Monday, March 17, 2014

Science Note-booking

I feel like I should start this post saying that I did little research on Science note-booking- something I would normally do when I'm starting something new - therefore I have no idea if this is what most teachers do, but I have found this to work for me and my 2nd graders...  SO of course I thought it was worthy of a share.  (Ok-I think that was one HUGE run-on sentence.  Teach grammar much?? ;))  

About halfway through the school year, I started using a science note-booking concept with my 2nd graders.  Earlier on in the year, my team and I would actually make reflection sheets and put them together in a notebook form for the entire unit- and that worked well- but I wanted something different, where the kids could take more charge- so in came Science Notebooks.  Our science notebooks are actually the science section in their binder.  Next year- they will have an actual notebook.

Right now, we are learning all about sound.  To begin each investigation - students open their notebooks, put the title of the investigation, any definitions, and answer some "Pre-investigation" questions.  I project these questions on the smartboard.  At this point, they can do all of this in about 3 minutes, depending on the amount of writing that needs to be done.

Then, I introduce them to their investigation.  I usually give them as little direction as possible so that they can discover things on their own.  I give them about 10-15 minutes to investigate- sometimes more, depending on how long I think it will take them.  During this time they are recording any data they get, and writing down their own thoughts about their experiment.

Sometimes, I give them a recording paper for any data I want them to record.

After their experiment, I project a set of reflection questions on the smart board for them to answer.  This is one thing that we will change next year.  I began by asking them to just answer the question, but I definitely want them to restate the question and write in a complete sentence so that they can see what they've learned without needing to remember the question.

Last, we talk together about what we learned.  I think we will also add a "What we've learned" section to our notebook and we will put some statements that we all come to together.  Ex) The loudness or softness of a sound is called the volume.  The highness or lowness of a sound is called its pitch.  Sound is vibrations that travel.  We can change the pitch of a string by holding it tighter or more loosely.  We can change the volume of a string by plucking it harder or softer. OK I think you get the idea.

I really like the way our note-booking has turned out so far.  It's lead to more discovery, rather than explicit teaching- and has taught them the important things that scientists look for when conducting an experiment.

Do you use science notebooks in your classroom?  What have you found that works?  I would love to hear your ideas!

1 comment:

  1. Great post. This article is really very interesting and enjoyable. I think its must be helpful and informative for us. Thanks for sharing your nice post about Science Note-booking .
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