1244 Views
  1. Kevin Waterman
  2. https://www.edc.org/staff/kevin-waterman
  3. Project Director
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Education Development Center (EDC)
  1. Kristen Bjork
  2. https://www.edc.org/staff/kristen-bjork
  3. Senior Project Director
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Education Development Center (EDC)
  1. Libby Boghossian
  2. Curriculum Designer
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Education Development Center (EDC)
  1. Lynn Goldsmith
  2. https://www.edc.org/staff/lynn-goldsmith
  3. Distinguished scholar
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Education Development Center (EDC)
  1. Cindy Hoisington
  2. https://www.edc.org/staff/cynthia-hoisington
  3. Senior Associate
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Education Development Center (EDC)
  1. Jeff Winokur
  2. Elementary Science Educator
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Education Development Center (EDC)

Integrating Computational Thinking into the Insights Elementary Science Curri...

NSF Awards: 1841189

2020 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6

In this video, we show students in first-grade classrooms engaging in activities from a newly developed science module about light. This inquiry-based module provides students with opportunities to investigate light by experimenting, making hypotheses, gathering data, developing models, and sense-making through discussion and argumentation.    

The module is part of our project Integrating Computational Thinking into the Insights Elementary Science Curriculum, in which our team is developing science curriculum modules for grades 1 and 4 based on EDC’s Insights program. The resulting modules will be NGSS-aligned (since the original units were developed prior to NGSS) and rich in science practices, with particular focus on computational thinking (CT). The activities within these modules are designed so that the science content and practices mutually reinforce each other. We pay particular attention to those practices within NGSS that promote broader CT concepts, taking advantage of the significant overlaps between the NGSS science practices (which include use of CT) and the CSTA’s articulation of CT skills and practices. These overlaps lie largely in the areas of data and modeling. Accordingly, we are focusing the bulk of the CT integration on building science understanding through: 

  • Students’ use of data (planning, collecting, and analyzing data) 
  • Students’ use of both physical and digital models and simulations of science phenomena 
  • Students’ building science understanding by drawing connections between physical and digital representations of phenomena 

Of particular interest, as a next step in our project we will be studying how young children connect screen-based activities (working with digital animations and models) to physical explorations of phenomena.

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Original Discussion from the 2020 STEM For All Video Showcase
  • Icon for: Brian Kruse

    Brian Kruse

    Director, Teacher Learning Center
    May 4, 2020 | 03:11 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing! I like how your project encourages learners to investigate various phenomena, and to think about their own interaction with it through applying science practices. I would find it interesting to learn more about how you incorporated student movement into the investigations.  Please visit our video where we investigate astronomical phenomena in first and third grade classrooms, with the inclusion of a visit to a planetarium.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Michael I. Swart
  • Icon for: Jeff Winokur

    Jeff Winokur

    Co-Presenter
    May 4, 2020 | 10:21 p.m.

    Brian, thanks for your interest. Before I/we respond to your question I'm curious to know what you mean by "student movement." Do you mean how did we plan to have students literally get up and move while investigationg?

  • Icon for: Brian Kruse

    Brian Kruse

    Director, Teacher Learning Center
    May 5, 2020 | 10:25 a.m.

    Hi Jeff.  Not movement for the sake of just getting up while investigating, more in the sense of a purposeful, bodily involvement in exploring the phenomenon of interest.  As we watched what the students were doing to make sense of the phenomena they were investigating, we wondered how much the kinesthetic nature of the 1st grade interactions in the planetarium were influencing their learning.  There was not a similar opportunity for the 3rd graders, and they were challenged with knowing where the Moon was when it was not visible.  Though they did seem to get the pattern of phases.  It got us interested in comparing the fairly static 3rd grade experience with the very active 1st grade.  There was a lot of movement and kinesthetic learning involved with the 1st graders, both in-class, and during their trip to the planetarium.  

  • Icon for: Lynn Goldsmith

    Lynn Goldsmith

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 02:19 p.m.

    Thanks for your question, Brian. We think that a lot of learning has a kinesthetic component to it, and that young children come to understand themselves and the world largely by engaging with it in physical ways. (Piaget's description of children's sensorimotor knowledge certainly points us toward the connection between the physical and the cognitive, as does the literature on embodied cognition.) 

