Thursday, November 11, 2010

Posting Eight -- A Reflection

We are half way through semester one and I am totally convinced of the success of using the Smarter Science framework with the grade nine applied science class. I have never had such an engaged class! The students can’t wait to get to class each day and are eager to take on any task! In fact we are currently doing our unit review in preparation for the test on electricity and they are completely engaged in this seat work! Probably because they completely understand the theory and they know that once this is over we will be exploring chemistry using the same inquiry-based learning.

In the meanwhile my own thought s are starting to drift towards next semester when my teaching schedule will include a locally developed (essential level) science class. I have been wondering how inquiry-based learning will work with them since my past experiences have shown me that these learners often have difficulty ordering their thoughts and even greater difficulty following a lab procedure. It was with these thoughts on my mind that I entered the school one morning this week. On the way to my classroom I encountered Patrick, a high needs student, who has been in my locally developed science class for two semesters in the past.

Although I greet Patrick every morning he does not always greet me. He is often locked in his own thoughts. This is the way our conversation went on this particular day:

Me: “Hi Patrick!”

Patrick : “Hi. . . Hey? . . .”

Me: “Yes?”

Patrick : “Do you like science?”

Me: “I love science!”

Patrick : “Well, if you like science . . . there is something I was wondering about . . .”

Me: “Yes? What were you wondering?”

Patrick : “Well . . . Could I become invisible?”

Me: “Invisible? Do you think you could become invisible?”

Patrick : “Well . . . I was wondering about it and I think that is science.”

Me: “Hmmm”

Patrick : “Well . . . you like science and I am wondering if I could become invisible.”

Me: “That is a very good question, Patrick. I think scientists would like to experiment with you becoming invisible. Would you like that?”

Patrick : “Yes! . . . invisible . . .I’m wondering . . . “

At this point Patrick drifted off and so did I. The more I think about it the more I think that inquiry-based science is exactly what my locally developed class needs. What do you think? Please feel free to post your comments.

1 comment:

  1. Go for it Kay! Inquiry-based science provides the right motivation for students challenged by more academic courses. Well-scaffolded inquiry permits students to tackle problem solving at their ability level. They find success which leads to higher self-esteem and confidence.