Monday, September 10th
Today in science: The theme for today’s lesson was “Organization” and “Preparation.” After doing Equipment Check #1, during which time Dr. M asked students to produce two required materials, a Lab Notebook and either a blue or black pen, students were asked to begin preparing their Lab Notebook for use. This activity included making a cover page (with specific information), writing a special “please return me if lost” note somewhere on the cover page, allocating three pages for the Table of Contents, and numbering the remaining pages according to specific directions provided by Dr. M. After sending students outside of the classroom to find one natural, small object, Dr. M gave some directions regarding the homework assignment (see below).
Homework: Students have been asked to choose one, small, natural (not human-made) object and describe it on page 1 of their Lab Notebook. In class, students were given some basic rules/guidelines:
1. When describing their object, students should use words, phrases, and sentences, but they can also use numbers (e.g., measurements) and/or drawings (e.g., sketches).
2. When describing their object, students should use NO MORE than 2 pages of their Lab Notebook. 20 minutes of uninterrupted description time is the amount of time expected by Dr. Merritt before the next science class.
3. When describing their object, students should save room for a page title at the top of page 1 and (if used) page 2.
4. When describing their object, students should try to imagine how a scientist might describe this object. What characteristics or qualities would they care about the most?
Tuesday-Wednesday, September 11-12th
Today in science: The themes for today’s lesson were “Observation” and “Description.” After asking students a bit about how last night’s 20-minute description activity went, Dr. M redirected the class discussion toward the following two questions:
1) What makes a description scientific?
2) What makes for a good scientific description?
To begin answering these questions Dr. M shared his Observation Assisters presentation, which can not only be found on the eye level classroom cabinets, but also by clicking on THIS LINK.
Homework: Students have been asked to choose another, small, natural (not human-made) object and describe it in their Lab Notebook. In order to add additional richness and depth to their new descriptions, Dr. M presented students with some new guidelines and advice in class (see above).
Thursday, September 13th
Today in science: The themes for today’s lesson were “Observation” and “Description.” Students were asked to do Observation Challenge #1: Rock. This is the first in a series of observation challenges designed to develop students’ abilities to observe and describe objects scientifically. Using mainly the “Observation Assisters” strategies posted in the classroom, students were asked to spend approximately 45 minutes describing a small white rock given to them by the teacher. At the end of the class period, Dr. M asked students to put their Lab Notebooks in their mailboxes so that he can read (and use) their written descriptions to try and identify their rock over the weekend.
Homework: There is no science homework tonight.
Friday, September 14th
Today in science: The themes for today’s lesson were ” Observation,” “Description,” and “Communication.” In teams of 2-3 persons, students were asked to describe a cartoon drawing given to them by Dr. M and then describe the drawing to their partner without either using the name of the object or showing it to the partner who responsible for draw it. Students then switched roles–describer and drawer–for the each of the remaining rounds. The images used in today’s lesson can be found at this link.
Homework: There is no science homework this weekend. Students should remember that the Class Outings are scheduled for Monday, Sept. 17, and so, the next time we have science class will likely be Tuesday, Sept. 18 (F period) or Wednesday, Sept. 19 (G & H period).