    In piloting our materials, we certainly saw examples of kids connecting their actions with the results of those actions (for example, seeing how the shape of a shadow was affected by the angle at which they held the flashlight in relation to the object casting the shadow). In this case, the students were essentially acting like the sun—they were in charge of the light source and could see how the ways they positioned the light could make a shadow longer or shorter. But we have also seen situations in which students’ engagement in the kinesthetic added a layer of complexity that did not always seem to support their immediate learning.  For example, when students went outside to explore their own shadows their physical relationship to the light source was different than in their earlier classroom explorations—rather than “being” the light source, they were now the objects blocking the light. In this context, students were not always able to place their bodies into positions that would create shadows their teachers challenged them to make. For example, the two children in the video whose feet are nearly touching were challenged to make a shadow that looked like the letter “O” (~0:14 into the clip).  Their focus was on shaping their bodies into the letter rather than shaping their bodies so that their shadows were shaped like an “O.” 

    These two different experiences with making and observing shadows were a good reminder to us that complex concepts take time for students to come to understand, and that different experiences provide somewhat different perspectives on the phenomenon the children are investigating. The opportunity for repeated engagement from somewhat different perspectives gives students the chance to continue to build a foundational understanding of how the phenomenon “works.”

     

  • May 9, 2020 | 11:44 a.m.

    This is a really important consideration and observation! Sometimes the activities we hope will bring more depth and clarity actually add complexity (as you note), start students thinking of a second concept (and detracting from their focus and understanding of the first) or lead to a "just try stuff" approach that moves students farther from the target concept. Later in this thread, the idea of using digital experiences to aid transfer is brought up. I think a digital experience after the in-class simulation (e.g., where they are the light source) could be used to prime students for the transfer task. For example, a digital preview of what they'll be doing when they go outside could show the sun and a kid and the shadow and explicitly ask students to think about what's similar and different between the class situation and the digital situation. Then when they go outside, they'll have gotten through that piece and can focus on the many extension activities shown in the video.

    As an aside, even before reading these comments, I was really struck by how much these students were moving around and doing things outside and collaboratively. Kudos! We need more of that! No reason to be locked in classrooms all day.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Michael I. Swart
  • Icon for: Cindy Hoisington

    Cindy Hoisington

    Co-Presenter
    May 9, 2020 | 06:00 p.m.

    Thanks Mari, what an interesting idea to use the digital experience to prime kids for a transfer to a second shadows experience. I'm sure we'll have to try that! One thing that has been super salient in our project is how kids simultaneously build understanding across closely- related concepts-- one of the reasons I assume why it's been so hard to establish a more detailed learning progression in science. In the shadows stuff for example, first graders were simultaneously figuring out how shadows are made;  how they change as the object/light change their relative positions; how light interacts with different objects; and how light behaves generally....We've spent some time thinking about how to keep explorations focused enough to deepen learning of specific concepts (as you mention), but not SO focused as to miss the connections kids are constantly making between and among them. One way we have started to address this more consistently is by providing open-ended experiences with shadows/reflections/etc. before moving into more focused investigations. This helps get a lot of student questions/observations/ideas out on the table before centering the 1-2 target concepts in a focused investigation; it gives students the lay of the land before pointing them in one direction-- so to speak-- and also ensures that they are continuously having opportunities to revisit previous concepts. Besides that, it  helps "level the field" for kids with a range of previous experiences with the concepts AND the tools they use to investigate them. It also supports engagement with practices since kids collect data in a bunch of different ways and then get to decide (with support from the teacher of course) what really qualifies as evidence and why. So, for example when sent to explore what objects that let all light pass thru, some pass thru, or that block light-- kids initially came up with a lot of ways to decide what the light was doing with individual objects. This experience gave them the background info they needed to decide, for example, that if you can see any light at all on the opposite side of the object (when you hold the flashlight just so....), it must be letting some light through........this prepared them to be more systematic in the focused investigation. Thanks again for taking the time to make such thoughtful comments!

  • Icon for: Kevin Waterman

    Kevin Waterman

    Lead Presenter
    Project Director
    May 4, 2020 | 06:28 p.m.

    Thanks for watching our video!

    We're still pretty early in the life of this project—this video combines classroom observations of only one module that we're developing. The school closings kept us from piloting the remainder of our materials. The project has two years of field testing as part of the design, so we hope things can return to some sense of normal to get us back on track. In the meantime, we're plugging away at writing and revising the models based on review feedback.

