Saturday, March 25, 2006


I arrived early for the conference, materials ready, butterflies flapping around in my stomach. Every time I step foot inside Stuyvesant High School, I am jealous of the kids and teachers who spend their days in such a shiny, modern building with views of the harbor. On the other hand, it's an enormous school - 10 floors! - and I don't envy them the size.

About 20 people attended my session, nearly all pre-service or first year teachers. I presented a model of inquiry where you introduce a topic, do an experiment as a whole class, and then design follow-up experiments in groups. The idea is to scaffold the students to the point where they can identify variables and design experiments on their own. It seemed to go well - everyone listened attentively and asked a few questions, and at the end, we had about 10 minutes left, so I gave them a choice - either to discuss how to get kids writing lab reports, or to take time to work on designing their own inquiry units. They voted, overwhelmingly, for talking about lab reports, so I am taking that as a sign that at least something I said was useful. Anyway, they seemed happy enough. That bridge has been crossed.

They keynote speaker, Liz Hood, spoke about using public television and radio in the classroom, and pointed us to some excellent web resources, which I'll post separately. Then I attended two workshops, one about using songs in the classroom (I bought a CD of chemistry songs), and one about using water as an analogy for electricity. And then I was exhausted and had a headache, so I walked home to take a nap.


Blogger Ms. Teacher said...

Congratulations!! The lesson sounded great and I’m sure there will be several classrooms of students inspired by a new approach to science. Rock on with your bad self!

12:40 PM  

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