toxicity: 0.001% to 100.00%. For the next study, I would narrow that range to between 0.1% and 10.0%. After 0.1%, the mean germination and mean radical length experienced its largest declines. Focusing the study to within these two concentrations would allow for a more specific dose-response analysis and TC50 calculation.

            Given the difficulties encountered in the study, there are several changes that may improve overall experimental design and produce more accurate and/or precise results. First, increasing the number of trials might show pattern not detectable in this study. In this analysis, there were only 15 lettuce seeds per trial. Increasing that number might be able to show a pattern of individual germination or radical length not detected in this study. Second, the concentration of test solutions would be narrowed to between 0.1% and 10.0% ethylene glycol. That range of concentrations was where the declines in growth predominantly occurred. Narrowing the range and having more trials within that range would provide a more precise indication of toxicity. Third, the range of test solutions might be kept the same but increasing the number of trial concentrations within the study would be useful. In this study, there was a decline of germination in the 0.001% solution that I attributed to being an outlier. More trial concentrations would indicate whether it was an outlier or if there was actually a trend occurring that I did not pick up.

 

 

 

 

 

Bioassay Draft Report

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What is the title of your bioassay research project?

Ethylene Glycol (Antifreeze) on Lettuce Seeds 19047

 

What is your research question?

How toxic is ethylene glycol to lettuce seeds (Lechuga americana)? More specifically, what is the TC50 of ethylene glycol on lettuce seeds?

 

Describe your bioassay organism.

The bioassay organism are seeds of lechuga americana, a common lettuce grown in the United States.

 

What substance(s) did you test?

Antifreeze - Active Ingredient: Ethylene glycol.

 

Summarize your procedure here:

A serial dilution of ethylene glycol (antifreeze) was prepared. We began with 100mL of unmixed antifreeze. From that initial amount a 10%, 1%, 0.1% 0.01%, and 0.001% solution was prepared. Lettuce seeds were soaked in a 10% bleach solution for 5 minutes then rinsed. Into 21 petri dishes with filter paper, 5 lettuce seeds were added. To each dish, 2mL of test solution was added using a disposable pipette. 3 petri dishes received 100% solution, 3 petri dishes received 10% solution, and so on. Distilled water was added to 3 dishes as a control solution. All petri dishes were wrapped in aluminum foil and plastic to prevent sunlight and water loss and stored in a classroom over five days. After five days, the petri dishes were removed from storage. The number of germinating seeds were counted and the length of the radical was measured. The mean number of germinating seeds and mean radical length was then calculated for each solution concentration. Seeds that germinated, but had no radical, were recorded as 0mm for radical length. If the seed did not germinate, it was not counted in the mean radical length calculations. Including non-germinating seeds in the calculation would skew the mean length downward.

 

Summarize your data here. Use the first row to label columns.

 

Concentration (% Ethylene Glycol)

Mean Germinating Seeds (#)

Mean Radical Length (mm)

Control

4.667

9.214

0.001

4.000

13.417

0.01

4.667

15.643

0.1

4.333

14.462

1.0

3.333

13.700

10

0.000

0.000

100

0.000

0.000


Explanation:

When looking at the data above, mean germinating seeds holds steady around 4.667 until the 0.1% solution. Following that concentration, the average number of germinating seeds drops sharply to 0 at 10.0%. You`ll notice that at the 0.001% solution, the average number of germinating seeds drops to 4. This is due to an outlier in the data. The second trial only had 3 seeds germinate and that pulled the average down. The number of seeds germinating in each dish did not vary significantly with concentration. Only the average number of germinating seeds showed any pattern. With only five seeds in each dish, a trend would be difficult to see, therefore, I would expect a trend to be seen using the average number of germinating seeds only. The mean radical length increases from the control until the 0.01% solution and then declines. The pattern is roughly a bell shaped curve. This may be due to the chemical composition of the test solutions. The control solution was distilled water. The test solutions containing ethylene glycol may be more "nutrient rich" than distilled water. The lettuce seeds were able to use ethylene glycol or some other chemical in the solution for growth until the chemical was too toxic and growth suffered. There was no pattern of individual radical length according to concentration. Only the mean length showed any trend.

 

 

What conclusions can you reach?