    Apropos to the sudden shift to learning from home, we've been pondering what the role of experimenting with digital models can play, given that hands-on science experiments for young children can be difficult to manage (both from a materials cost and a parental time cost). A key question we had already planned to investigate is what sense young children make of digital models: do they see them primarily as a game, a "digital world" with its own rules disconnected from the real world, or can they see a model as a representation of something real. (For first graders, how much do they distinguish from fiction and real life anyway?) The question takes on added significance in cases where hands-on activities become even more difficult to pull off.

    We're curious what others think on this topic! 

  • Icon for: Abigail Levy

    Abigail Levy

    Facilitator
    May 4, 2020 | 11:05 p.m.

    Kevin, you ask a good question about how first graders make sense of digital models. I'm curious about the kind of indicators were you going to look for, and if you had a chance to get any data that might shed light on this? If so, how has it influenced your thinking about this question?

  • Icon for: Lynn Goldsmith

    Lynn Goldsmith

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 12:04 p.m.

    Hi Abigail. We have not yet gathered any data about students' connections between physical and digital models. However, when we do, our initial plan is to focus, qualitatively, on gathering information about similarities/differences in the ways that kids explore the two kinds of models, the kinds of ideas that get raised and explored in each, and whether students make connections between the things they are observing and ideas they are generating by working in each "modality." 

  • Icon for: Jacqueline Genovesi

    Jacqueline Genovesi

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 09:58 a.m.

    Interesting project. We too have been having difficulty collecting data during school closures. I'm wondering if you have developed a "plan B" in case you can't go into classrooms to collect data?

  • Icon for: Kevin Waterman

    Kevin Waterman

    Lead Presenter
    Project Director
    May 5, 2020 | 11:46 a.m.

    So much is up in the air, and it depends on what things look like come fall. Assuming teachers and students actually gather in the classroom at least some days/times, we're looking into technology to record classroom activities, or if technology in the school allows, live stream them. (Obviously, this will require even more rigorous permissions among all students in the class.) We can supplement this with asking teachers to video interactions (GoPro cameras? Cell phone stabilizing gimbals?).

    Should classes be primarily (or exclusively?) from home, we don't have a great solution at this stage, as I mentioned above. We've considered pulling out small activities that are doable from home, but worry that it could be too much of a burden on parents to manage the activity (and difficult for the teacher to guide the students' experimentation), and of course, it brings up issues of equity (not all students have parents with time and availability to guide their students' activities. To add to the complication here would be that even if our project could afford to supply each student with a kit for in-home activities, it's clearly not a scalable solution, and perhaps not the best way to address the issues.

  • Icon for: Jacqueline Genovesi

    Jacqueline Genovesi

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 02:37 p.m.

    Kevin,

    It sounds like you and your team have given significant thought to how you can make the project work even with the current challenges. Good luck with your implementation next year. I think we are all going to gain important knowledge in how to mitigate these challenges.

  • Icon for: Susan Kowalski

    Susan Kowalski

    Researcher
    May 5, 2020 | 05:49 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing your video. The students' enthusiasm is contagious. I love how students were using their own experiences with phenomena to help them learn science ideas.

    I definitely relate to your concerns about the challenges associated with learning science during school closures. Our digital curriculum unit was designed for middle school students in face-to-face classrooms. Even though students can engage with animations and interactive learning experiences at home, how can a teacher replicate the critical discussions that allow students to listen to one another and make sense of their experiences? It's not a small task to bring students together in an online space to share ideas, deepen their own understanding, and push their peers' thinking forward.

  • Icon for: Lynn Goldsmith

    Lynn Goldsmith

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 11:59 a.m.

    Your observations about the challenges of negotiating collective conversations in an online environment are definitely a challenge!  And since Insights is not primarily designed for a digital environment, if schooling next year continues to be disrupted, we will face the additional challenge of figuring out how we might support students' ability to explore physical phenomena prior to exploring digital representations. Right now we're hoping that school will be more or less back to normal, since it would be very difficult to address such a challenge in a sustained (and equitable) way. 

  • Icon for: Leigh Peake

    Leigh Peake

    Informal Educator
    May 6, 2020 | 07:52 a.m.

