The S.T.E.M and Arts blog by Aurelius Raines II

The S.T.E.M and Arts blog by Aurelius Raines II
"Producers, not Consumers"

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Importance Of Being Earnest

We Work Even Harder 

Students show their coins at MSI's Fab Lab.
Our student's visit to the Museum was so exciting. They actually had a chance to get see their first 3D prints. They made custom coins. This week, they put those coins on chain. I can't wait to see the finished products. 

This week: 

Experimenting with mixtures.
The 6th and 7th graders continued their study of Pure Substances and Mixtures. I've increased the number of formative assessments (those are like non-graded pop quizzes) to get a better picture of their daily development. I've increased the amount of support that I've given the class. Unfortunately, the classes test average was very low. My formative assessments showed me that the students were struggling with basic vocabulary. Yet, my students had little to no inquiry about what they were reading about. I felt their was little ownership of the material and all of the efforts seemed focused on a rote memorization of the vocabulary. The poor reading comprehension stems from poor reading habits that we are working on breaking. 

8th grade pretend to be ribosomes producing proteins.
8th grade spent this week visualizing the cell and it's organelles as a city: ComEd = the mitochondria, UPS= the Golgi Complex, factory workers = ribosomes. We even made an assembly line to represent the production of proteins. Most of the class did an exemplary job on their assessment. Please check Engrade and congratulate them on their excellent scholarship. 

Next Week:

6th and 7th grade will practice independent study in class. They will be broken into study groups and given study tasks that will start with creating an experiment and end with a presentation. I'm am concerned that many of my students are not "leaning in" and taking the initiative to understand ideas. One of the skills they will practice is called interrogative reading. They will be given text, they will have to read a portion of the text and use post-it notes to "ask questions" of the text. These questions can range from vocabulary to passages that are confusing or unclear. Then the student will have to answer that question. This is a skill that all readers have. If you are not asking questions... then you are not reading. 

8th Grade will build upon their knowledge of the cell to learn how they build organisms. They will also be doing specialized projects to visualize and understand how cells, tissues, and organs are related. 

Look out for information about Science Fair research papers

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