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Observation and Reflection: Journaling in the Science Classroom By Sally Frederick Award-Winning English Instructor Notre Dame de Sion High School AND.

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Presentation on theme: "Observation and Reflection: Journaling in the Science Classroom By Sally Frederick Award-Winning English Instructor Notre Dame de Sion High School AND."— Presentation transcript:

1 Observation and Reflection: Journaling in the Science Classroom By Sally Frederick Award-Winning English Instructor Notre Dame de Sion High School AND Jan Alderson, South High School Award-Winning Science Educator

2 “Nature is an open book for those who care to read. Each grass-covered hillside is a page on which is written the history of the past, conditions of the present and predictions of the future. Some see without understanding; but let us look closely.” ----John Weaver North American Prairie, 1954

3 Why Journal? “Like a string of beads—or pearls—these little—or grand—episodes help us link to the larger strand. This stringing of images, thoughts, connections, helps us to have more understanding, reason, compassion, gratefulness.” Clare Walker Leslie Keeping a Nature Journal The fallibility of memory: memory is selective, journaling creates a more concrete record of an experience. WHY JOURNAL

4 A. Paybacks from journaling B. How to Get Started C. Observing: Using Your Senses D. Recording E. Using Scientific Language F. Reflection Outline

5 A. PAYBACKS FROM JOURNALING 1. SCIENTIFIC AND AESTHETIC OBSERVATION 2. CREATIVE WRITING, DESCRIPTIVE WRITING 3. LAYOUT AND PRESENTATION OF IDEAS AND OBSERVATIONS 4. PERCEPTION AND ANALYSIS 5. QUESTIONING, INVENTIVENESS, SYNTHESIS 6. REFLECTION, SILENCE 7. MEDITATION, FOCUS, PERSONAL HEALING

6 Paybacks (continued) 8. GREATER APPRECIATION OF NATURE AND PLACE 9. SHARED EXPERIENCE: FAMILY, FRIENDS, CLASS 10. FINDING YOUR OWN VOICE, LEARNING TO OPEN YOURSELF TO NEW EXPERIENCES 11. SELF-CONFIDENCE AND THE ABILITY TO EXPRESS YOURSELF from Keeping a Nature Journal

7 B. How To Get Started Getting started is always the hardest part. When starting a journaling activity include some of the following : What I did...(FACTS). Date, where you went, what the weather was like. What I saw... DESCRIBE...details, details, & details What I thought...what ran through your mind? Memories, connections, realizations. What I felt...feelings both inside and outside. Use other senses such as smell, what I heard, …. Dan Kirby U of Georgia-Athens

8 HEARING GAME “OKAY, IF YOU CAN DO THIS, YOU’RE ALRIGHT…. IF YOU DO THIS, YOU ARE A DUM DUM DUMMY!!!!” This shows that we use our sense of vision far more than using our sense of hearing.

9 C. OBSERVATIONS: using your senses Can you use all 5 of your senses in the observation process at once? You might be surprised at the results of exploring beyond SEEING which is 90% of our observations as humans. So, be sure to touch, smell, even taste (with adult guidance), be aware of the sound around you as well. Monarda, bergamot, bee balm, horsemint Sight: Shape, color Smell/Taste: fresh, lemony or citrus Touch: square (stems)

10 19 SENSES?! See powerpoint 19 Senses which addresses the complete set of proposed human senses.

11 Questioning After the experience, ask might ask yourself: What happened? What did you see? What did you feel? Why was that significant Why do you think it happened? Cliff E. Knapp’s Lasting Lessons: A Teacher’s Guide to Reflecting on Experience

12 D. Recording Choosing a medium: Photography Drawing/Sketching “In this 20 th century, to stop rushing around, to sit quietly on the grass, to switch off the world and come back to earth, to allow the eye to see a willow, a bush, a cloud, a leaf...I have learned that what I have not drawn I have never really seen. from Frederick Franck The Zen of Seeing Collage (collecting from nature) Writing

13 Recording continued General to specific – big picture to specificity. Use as many senses as you can. Feelings/ emotions How do others react?

14 E. Using Scientific Language The language for all good writing has similar characteristics: 1. Concrete 2. Descriptive 3. Colorful (variety of adjectives and phrases) 4. Metaphoric 5. Reflection 6. Encouragement Whether you are writing in your science journal or an English essay, try to remember these criteria.

15 1. Concrete Language: Using the Ladder of Abstraction The following words give you an example of how the ladder works going from general to specific: General = vehicle automobile SUV Specific Honda Pilot

16 Carolus Linneas KINGDOMAnimalia DIVISION/PHYLUMChordata SUBPHYLUMVertebrata CLASSMammalia ORDERPrimate FAMILYHominidae GENUSHomo SPECIFIC EPITHETsapiens

17 Taxonomic Systems Among the goals of a taxonomic system are establishing LANGUAGE, in this case standard names, so we can COMMUNICATE about them. For our observation and identification assignments, we will be concerned with the FAMILY, GENUS, and SPECIFIC EPITHET of the plants we observe. For the most part, we will be observing both FORBES and GRASSES.

