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Unit Reflective Summary

Teacher Candidate for Science Endorsement: ____Catherine Chaviano________

Instructor: _____________________________________________________________

School: ___Mount Bethel Elem________ Grade: ______2_____________________

Unit Topic: _________Forces________________________

Write a 1-2 page summary of your experiences teaching this unit, addressing the
following questions:

 How well were the unit’s student performance objectives attained? Were there
opportunities for the students to develop conceptual understanding through
engaging in the learning cycle (5E’s)?

All students met performance objectives and were able to explain by observation
and demonstration using unit vocabulary, that objects’ positions may be moved
when acted upon by forces push and pull. They also demonstrated understanding
that the amount of force required to move an object is related to the mass of the
object itself. Additionally students demonstrated extended understanding of
how gravity, and friction (on a surface or in air) can also affect an object’s motion
as a reaction to force.

 How did you use formative assessments to inform instructional decisions during
the unit?

I used multiple formative assessments throughout the unit to determine


students’ preconceptions and misconceptions. I opened the unit with a Page
Keely probe, “Rolling Marbles,” which identified that students did in fact have a
misconception predicted in the Page Keely resource, that students believe that a
marble will continue on a curve path even after exiting a curved tube and onto
an unguided path. Although this lesson was not included in my plan, I did add a
lesson to address this misconception. Using pool noodles cut into tubes that
could be bent into curvy and straight courses, we experimented with rolling
marbles to observe. We spent some time reviewing the reason for the behavior
change being that there was no longer a force being placed on the marble. This
was an important and worthwhile activity, and did seem to give many of the
students that lightbulb moment of understanding. They had not really been
thinking of a force being fixed like a wall (or curved side of a tube), but after this
discussion we re-watched the truck hitting the wall phenomena, and discussed
the sheep hitting the tree.
 Were the lessons/tasks scientifically worthwhile for all students? Were there
students that had difficulty achieving the goals of the unit?

The lessons and tasks were worthwhile for all students, but as stated above,
additional lessons were needed outside the scope of my original planned unit. I
would certainly modify some of my activities next time, such as the rotation of
pushes and pulls stations in Lesson 3, or even forego that lesson for more
meaningful lessons such as the marble run lesson. The marshmallow shooter
was also very worthwhile, but as documented in that lesson’s reflection, I would
alter the masses of the objects being used so that students would be better able
to “see and feel” the different forces needed to get a similar result between
masses of objects.

 Was there evidence of a classroom culture that honors inquiry, wrong answers,
personal challenge, collaboration, and disequilibrium as opportunities for new
learning by all students?

My class this year is very passionate, and I do have some students who are
working on self-control and the need to be “first” or “right” all of the time. I’m
trying to incorporate Kagen strategies and Growth Mindset teaching strategies to
help even the field and give all students a voice while honoring mistakes in a
positive learning environment. Using these ideals and partner pairing activities
is making a difference in our classroom culture. Within these practices, multiple
learning styles are addressed. Additionally, as you can see from the lesson
activities, multiple opportunities learning opportunities were provided in a
variety of learning modalities.

 When you have the opportunity to re-teach this unit, what will you do differently
(strategies, teaching tools, assessments, etc.) to improve student learning for all
students?

So many things!! As stated in lessons and above, there were many activities that
required more time and more supervision to be worthwhile and more effectively
connect the activity to learning objectives. The students loved all of the fun, but
without extra hands on deck, it took a lot more discussion in the classroom after
activities to ensure the students made the connection I was hoping for. Having
help would improve the timing and reduce the need to use extra class periods to
complete some of the activities as well, because some things could happen
congruently as well as less time required to review.
Additionally, using partners for the writing portion of the project would help
students who struggle with written assignments and language, providing a
“team” to help support each other in ideas and in writing.