Bite-size practices

Try these small shifts in teaching practice with big impacts. Each video is about 7-10 minutes long and is designed to be a quick way to get your toes wet with the Ambitious Science Teaching practices. You will recognize familiar practices (such as using vocabulary or doing gallery walks) but the teachers in these videos are taking these practices one-step further. Each video breaks down the practice by describing the talk, task and tools used and provides teacher tips. Be sure to share your variations of these practices on the AST website!
An example of how oral prompts and written scaffolds elicit student thinking by eliciting students’ science ideas at the beginning of a unit which helps the teacher makes future instructional decisions in light of the partial understandings, everyday language, and everyday experiences they share.

4th/5th           Circuits & Pathways

Science Teaching Practice: Eliciting Students’ Science Ideas

NGSS: 4-PS3-2 & 4-PS3-4; Science Practices- developing models)

Eliciting students’ everyday and academic language to understand how they are initially understanding a science phenomenon. Students use particular vocabulary to communicate their ideas. Teacher chooses to respond by using students’ words, instead of introducing science words, at this point in the unit.  Interview with teacher debriefing her decisions included.

6th

Force & Motion (acceleration, momentum, inertia)

Eliciting Students’ Ideas; Academic Language  Science talk, Science Vocabulary

NGSS: MS-PS2-1 & MS-PS2-2

Eliciting students’ everyday and academic language to understand how they are initially understanding a science phenomenon. Students use particular vocabulary to communicate their ideas. Teacher chooses to respond by using students’ words, instead of introducing science words, at this point in the unit.  Interview with teacher debriefing her decisions included.

6th

Force & Motion (acceleration, momentum, inertia)

Eliciting Students’ Ideas; Academic Language  Science talk, Science Vocabulary

NGSS: MS-PS2-1 & MS-PS2-2

Eliciting students’ everyday and academic language to understand how they are initially understanding a science phenomenon. Students use particular vocabulary to communicate their ideas. Teacher chooses to respond by using students’ words, instead of introducing science words, at this point in the unit.  Interview with teacher debriefing her decisions included.

6th

Force & Motion (acceleration, momentum, inertia)

Eliciting Students’ Ideas; Academic Language  Science talk, Science Vocabulary

NGSS: MS-PS2-1 & MS-PS2-2

Critiquing models and receiving peer review helps students question their own understanding of science concepts and identify gaps in their own understanding   This video shows one way for students to give and receive critiques of their evidence-based scientific explanations. For this gallery walk, students will be critiquing each other’s models of flashlight circuits.

4th/5th

Circuits & Pathways

Developing and Critiquing Models; Revising Student’s initial ideas

Comparing how students use and have heard science terms in their everyday lives with how we use them in science      This video shows an example from a 6th grade physics classroom where students are asked to compare how they’ve heard the words speed, velocity, and acceleration used in their everyday lives with how they use them in science.

6th

Force & Motion (acceleration, momentum, inertia)

Academic Language

Science talk, Science Vocabulary

NGSS MS-PS2-1 & MS-PS2-2

When teaching in a way that is responsive to student ideas, it is unsurprising that students will disagree.  Engaging students in productive talk about their disagreement allows students to broaden their understanding about a key science idea.      This video provides an example of one way for teachers to engage students in talk that will compare and contrast their opposing hypotheses.

4th/5th

Circuits & Pathways

Science Teaching Practice: Constructing evidence-based explanations

NGSS: Science Practice – Debate/Argumentation using evidence

This video shows how students generate items for the “gotta have” checklist using participation structures such as pair-share along with writing in science notebooks.  Students will use items on this checklist to help them write their explanation.  This activity can serve as a prewriting activity for writing a scientific explanation

4th/5th

Circuits & Pathways

Science Teaching Practice: Constructing Evidence-based explanation

NGSS: Science Practice – Constructing Evidence-based explanation

Developing and revising models during a science unit helps students recognize how their thinking has changed overtime in light of evidence from classroom activities. This video shows an overview of a 3rd grade Sound Unit from Day 1 where students develop their initial models about a phenomenon (“Why can a singer shatter a glass with his voice?”), to a mid-point where students revise their model using more detail, and finally how they work in groups to construct a full explanation of the phenomenon using sentence starters to scaffold writing claims with evidence.

Related Series and Guides

 

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