    Great video and great to see Insights continuing to evolve. And of course I love the focus on data and modeling. We quickly revamped some of our hands-on work to function in the digital world, but our focus on middle schoolers made that a lot easier. As others have said, it's interesting to think where your biggest contribution to the field and to Insights will be as you make your way through the coming months and its opportunities/challenges. Looking forward to hearing more!

  • Icon for: Lynn Goldsmith

    Lynn Goldsmith

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 11:35 a.m.

    Thanks for your observations, Leigh! We are excited to work on Insights for a new generation of students and are eager to explore the affordances and challenges of leveraging science practices related to data, modeling, and computational thinking for elementary students' science learning, particularly at the early grades.

  • May 6, 2020 | 12:35 p.m.

    I'm curious about how you are helping children connect the digital and hands-on elements. That kind of transfer might be hard for children to do on their own. But I imagine that the teachers and even collaboration with peers might support those connections. 

  • Icon for: Kevin Waterman

    Kevin Waterman

    Lead Presenter
    Project Director
    May 6, 2020 | 02:34 p.m.

    It's a great question, and central to one of the things we're hoping to study.

    The way we've designed the first two digital models, each has two distinct "scenes": one that directly recreates and represents an activity that students perform in class, and a second that extends to a similar phenomenon that students do not experience in class. For instance, one activity in the light module (shown in the video) has students experiment with moving flashlights around a fixed object to see how the angle of the light affects the shadow. They also have an outside activity where they address challenges about shadows in the sun. The digital model that goes with this module will replicate that indoor activity with the flashlight, then show a similar mechanism for moving the sun outside, and make comparisons and hypotheses about size and direction of shadows based on the light source.

    By presenting a representation of an activity they perform in class, our hypothesis is that they can focus on how the controls of the digital model match the actual moves they did "live." They can then apply those controls to a similar situation. So the study could focus on that transfer of knowledge—connecting the hands-on activities with situations that are more difficult to observe or experiment with in real life—a key benefit of using digital models!

  • May 9, 2020 | 11:47 a.m.

    A further extension of all this might be for students to create a virtual representation to teach a peer (in their class or a novice). That could be a drawing, an animation, or a short video in which they are the actors. It help focus their attention (and learning) on the specific concept being targeted.

  • Icon for: Alison Billman

    Alison Billman

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 12:52 p.m.

    First graders and their enthusiasm for learning are always a delight. Thanks for sharing your project. I noticed many charts filled with words to document processes and observations. Those are so important for children who are rapidly acquiring language and building their discourse repertoires at this age. Are you intentionally planning for language and literacy development in your modules? I noticed that you captured students communicating observations in the video. Do have expectations for them to eventually articulate explanations based on their observations?

  • Icon for: Jeff Winokur

    Jeff Winokur

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 02:30 p.m.

    Thanks for viewing our video and for your question, Alison.A central underpinning of our project is that science learning is deepened by the use of language, and that language learning is enhanced by science investigation.So yes, we are indeed making intentional connections between science and literacy/language development. We emphasize the need for students to engage in science talk as both a way to develop language and to articulate students' observations and thinking. We encourage different types of conversations at different stages of the investigation, e.g., more about probing for prior knowledge and possible misconceptions in initial stages; and more focused on analysis and evidence-based claims as students investigate and gather data. We also provide opportunities for students to record in appropriate ways. 

  • Icon for: Kristen Bjork

    Kristen Bjork

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 04:14 p.m.

    Thanks for your comment, Alison. The charts are a very important part of helping students' sense-making in this project. We have found that teachers are sometimes reluctant to make note of students' perceived 'incorrect' inferences. Through our teacher materials, we are trying to encourage teachers to make note of all students' observations and inferences whether or not they are deemed correct. We welcome peoples' thoughts about the best ways to ensure that these types of observations are recorded.

  • May 9, 2020 | 11:54 a.m.

    I wonder if teachers could be encouraged to use symbols or color coding (or spacial placement on the chart) to note "ideas" and "observations" (initially) and then annotate those (or move to a "known"/"supported" column) as supporting or refuting evidence is collected or as class agrees/disagrees. In science, forensics, etc. all sorts of information is noted that MIGHT be relevant and it gets categorized as relevant or correct as the investigation goes on. Not knowing up front what is right is part of science that is important to communicate to students.

  • Icon for: Cindy Hoisington

    Cindy Hoisington

    Co-Presenter
    May 9, 2020 | 05:00 p.m.

