Vote: Should we look for tigers at night?
Banteng and elephant, and water buffalo! Oh my!
We've added a few new files to the 3D printed wonders collection for Mission: Tigers! We found a cool collection of realistic, life-size animal sculptures and Curtis was able to scan them. Just like the tiger we shared last week, these files seem to print best with linear supports. We recommend using a raft when printing the banteng. The models look a bit angular in our slicer, but printed smoothly.
Evaluating, tracking, and organizing!
We'll be searching for many types of evidence on Mission: Tigers! This field research adventure will require students to think not only about the quantity of evidence but also the quality. Unlike calculating a relative abundance ratio as we did with kangaroos in Australia or carnivores and herbivores in Namibia, this hypothesis leaves a bit more room for interpretation. The answer may not be clear cut and we think that's AWESOME!
This mission will push students to talk to each other and explain their reasoning. What evidence supports their position? Why might they consider some evidence more significant? Students can record individual thoughts and observations in their journals through writing, drawing and dictation. They might make short videos on classroom tablets. Ultimately, however, the group will need to come to a consensus.
One student might be convinced that seeing scratch marks in one place means tigers are making HKK their home. A classmate might point out that one set of scratch marks could be made by a tiger passing though, but if there are scratch marks AND spray it could be stronger evidence. Conversations like these are essential to the process of science! Your students will essentially be engaged in peer review.
A rose by any other name...
Scientists call it the scientific method. The National Science Teacher's Association (NSTA) promotes the term scientific process. We like to call it the most powerful tool ever invented! No matter how you brand it, this process is the pathway to finding an emergent truth. A process for determining facts.
We have a series of mini posters that you can print and use any number of ways. You could make a jaunty two sided pennant banner by double side printing the posters on card stock, then attaching the posters to a sting or ribbon. Alternately you could bind it into a book and have children turn the pages and sing along to The Science Song!
We've also created some bonus journal pages for students to use during the mission or to structure their own inquiry. Big thanks to Super Teacher, Kristen Tedesco of Maine for her idea! She wanted her second graders to be able to follow the process along in their Go2Science journals!
Shrinking the vocabulary gap across the socioeconomic spectrum.
It is well documented that children in lower economic status homes typically have a much smaller vocabulary than children from more affluent homes. (Check out links to some of those articles below.) This smaller vocabulary puts them at a significant disadvantage. We want to close the "word gap!" We introduce and practice a wide range of words in our videos, livestreams, and lessons. We support vocabulary acquisition though multiple pathways and strategies based in best practice so that ALL students have a chance to learn and apply new words.
By presenting all students with some unfamiliar words, everyone has the opportunity to learn to learn and make new connections. Other terms may be familiar words, but used in unfamiliar ways.
This approach works! I love this story from a teacher. As one of her kindergarten students was walking with his parent to the family car after school, this child stopped in his tracks and picked up a shard of plastic. He held it up and examined it carefully as he verbalized his thinking. "This looks like a broken tail light, but I notice that the color and pattern is different than the tail light on our car. The phenotype doesn't match!" The astonished parent related this tale to the teacher who revealed that phenotype was a Go2Science vocabulary word for the current mission. She went on to provide the definition for the parent.
For more info check out these links:
SES differences in language processing skill and vocabulary are evident at 18 months (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3582035/)
Early Learning and School Readiness: Can Early Intervention Make a Difference?
Tackling the "Vocabulary Gap" Between Rich and Poor Children
There is also a Bird Survey so students can track all the birds they spot as they participate in this mission. Dr. Goodrich wants to know how diverse the bird population is so he's asked us to do a bird survey as we search for signs of a resident tiger population!
Meet Beth and Curtis!
Presidential Award-Winning teacher and hula hoop fanatic, Beth loves bringing real world science to kids! Beth is fascinated by engineering challenges, technology, and outdoor learning spaces. After 25 years teaching kindergarten, she’s excited to share her passion and experience on-line with classrooms from around the world!