G7 Week 02

Last week in science!

Monday, September 9th

All periods: After checking to make sure each student had fulfilled the requirement of securing the correct type of lab notebook, students were asked to prepare their lab notebooks for use by following the guidelines found within the Notebook section of the SCIENCEsEDiment website. This preparation involved, 1) writing specific contact information on either the inside cover or the cover page, 2) adding a personalized note attempting to persuade an individual to return a lost notebook to the student-owner, 3) creating two Table of Contents pages, and 4) numbering all of the remaining pages in the lower outside corners.

Homework (all periods): There is no science homework tonight.

Tuesday, September 10th (no H period)

B & C periods: After adding “Dr. Merritt’s Rules & Guidelines” to either the back (inside) cover or the last page of the notebook, students were introduced to a new Grade 7 unit called “weeLABs™.” During an introductory presentation, students a) found out how their overall science grade will be calculated, and b) had their first (very brief) look at what weeLABs are all about. Having received a ‘gift’ from Dr. Merritt in the later part of the lesson, students actually began doing a practice weeLAB by performing the translation strategy.

Homework (B & C periods)On page 1 of their Lab Notebook, students have been asked to find other words (or short phrases) TO USE IN PLACE OF the words they highlighted in pink near the end of their science lesson. To accomplish this activity, students should make use of actual or online dictionaries (for definitions) and/or thesauri (for synonyms). At the beginning of their next science lesson, Dr. Merritt will expect that students have clearly listed alternative words (or short phrases) for each of the words highlighted in pink color.

Wednesday, September 11th

H period: After adding “Dr. Merritt’s Rules & Guidelines” to either the back (inside) cover or the last page of the notebook, students were introduced to a new Grade 7 unit called “weeLABs™.” During an introductory presentation, students a) found out how their overall science grade will be calculated, and b) had their first (very brief) look at what weeLABs are all about. Having received a ‘gift’ from Dr. Merritt in the later part of the lesson, students actually began doing a practice weeLAB by performing the translation strategy.

Homework (H period): On page 1 of their Lab Notebook, students have been asked to find other words (or short phrases) TO USE IN PLACE OF the words they highlighted in pink near the end of their science lesson. To accomplish this activity, students should make use of actual or online dictionaries (for definitions) and/or thesauri (for synonyms). At the beginning of their next science lesson, Dr. Merritt will expect that students have clearly listed alternative words (or short phrases) for each of the words highlighted in pink color.

B & C periods: After checking in students’ translation work by issuing a “Meets Expectations” (or ME) stamp, Dr. Merritt asked students to re-write Merriam-Webster’s definition of a banana by substituting the words (or short phrases) they uncovered during last night’s homework for those words they highlighted in the previous lesson in pink. This new-and-improved definition was called the “Translated definition,” and was flagged in the Lab Notebook by enclosing it inside of a neatly drawn box/rectangle. Next, Dr. M introduced yet another elaboration strategy, Explication, by asking students to highlight the one or two most important words in their new Translated definition in green. After some class debate and discussion, students generally agreed that the phrase “tropical fruit” was the single most important phrase to highlight…and explicate, which means to explain. Students then had the remaining class time to begin working on tonight’s explication homework described below…

Homework (B & C period): In a section clearly titled “Explication” in their Lab Notebook, students were asked to spend 20 minutes at home tonight completing a 3-part task. First, students were asked to define the word “tropical.” Second, students were asked to define the word “fruit.” Third, and finally, students were asked to put these two definitions together into a single definition of “tropical fruit.” At the beginning of their next science lesson, Dr. Merritt will expect that students have an understandable definition of tropical fruit recorded within their Lab Notebook.

Thursday, September 12th (no C period)

H period: After checking in students’ translation work by issuing a “Meets Expectations” (or ME) stamp, Dr. Merritt asked students to re-write Merriam-Webster’s definition of a banana by substituting the words (or short phrases) they uncovered during last night’s homework for those words they highlighted in the previous lesson in pink. This new-and-improved definition was called the “Translated definition,” and was flagged in the Lab Notebook by enclosing it inside of a neatly drawn box/rectangle. Next, Dr. M introduced yet another elaboration strategy, Explication, by asking students to highlight the one or two most important words in their new Translated definition in green. After some class debate and discussion, students generally agreed that the phrase “tropical fruit” was the single most important phrase to highlight…and explicate, which means to explain. Students then had the remaining class time to begin working on tonight’s explication homework described below…

Homework (H period): In a section clearly titled “Explication” in their Lab Notebook, students were asked to spend 20 minutes at home tonight completing a 3-part task. First, students were asked to define the word “tropical.” Second, students were asked to define the word “fruit.” Third, and finally, students were asked to put these two definitions together into a single definition of “tropical fruit.” At the beginning of their next science lesson, Dr. Merritt will expect that students have an understandable definition of tropical fruit recorded within their Lab Notebook.

B period: A quick check of students’ explication work from last night revealed some lingering confusion about both the terms “tropical” and “fruit.” To help students find their way through this confusion, Dr. Merritt provided support for students by 1) asking students to share their ideas with each other, 2) asking students to utilize texts found in the classroom, and 3) inviting students up to the whiteboard. All of the notes and pictures he displayed for students on the whiteboard during today’s lesson are accessible in the Grade 7 Notes Portal. At the end of the lesson, Dr. Merritt collected students’ Lab Notebooks.

Homework (B period): There is no science homework for B period students over the weekend.

Friday, September 13th (no B period)

C & H period: A quick check of students’ explication work from last night revealed some lingering confusion about both the terms “tropical” and “fruit.” To help students find their way through this confusion, Dr. Merritt provided support for students by a) asking students to share their ideas with each other, b) asking students to utilize texts found in the classroom, and/or c) inviting students up to the whiteboard. All of the notes and pictures he displayed for students on the whiteboard during today’s lesson are accessible in the Grade 7 Notes Portal. At the end of the lesson, Dr. Merritt asked students to 1) use their explication of both “tropical” and “fruit” to create and record their new ‘explicated’ definition of a banana in their Lab Notebook, 2) put a box around the new definition (and label it “Explicated definition”), 3) count the total number of words in the new definition, and 4) list the total word count somewhere near the edge of the box. If students successfully completed these four tasks before the end of the lesson, then Dr. M asked students to leave their Lab Notebooks with him.

Homework (C & H period): Any student not completing the four tasks listed above before the end of the lesson were asked to take their Lab Notebooks home to compete them before the next science lesson.