What Did You Learn in School Today?

Children Report and Reflect on Learning

As parents, we ask and rarely do we get a complete answer. As teachers, we test. Not this week, though. I want to really understand how students are learning and what they are getting out of the course. This week I am asking students to blog What we did in class and What you learned from it.
After students post their blogs, they will be tasked with commenting on their peers' blogs, and respond to comments made on theirs.

Landforms of New England
For the past two weeks my oceanography class has been presented with tasks and information surrounding the essential question
What forces change the land and ocean of the Earth?

The unit included watched-at-home lectures, assembling Pangaea, building model seafloors and modeling bathymetric sampling, observing and recording characteristics of sands from a dozen different beaches, answering questions from the textbook, and taking a culminating geological field trip to a local beach.

Our field trip included stops at several, local geological features, with me getting out and explaining the feature. Discussed were glacial erratics (Stickney's Boulder, Groveland, and New England stonewalls), cobbles and glacial till (behind Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill), eskers (in Kenoza Lake, Haverhill and Kimball Road, Amesbury), and glacial striations on the exposed bedrock in the center of Exit 52 off route 495. Yes, I had two busloads of children climb up into the center of an exit ramp.

The day was spectacular with sunny skies.  Beach time was to be spent conducting a dune survey. Students had read the literature review for the assignment, and been introduced to the assignment the day before. Interested students were allowed to bring surfcasting poles, provided they had current, valid fishing licenses. During the two-plus hours at Plum Island's Sandy Point, a barrier beach, students combed the beach for sea treasures, mapped dunes, photographed the layers of sediment, and fished. Finally, to get back on the bus, students were tasked with collecting a gallon of water for our saltwater fish tank.

I await their blogging reflections with excited anticipation.


Colleen said...

love it! I've had good results with similar methods of assessment. My teaching partner was the multi-media teacher and he had them keep blogs and comment on each other's blogs constantly. They complained, but it was really cool. (seventeen year olds tend to complain a lot senior year!)

Reflections of a Science Teacher said...

They may complain, but resistance is futile. :)