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Middle Childhood Science Instruction Commentary

Instruction Commentary Directions: Respond to the prompts below (no more than 6 single-spaced pages, including prompts) by typing your responses within the brackets following each prompt. Do not delete or alter the prompts; both the prompts and your responses are included in the total page count allowed. Refer to the evidence chart in the handbook to ensure that this document complies with all format specifications. Pages exceeding the maximum will not be scored.

1. Which lesson or lessons are shown in the clip(s)? Identify the lesson(s) by lesson plan number. [Lesson 1 and 5 ] 2. Promoting a Positive Learning Environment Refer to scenes in the video clip(s) where you provided a positive learning environment. a. How did you demonstrate mutual respect for, rapport with, and responsiveness to young adolescents with varied needs (academic and developmental) and backgrounds, AND challenge young adolescents to engage in learning? [The students were engaged in learning and the content by demonstrating their abilities to verbally outwit each other through scientific argumentation. This was a practice session that was prompted by an article that was read during class about the debate topic: Should or should we not mine for gold? This lesson took place one day before the end of the project so the entire week the students had been prepared for this interaction. ] 3. Engaging Students in Learning Refer to examples from the clip(s) in your explanations. a. Explain how your instruction engaged young adolescents in

using science concepts, data quality (missing data or inconsistent results), and
scientific practices while they are analyzing data during a scientific inquiry

interpreting the scientific data collected to construct and evaluate an evidence-based


argument of a phenomenon during a scientific inquiry [The students had to aware of the ramifications and the benefits of mining for minerals. Prior to the video the students were responsible for reading the applicable chapter in the textbook, writing Cornell notes on that section, reading in-class articles about the topic, understanding vocabulary terms, computing mathematical problems related to the topic and additional research via internet, books, etc. During the course of these activities students were questioned for their understanding of the content and asked to complete a KWDL chart on a daily basis to monitor their progress for learning and understanding. The lessons were also varied to include activities for kinesthetic learners (relaxed movement around the room), audio/visual learners (video presentation of mining activities and discussions, logical learners (ability to conduct research to collect statistical data)] b. Describe how your instruction linked young adolescents prior academic learning and personal, cultural, community, or developmental assets with new learning. [In previous grades, the students learned about land disturbances that may occur due to natural occurrences and manmade occurrences. During the practice debate the students were able to utilize scientific terminology and provide explanations based on scientific facts.] 4. Deepening Student Learning during Instruction Refer to examples from the clip(s) in your explanations.
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Middle Childhood Science Instruction Commentary a. Explain how you elicited student responses to promote thinking and develop understandings of how to collect, analyze, and interpret scientific data. [The responses were prompted through the process of scientific argumentation. These responses promoted the rebuttal team to think of a refute to discount the opponents position on the topic. The format of this debate as with all allows thinkers from both sides to state their positions based on factual data and challenge their opponents based on factual data. Collecting data for these arguments will require the student to think of their position and think of how their position may be challenged. So the student has to be ready to interpret data from both sides of view.] b. Explain how you elicited student responses to promote thinking and support their ability to use evidence-based arguments to construct and defend an explanation of a scientific phenomenon. [Evidence based arguments were supported by the students conducting research. After the research was performed, students had to submit the source where they received the information and refer to that source during the debate. Statements may be used during the debate such as, According to [source]...] to interject the opposing team with evidence to suppress the contested claim. The evidence allowed the student to warrant their stance based on factual data to support their claim. Hearsay was not allowed but may have been used inadvertently due to the excitement of the practice debate. Students were allowed additional time during the class period to conduct internet research or go to the library. 5. Analyzing Teaching Refer to examples from the clip(s) in your explanations. a. How did your instruction support learning for the whole class and young adolescents who need greater support or challenge? Consider the variety of young adolescent learners in your class who may require different strategies/support (e.g., students with IEPs, English language learners, struggling readers, underperforming students or those with gaps in academic knowledge, and/or gifted students). [Each student was allowed a chance to engage in verbal discourse to discuss their pre-assigned position for the debate. The students didnt have to memorize the information. If they had it written down on an index card or paper and recited their speech from it that was acceptable. So students that were ELL had a chance to practice their English through discussion, IEP students were accommodated because there were not any limitations or thresholds established for the debate as far as a minimal time to talk. Since this was an informal practice the time they spoke was variant and acceptable. If it was a formal debate, IEP students will be accommodated based on the amount of time expected for them to make their speech (from 30 seconds to 3 minutes). All learning styles were accommodated due to the format of debate/argumentation. The only difference may come from how much the student analyzes the data based on prior knowledge, compare and contrast and other strategies that may result in either an in-depth analysis or a simple recitation of data without forethought. This is where other strategies like chunking and scaffolding may help to get the underperforming student can perform analytical functions. In this type of environment all students should be able to grasp the focus on the content. Although there may be different levels of learning, the students should be able to understand the topics presented.] b. What changes would you make to your instruction to better support young adolescent learning of the central focus (e.g., missed opportunities)?
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Middle Childhood Science Instruction Commentary [After this lesson, I can better understand the students performance during this type of activity. I may have underperforming or students that lack understanding of the assignment work together a little longer in groups or provide direct instruction in the area that is deficient. Once the students understand or are able to perform at normal levels, I would then reenter the student into the larger forum to give them a chance to be an active participant in the debate. Also, although time was given during the class for research as well as assigned for homework, some students were not providing valid sources for their arguments. So in the future, I will monitor more closely the research time and make sure students understand how to research. Otherwise, I see room on a lesson just on how to conduct research and how to cite sources.] c. Why do you think these changes would improve young adolescent learning? Support your explanation with evidence of young adolescent learning and principles from theory and/or research including young adolescent development, as appropriate. [These changes will make any student a better learner by helping them with skills that can last a lifetime. Process skills such as note-taking, conducting research, staying organized, etc. will help any student become better and hopefully reflect in their performance. According to Piaget s Theory, children are active and motivated learners. Piaget proposed that children are naturally curious about their world and actively seek out information to help them make sense of it (Ormond pg. 290) So as new processes are introduced to students keeping them involved and motivated to learn, the information that is provided to them should aid in their learning process. Also, Interaction with other people is equally critical for learning and development. Although Piaget believed that children's knowledge and understandings of the world are largely selfconstructed, nevertheless they have much to learn from lnteracting with others. (Ormond pg.291) So students that are able to stay focused on themselves and allow peers to assist or interact with them, gives all students regardless of levels a chance to learn the content better.

References Ormrod, J. E. (2012). Human learning (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson.


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