Gainesville Middle School

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  • Week of Sept. 9 Reflection 

    This week students have been working on making observations, inferences, and predictions. We practiced differentiating between qualitative and quantitative data by looking at worms and yo-yos.  In addition, we defined what reliability and validity are and will be applying these terms throughout the year toward research and our experiments. They also took their first quick check.  At GVMS, our teachers are working together to have higher expectations in the work that is handed in.  For example, we expect responses that are handed in to be in complete sentences with punctuation and capital letters. I did not lower their grade for not having these requirements, I handed the assignments back and had them fix the questions before I would finalize their grade.  The scores when low, were often due to the student not putting the units in.  Unlike punctuation and capitalization of sentences, if the wrong unit is used for a measurement the impact can be quite profound during an experiment.  This can completely change the meaning of the data and have serious consequences. The students made a chart in their notebook to help them study which type of unit belongs to which tool. I have also worked at bringing up a small group of students on Friday and will continue Monday to provide assistance with skills students struggled with so they may improve before they take their tests.  In my class, if students improve their test scores for a standard, I will change their quick check scores to match.  Thereby, treating the test as the retake.  I am available at lunch for additional assistance. This week we will be working on variables and graphing. Third period will be taking their test on Friday of next week. I am tentatively scheduling first, second, and seventh period to take theirs on October 1.  

    I also provided a lesson on nature journals.  We went over the different parts of what I expect in a nature journal entry (date, location, weather, a description of what they observed, a drawing of the organism with its name, and a reflection of what they learn about the organism). I explained that the quality of picture, whether they are a skilled artist or not, is not the point but that including detail so that they focus refining their observation skills is.  They were assigned two entries.  They can be done on the same day or on two separate days.  They are due at the end of the first week in October.  I would prefer the observations to be something other than the grass in their yard or their pets.  Plants, fungi, or other animals are fine.  We will use their experiences in lessons in the future.  These entries can go in their science notebook or a separate book if they want. I also discussed the app SEEK! by iNaturalist. This is a free app that helps students to identify the specimen that they are looking at while also taking a picture as reference for the future. The app is not required but can be quite handy.

    During Team Time this week we continued our discussion of being proactive with circles of control.  This coming week we will discuss paradigms and principals.  Please continue to discuss both our academic topics as well as the topics we are learning in Team Time.  If you have any questions, please email me.

    Posted by armstrem On 14 September, 2019 at 7:11 AM  

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