After graphing the mean germination and adding a trend line, the TC50 is approximately 3% ethylene glycol. After graphing the mean radical length and adding a trend line, the TC 50 of ethylene glycol is approximately 5%. Both methods of determining the TC50 yielded similar results. This substance is clearly toxic to lettuce seeds in single dose low concentrations. Extrapolating to multiple dose scenarios or its toxicity to other organisms is not possible. Ethylene glycol is water soluble and may pass quickly through an organism. Also, the metabolism and physiology of lettuce and those of higher order mammals are very different making estimates of toxicity for other organisms difficult. Lettuce seeds may be a useful bioassay organism for water samples from the environment but it is not possible to say so definitely from the data ion this study. In choosing an indicator, the indicator must more sensitive to toxins than the organism of interest. For example, if we are trying to alert man to a potential environmental hazard, the indicator must be more sensitive and experience adverse affects due to the environment at lower toxicity levels than humans.

 

If you were to repeat the experiment, what would you change in order to learn more about the toxicity of the substance(s) you studied?

If this study were repeated or if I had previous information on the toxicity of ethylene glycol, I would have narrowed the range of the test solutions. In this study, a wide range of concentrations were used to test toxicity: 0.001% to 100.00%. For the next study, I would narrow that range to between 0.1% and 10.0%. After 0.1%, the mean germination and mean radical length experienced its largest declines. Focusing the study to within these two concentrations would allow for a more specific dose-response analysis and TC50 calculation.

 

What changes might you make to improve your experimental design?

There are several changes that may improve overall experimental design and produce more accurate and/or precise results. First, increasing the number of trials might show pattern not detectable in this study. In this analysis, there were only 15 lettuce seeds per trial. Increasing that number might be able to show a pattern of individual germination or radical length not detected in this study. Second, the concentration of test solutions would be narrowed to between 0.1% and 10.0% ethylene glycol. That range of concentrations was where the declines in growth predominantly occurred. Narrowing the range and having more trials within that range would provide a more precise indication of toxicity. Third, the range of test solutions might be kept the same but increasing the number of trial concentrations within the study would be useful. In this study, there was a decline of germination in the 0.001% solution that I attributed to being an outlier. More trial concentrations would indicate whether it was an outlier or if there was actually a trend occurring that I did not pick up.

 

Animal Interview

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Andy Filipczak

SCIED 411

2/5/09

 

Animal Interview

            The following animal interview was conducted with two people.  The first was Yada Juntarapaso, an international PhD student at Penn State University in Acoustics.  The second was conducted with a 6th grade student, Eric Hurff.

 

Yada Juntarapaso's Answers

Picture

Animal

Alive

Elephant

X

X

Fish

X

X

Snake

X

X

Spider

X

X

Tree

 

X

Fly

X

X

Boy

 

X

Mushroom

 

X

Bird

X

X

Fire

 

 

Cow

X

X

Grass

 

X

Lion

X

X

Car

 

 

Frog

X

X

Cat

X

X

Worm

X

X

Slug

X

X

Whale

X

X

According to Yada, animals were organisms that had brains, nerves, organs, etc.  When asked if a human was an animal, she thought so but wasn't too sure how it was classified scientifically.  Humans have minds, behavior control, etc.  Fire was not alive because it didn't have organs (ex. brain).  Grass and trees are alive though because they do have structures (even though she didn't think it had organs.  They have cells).  The car wasn't alive because it uses gas for combustion.  When introduced to the idea of the body being a combustion style engine and asked about bugs that eat oil, she wasn't too sure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eric Hurff's Answers

 

Picture

Animal

Alive

Elephant

X

X

Fish

X

X

Snake

X

X

Spider

 

X

Tree

 

 

Fly

X

X

Boy

 

X

Mushroom

 

 

Bird

X

X

Fire

 

 

Cow

X

X

Grass

 

 

Lion

X

X

Car

 

 

Frog

 

X

Cat

X

X

Worm

 

X

Slug

 

X

Whale

X

X

For Eric, for something to be considered alive it had to breathe.  Therefore, the mushroom, grass, and tree weren't alive because they didn't breathe.  Animals were things that had eyes, tails, and an ability to move.  Grass and trees have neither the ability to move nor any of the anatomical parts (ex. eyes), therefore they were not alive.  When asked about the frog and the spider, Eric paused for a second.  Both had eyes, could move, etc.  He then said that frogs "were amphibians" not animals and spiders were "bugs" not animals.  The boy was not considered an animal either despite the anatomy and movement ability.  People are "different, not animals.  Those are other things."

 

 

 

 

 

Both Eric and Yada followed simple, often dichotomous rules for classification even though Eric followed simpler rules than Yada.  Yada's rules tended to be just as simple and dichotomous but more sophisticated in reason.  For example, for Yada, something living had organs while for Eric, it had to breathe.

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