Boats that float!

Boats that float!

During the last week of math camp, we challenged our Mathletes to use the construction and math skills that they had been practicing to individually and economically build a boat that would float. The parameters of the challenge were simple: Goal: Using the materials from the list below, design and construct the least expensive boat possible that will float […]

Scientists in school

Scientists in school

This week I had the pleasure of participating in a visit from Scientists in School (SiS), which is a Canadian science education charity that brings science workshops to K-8 students. As the grade sixes are working on their biodiversity unit, their workshop focused on the science of classifying organisms. The facilitator briefly reviewed the process of classifying organisms before allowing the students […]

Misconception check

Misconception check

To use this strategy, the teacher gives a common misconception about a topic, and students explain why they agree or disagree with it. According to constructivism, students interpret new learning through the lens of previously developed beliefs and ideas about the world. These preconceived ideas could be misinterpretations of generally accepted explanations for a phenomenon, which […]

Makerspaces

Makerspaces

As part of the ‘Maker Movement,’ Makerspaces (or hackerspaces) are physical spaces where students can come together to share, create, invent, network, build and learn. These community environments provide tools that could range from hardware supplies to a 3D printer. While they are often associated with fields such as engineering and computer science, this collaborative […]

Sketch it out

Sketch it out

Visual learning has many benefits, especially in the classroom. Sketching and drawing in particular can be used to develop students’ skills in observation, literacy, and creativity. By sketching, students not only learn how to represent and visually communicate their ideas, they also draw on background knowledge to meaningfully connect their ideas to the real world. […]

Foldable Fun!

Foldables are an excellent way to help students organize and visualize their learning, especially in science. They can take the form of: Mini books Shutter-fold books Layered books Four-door books Three-tab books Index tab books …and many, many, MANY more! Dinah Zike offers resources and professional development on the use of foldables in education, and her “Big Book […]

The difference…

This comic from xkcd perfectly illustrates the difference between a “normal person” and a scientist. Never lose your curiosity!

Science saturdays

Science saturdays

Founded in 1993, Let’s talk science is a Canadian charitable organization that strives to prepare learners to thrive and lead by increasing science literacy through their support of learning and skill development.  The Faculty of Education at uOttawa partners with Let’s talk science to offer workshops linked to curriculum expectations for preservice teachers (Science Saturdays). As I have been […]

The truth about bogs

The truth about bogs

As my master’s thesis focused on an examination of methane emissions at an ombrotrophic bog here in Ottawa (Mer Bleue), I am all too familiar with some of the common misconceptions surrounding the notion of bogs. When you hear the word “bog,” most people envision a foul-smelling, flooded area that would be a great setting […]

A (class) walk in the woods

A (class) walk in the woods

There is always something to be taught and learned by taking your class for a walk, whether it be indoors or outdoors. Your science teaching could be supported by taking your class for a walk as students can be more alert and less stressed, while the teacher has eliminated the walls of the classroom and opened the […]