18 Moving down the ladder from general to specific terminology: Plant Annual Forbe Compositae Asteracea (family) Helianthus (genus) Helianthus annus COMMON SUNFLOWER (specific epithet)

19 Which is a sunflower?

20 2. Descriptive and 3. Colorful Language When is a sunflower not a sunflower? Just because the inflorescence (bloom) of a forbe has yellow petals encircling a central disk, does not mean it is a sunflower. It could be rosin weed, compass plant, cup plant, or others. We must examine the plants carefully, and describe their bloom, stem, and leaves. Words describing shape, size, color, texture are all indicators for identifying a plant.

21 4. Metaphoric Language Metaphors are for English class, right? Actually good descriptive writing uses figurative language to make comparisons which helps a reader to visualize or see. Take a look at the following description. Can you find the figures of speech.

22 Rosin Weed I think I am looking at a plant called Rosin Weed (asteraceae, helianthus, silphiumfolium integri, muck sunflower.) This one is about 3 feet tall with tea-cup sized blossoms. A series of golden-yellow petals surround a pale greenish center circle edged by little tubes. The leaves are rough like my cat’s tongue when he licks my hand. I crinkled one leaf and tore another from the stem. The leaves left a sticky residue on my fingers which gave them a brown stain like chewing tobacco or grasshopper spit. The leaves are narrow, have no stalk, and grow on opposite sides of the stem. It has no distinct odor or fragrance.

23 5. In the reflection process, you are either: Becoming aware Transforming Analyzing Recapturing/reliving Exploring or Linking the parts of what you have experienced.

24 Thinking About Thinking In order to learn from the experiences you will have, you must take time to sort the relevant from the irrelevant and the useful from the useless. After an experience, you can identify the important elements by asking, “What was significant to me? What did I feel?

25 The means to achieve these end are either: Drawing conclusions Evaluating Decision making Thinking about relationships Describing The aim of reflection, simply put, is to promote meaningful experiential learning.

26 Reflection Most of the presentation has been on observation and the language we use to make those observations clear. These are teachable skills. Reflection is harder. It is most likely encouraged rather than taught.

27 6. Encouragement Keep track of all your questions, even the ones where you have no idea where to look for the answers. Slow down, get in touch with yourself as you notice and observe. Notice your breathing, your heart rate. What’s happening to you, your body and your spirit. How can you connect this experience to your life, the one you actually daily live? Any realizations? Truths, even ironies in your experience. Does this bring back any memories: experiences you have had, books you have read, classes you have taken. ENJOY!

28 com/video/watch/?id = n&tag=mnc ol;lst;8http://www.cbsnews. com/video/watch/?id = n&tag=mnc ol;lst;8http://www.cbsnews. com/video/watch/?id = n&tag=mnc ol;lst;8http://www.cbsnews. com/video/watch/?id = n&tag=mnc ol;lst;8 BIOMIMICRYBIOMIMICRY

29 “ A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” Aldo Leopold

30 Resources Conservation Commission of the State of Missouir. Public Prairies of Missouri. Jefferson City, MO: Missouri Department of Conservation, Denison, Edgar. Missouri Wildflowers. Jefferson City, MO: Missouri Department of Conservation, Ladd, Doug and Frank Oberle. Tallgrass Prairie Wildflowers. Guilford, CT: Falcon, Leslie, Clare Walker and Charles E. Roth. Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You. North Adams, MA: Storey Books, Leopold Project. LEP Educator Guide. https://dnr.state.il.us/education/habitatposter/summer.htm https://dnr.state.il.us/education/habitatposter/summer.htm Go to page: https://dnr.state.il.us/education/habitatposter/summer.htmhttps://dnr.state.il.us/education/habitatposter/summer.htm ( Inspired by the Prairies Across Kansas program, Konza Biological Station, Manhattan, KS, and Jan Alderson, science teacher Raytown South and Shawnee Mission South High Schools.)

31 Assignment: Nature Journaling 1.Prepare your comp book: date, time, location… 2.At the first stop, use all your senses in describing the area. Use as many sense-based, descriptive terms as possible. 3.This time, focus on one living thing, then describe as fully as possible in the time allowed. 4. Finally, as a group, shout out and write down as many descriptive terms as the group shouts out during observations of what you have been asked to describe. 5.Reflect on this question: “What do you gain from the SMESL experience?” Due on WIKI: Friday, August 20 6.Using the General Reference resource, type up and send to WIKI site. Due on WIKI: Friday, August 20


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