    Thanks for the great comment Mari! We actually moved toward that idea after piloting the light unit-- having one chart that threaded through all the activities to reflect "Our Learning about Light" where information informed by evidence got recorded at the end of activities-- still contained some incomplete ideas so teachers would put a question mark by ideas that generated disagreement among students. Having this chart also helped teachers feel more comfortable that they could literally see the learning coming out of each activity and how it related to the big picture. Hopefully we'll continue to hone this process in the field test.

  • Icon for: Cindy Hoisington

    Cindy Hoisington

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 03:22 p.m.

    Hey Alison, I'm glad you noticed the charts! As Jeff said we definitely include charting students' evidence-based claims and are working on making that process (and the importance of it) more salient for teachers. Those charts are key because they bridge productive conversations from one experience to the next-- allowing students to revisit, rethink, and revise previous ideas based on new information. Over time this helps kids see the twists and turns in their own thinking over time ("think about their own thinking"). We also really prioritize speaking and listening in these science talks as a route to developing students' capacity to engage in productive, respectful discourse.

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    Margaret Berges

    K-12 Teacher
    May 6, 2020 | 11:28 p.m.

    I love the joy and scientific vocabulary coming from the students!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Icon for: Kevin Waterman

    Kevin Waterman

    Lead Presenter
    Project Director
    May 7, 2020 | 05:30 p.m.

    Thanks for your comment! Yes, it is great fun and very satisfying to see students engaged, not just from an interest and excitement level, but from an actual learning level. How satisfying to see the curriculum's learning goals on display!

  • Icon for: Deb Vanderpoel

    Deb Vanderpoel

    K-12 Teacher
    May 7, 2020 | 12:12 p.m.

    I have worked with the Integrating Computational Thinking into the Insights Elementary Science Curriculum and I can only say , "It is fabulous!" My students were not only engaged in activities that correlated with the Next Generation Science Standards but they took the learning to the next level by graphing data and making pictorial representations of data and talking about it with one another. They made sense of it at a young age! One year my students also worked on skills mapped out in a programming curriculum and I was so impressed with their perseverance and learning outcomes. Amazing staff and amazing curriculum! 

  • Icon for: Kevin Waterman

    Kevin Waterman

    Lead Presenter
    Project Director
    May 7, 2020 | 05:31 p.m.

    Thanks, Deb! We owe a great debt to the teachers who work with us as well. Their openness, honesty, enthusiasm, and care are vital to us collaboratively making the best end product possible!

  • Icon for: Ximena Dominguez

    Ximena Dominguez

    Researcher
    May 7, 2020 | 07:07 p.m.

    What a great video! I really enjoyed seeing the children's excitement and active engagement, as well as the teachers instructional strategies to promote science practices. The chart to document claims is a great idea. Along with some of your colleagues at EDC-NY, we have worked on a preschool curricular program that engages children in three dimensional science learning. One of the units covers shadows. We are currently working on extending it to include engineering and mathematics explicitly. It would be great to connect and think about the alignment across preschool, K and 1st grade. 

  • Icon for: Cindy Hoisington

    Cindy Hoisington

    Co-Presenter
    May 8, 2020 | 02:37 p.m.

    Thanks Xime! Yes the charts are really needed to bridge the kids' thinking from one activity to the next, enabling them to revisit and revise previous claims. I'm familiar with the shadows curriculum work and there are definitely places for alignment across grade levels...there is a shift in Grade One toward shadows as phenomena that begin to build an understanding of light but we've found Grade One students just as excited and surprised about their observations of the shadows themselves as preschoolers can be!

  • May 8, 2020 | 06:22 a.m.

    The most intersting age:  7 or 8 years old.  The growth of a sense of self-efficacy.  Questioning adults and testing ideas of their own.  Glad to see you are promoting this even younger.  Being surrounded by responsive supportive adults: invaluable.  Well, these are just my opinion.  I hope your research bears this out.  Do you have any age-related data on this?

  • Icon for: Lynn Goldsmith

    Lynn Goldsmith

    Co-Presenter
    May 8, 2020 | 11:05 a.m.

    Thanks for your comment. We definitely agree with the notion that children have lots of ideas to guide exploration and reflection and that it's never too soon to leverage their natural curiosity and enthusiasm to develop dispositions related to "doing science." I'm not entirely sure what kind of age-related data you refer to in your question. We have not planned on gathering formal data about self-efficacy; at present, we're focusing primarily on gathering data that will help us hone the curriculum materials themselves.

