Engaging Student Learning Innovation Tank: During my first practicum the students were given a culminating task for the water cycle. They were required to build a model of a product that would solve a problem and create a business model around that product. The conclusion to this task was an oral presentation or pitch of their product, their prices and business model. The classes Innovation Tank was similar to Dragon’s Den, where students presented to a panel of 4 ‘Investors’ being myself, their Teacher, Principle and the S.E.R.T. for the senior grades in the school. This was an amazing experience for me as well as the students. They thrived on the idea of being businesses owners and having the responsibility to answer questions based on their design and business model.
Inquiry Method: Using manipulatives in math is an awesome way to engage student learning and make use of the multiple intelligences (spacial awareness, mathematical and logical Reasoning). To introduce the idea of surface area and to help students understand how the formulas were derived I told a story and asked the students to wrap these Pringles chips as a gift for my cousins using the least amount of wrapping paper necessary. Watching their various approaches was priceless and this was the ipitemy of making a learning experience authentic.
Science can ‘spark’ curiosity Students may not realize that the world around them is full of interesting scientific facts. This is what makes teaching science exciting for me as an educator. Seeing the confusion and sometimes times disbelief that occurs at the beginning of a lesson or experiment, that is soon followed by amazement and astonishment in their eyes. My goal is to share my excitement and interest in science with all my students and hopefully have them develop that intrinsic curiosity in science.
Electric Pickle: As a Segway into chemistry I electrified a pickle to draw on their previous knowledge of circuits and the flow of electrons. Speaking about the molecules within the pickle receiving energy and the colour of the visible light being specific to those molecules. As we had just finished space I linked this to the Aurora Borealis in the sky how energy from solar storms hit the atmosphere and illuminate specific molecules specific colours.
Wonder Wall: Space and Astronomy are one of those units where the potential to ask questions is limitless. I created a wonder wall for my space unit and had students ask questions related or not related to our class lessons. Every day for the first 5 minutes, I would give the answer to the question I researched from the wonder wall. As with any true science experiment an answer to question always sparks another question. This kept the wonder wall growing throughout the unit and sparked many inquiry based conversations within our classroom.