Sunday, December 31, 2017

Motivated by a Meaningful Rationale: Teaching the New Science Unit

I am not motivated by a check-list or simple directions. That's dull and makes me feel like a robot rather than a teacher. Hence, I have to find the deeper meaning related to anything I do in order to do it well. I have to connect the learning to something bigger than me or my students--a life enriching concept, activity, or outcome.

Hence as I work to cull a lengthy kit into ten meaningful lessons, I am thinking about the deeper meaning of the kit which is to have a deep understanding of the physical materials and properties that exist in our world, and by having this deep understanding, one can better utilize and make decisions about the world's materials with greater promise and ability.

How will I gain this greater meaning myself so that I can well choose the activities students will partake in.

First, I'll study the standards so I know what students are expected to know.

Next, I'll read the book, Stuff Matters by Mark Miodownik to get the big idea of the subject, a subject I didn't study much during my education

Then, I'll read through the kit materials I've been given. I'm not a big fan of kit materials and the way they are written, but I'll do it. I always prefer crafting units of teaching rather than being handed units, but nevertheless I'll read through it.

After that I'll weave a version of the unit together that I know will be meaningful for students and create a website to match the unit. The website will include all the activities, links, vocabulary, and follow-up enrichment activities.

Once that's done, I'll set up the science lab in my classroom to support the teaching, and then step-by-step students and I will explore and learn.

To learn and teach a new unit well requires substantial investment of time and effort. I would have preferred building the unit from the standards up and integrating it into other areas of study, but I wasn't given that chance so I'll follow the process above in the next ten days so I'm ready for the unit's start. Onward.