  • May 8, 2020 | 01:28 p.m.

    Hi Kevin, Lynn, Jeff, and team!  Loved the chance to see your work in action!  One of my favorite parts of this clip was to hear the teacher ask such a great probing question:

    "Is there anything else you've discovered so far?"

    What a great question that encourages science talk! In my project that's focused on integrating CT into literacy activities, we're trying to find the right balance between scripting out activities to give teachers those kinds of questions to encourage the CT-focused talk.  But with too much of that, we run the risk of creating lesson plans that may feel overwhelming.

    What are some of the promising practices you've found so far in helping teachers to integrate those important aspects to make sure the CT is being activated during the science lessons?  Would love to learn from your progress!

  • Icon for: Cindy Hoisington

    Cindy Hoisington

    Co-Presenter
    May 8, 2020 | 03:27 p.m.

    Hi Heather! Yes, definitely, helping teachers ask productive questions without being overbearing has been a big part of our work and our team conversations. It's easy to provide explicit guidance about the first teacher question in a given conversation, but the follow-ups are harder since they are dependent on how kids respond to the first one(s). We don't want teachers asking canned questions that don't "fit" in the conversation  :)

    What we've found is that teachers really like having multiple suggestions for questions they can choose from based on the kinds of responses kids are giving. That way they can choose the most relevant ones while still feeling comfortable that they are staying on track.  We also, as much as possible, try to give teachers a heads -up about the range of responses they might expect from kids to the central questions in an activity  (including ones that indicate misconceptions) so they can be better prepared to respond in a productive way. We also put a one sentence "The purpose of this conversation is..." tip next to key conversations and provide teachers with reassurances such as "remember to record all of the children's ideas without evaluating them in the moment. You will revisit these ideas during Activity X..."....One other things we do is to be explicit about different types of questions that work at different points in an investigation so teachers can make sense of the pattern. Part of what we hope to do is to not just provide activity by activity guidance but help teachers become invested in an approach that centers kids' thinking and the types of questions that support that. 

  • Icon for: Kevin Waterman

    Kevin Waterman

    Lead Presenter
    Project Director
    May 8, 2020 | 03:44 p.m.

    Oh, Heather, the million dollar question is embedded in there, isn't it? We’re always trying to strike the right balance—too much, and it's scripted and/or overwhelming, too little and it's esoteric and hard to find a way in. I think I'll be asking that question for as long as I do this work!

    It is hard to find the right balance, and to capture and present everything Cindy mentions in a way that's friendly to use. One approach we’ll be looking into, one that the current shutdown may afford us more time (and definitely more need, given the potential difficulties of doing in-person workshops) is to create an online, interactive teacher guide and accompanying online course, including video snippets of examples of “what it looks like in the classroom” to go along with the customary printed materials. We had always intended on developing that online teacher guide, but thinking more about it being a professional learning opportunity as well seems like a promising approach. And as Cindy mentioned, we plan to develop that online course toward helping teachers understand the approach and developing their own techniques for conversation more broadly, using examples from the activities themselves. 

    As far as finding this balance for conversations specifically around CT, we're still working on that! It is a newer concept for a lot of teachers, so will likely need extra support. But a fair bit of work has already gone in developing ways to activate some embedded foundational concepts, specifically around data and models, that we can leverage.

  • May 8, 2020 | 01:38 p.m.

    Thank for sharing this video! It made my day to see the excitement and genuine inquiry of those sweet first-grade scientists. 

  • Icon for: Cindy Hoisington

    Cindy Hoisington

    Co-Presenter
    May 12, 2020 | 05:35 p.m.

    Thanks Danae! The kids' excitement helps reinforce for me how important it is to teach to, not only conceptual knowledge and skills, but also science attitudes and self-identities-- research shows how quickly kids lose interest in science when they don't feel capable, connected, or confident about their ability to do it and learn it.  

  • May 9, 2020 | 10:13 a.m.

    Very interesting project. It sounds like you were able to meaningfully engage with the students and ignite some great discussions. I wonder how you are measuring students' reasoning in these grades. What data are you capturing and how are you analyzing these data to draw inferences about the development of students' thinking? 

