Science always begins with a question (SP1), so to kick off our year, I will ask my fellow scientists a question to explore. It will simply be: "What is science?"
I will ask the students to think quietly about this for about 30 seconds. I will then have them turn to their shoulder partner and talk about what they think about the question. However, before they turn and talk, I will remind them that as one partner talks, the other listens until the end. Only then can the next partner talk. This strategy of turn and talk will develop into a more focused and elaborate skill over the next several lessons.
Next, I will have a few students share out what they discussed. I will then have them go to their seats and write and/or draw all they can think of to answer the question, "What is science?". This is the beginning of our science journaling, so I will walk them through the basics of dating the page, writing the title or question and reminding them to label if they sketch or draw. At this point, keep it simple. All I am doing is lightly introducing the various aspects of what science will be this year.
After the students have thought, discussed, written, and drawn, I will explain to them that we can and should always add to or revise our thinking when we learn something new. In order to practice this, I will have the following YouTube video loaded on iPads. I will have partners watch the video at least once. When they have completed the video, or while they are watching it, they can add any new ideas to their journal. This part of the activity specifically helps students gain ability in the science practice of obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information. (SP8)
At this point, I will also ask them to write a few sentence about the photos and what the producer of the video meant by using them. This can be "evidence" of the student thinking.
Now is a great time, as well, to allow students to just talk or write about what they wonder about the beautiful photos in the video. Did they like the same ones? Do they have questions? Did they "feel" anything when they saw a certain image?
This following video is of my student sharing his thinking after watching the video. Look at the different of his written word and the terms he uses from the clip as he verbally explains his thinking!
After all of that hard work, we will need to celebrate as a class and share our efforts and understandings. This is where, as a teacher, you will gain your greatest insights for your future lessons. While building this routine, remind children that all ideas and thoughts are important to all of our learning.
Students will share from the carpet, or they will have the option to show their written work on the board, using our document camera. This will be a time sensitive decision.
I will have the children help me build an anchor chart that I have entitled "Science Is…". As children share what they learned today, I will write their phrases. However, I will also be asking them the important questions. "Why do you think that?" "What is your evidence?" "Can you give me an example?"