  • Icon for: Lynn Goldsmith

    Lynn Goldsmith

    Co-Presenter
    May 10, 2020 | 04:39 p.m.

    Hi Leanne,

    At this early stage of the project, we are largely relying on observations of lessons, students' written work in their science notebooks and other artifacts from the classroom (such as the charts that capture students' ideas during class discussion), and  teachers' feedback to us to draw inferences about the ideas that are available to the whole class over the course of the modules. We are not yet assessing individual students' learning.

  • Icon for: Julia Plummer

    Julia Plummer

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 9, 2020 | 06:46 p.m.

    Great video. It really communicated the ways children were engaged in science practices!  If I understood correctly, this module was designed to work with an existing curriculum? Do teacher still do some of the original Insight curriculum and then add your lessons or is it a more fundamental adaptation?  Overall, I like the idea of helping teachers who have existing curriculum by providing them with modules that can help them better address the goals of the NGSS.  That may be a good way to help some teachers new to these ways of teaching to learn how to integrate these practices into their classroom.

  • Icon for: Lynn Goldsmith

    Lynn Goldsmith

    Co-Presenter
    May 10, 2020 | 10:09 p.m.

    Hi Julia,

    The modules we are developing absolutely carry forward the pedagogical commitments to inquiry and students’ sense-making that characterized the original Insights materials; we have also drawn draw from activities that were part of the original curriculum. But because the grade-level topics addressed in the original materials no longer align very well with those articulated in the NGSS, we have essentially had to constructed our “Insights 2.0” modules anew to make them developmentally appropriate and to integrate "new" science practices such as computational thinking into module activities. 

    Over the past few years we have found that many teachers’ science instruction, especially in early elementary years, is often a bit of a catch-all. Across several projects, the teachers we have worked with often address a particular science topic by piecing together activities from a variety of resources. The result can be a set of engaging, but not necessarily conceptually coherent, experiences for students. So I agree with you that it makes sense to try moving the needle by making modules available that are aligned with NGSS goals, have a strong conceptual arc, and promote students’ dispositions to be scientific sense-makers through engagement with science practices. I should also note that while we are currently focused on curriculum development, we recognize the importance of supporting teachers’ (ongoing) professional learning!

     

  • May 12, 2020 | 11:54 a.m.

    Lynn made a very interesting point about evaluating the movement of students both as advantageous and at times detrimentally adding layer of complexity unsupportive of immediate learning.  In our project, we investigate how gestures, especially enactments of transformations, help students conceptualize geometry.  Are there plans to analyze the recordings you have of children, groups and codifying it to possibly discern any systematic behaviors, interactions that could facilitate this curriculum?

  • Icon for: Lynn Goldsmith

    Lynn Goldsmith

    Co-Presenter
    May 12, 2020 | 04:23 p.m.

    Hi Michael and thanks for your observations/questions. While we think it would be fascinating to systematically look for patterns in the ways children use gesture (and other forms of movement) to support their thinking, we do not have plans to do so. We do think that it's intriguing to think about how gesture supports learning for young children (like those we are working with) and older students (like you're working with), and also the kinds of contexts for which gesture seems particularly amenable.

  • Icon for: Cindy Hoisington

    Cindy Hoisington

    Co-Presenter
    May 12, 2020 | 05:31 p.m.

    And to add on to what Lynn has said, kids' movement outdoors, in the case of investigating shadows, does complicate the learning but also makes it clear that science learning IS complex. Observing that their shadows don't replicate their movements in the way they expected doesn't necessarily contribute to their immediate learning about how light works, but does provide necessary background for their longer term learning of science concepts related to light. 

  • Icon for: Rebecca Lewis

    Rebecca Lewis

    K-12 Teacher
    May 12, 2020 | 03:50 p.m.

    It's so great seeing the high level science engagement that young children can have - as a high school teacher, I'm always striving to bring that element of curiosity and play back to my students' experiences with science. It's the natural way that humans engage with the world!

  • Icon for: Cindy Hoisington

    Cindy Hoisington

    Co-Presenter
    May 12, 2020 | 05:27 p.m.

    Thanks Rebecca! Yes, one of the joys of working with younger students is that they still maintain that natural (scientific) curiosity and play that is so foundational to science and so important to sustaining their interest, motivation, and confidence in doing and learning science and STEM into middle school. I am so grateful to know that there are HS educators out there who recognize science attitudes as a critical component of what we teach!

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