Improving science writing skills
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  • Brainstorming: Can use their own experiences, or let their imagination run wild.Examples can include poems, novel, letter, song
  • Examples:Write a letter to your younger brother and tell him why he’s safe in a lightning storm if he’s inside a car.
  • Envelope: 15 key topics per sciencePhysics: heat and temperature, lightning, newton’s first law, electromagnet, Bernoulli’s Law…Chemistry:Earth science: fossil energy, interior of the Earth, volcanoes, earth quakes, solar system, Biology:
  • Stimulate participants to find even more creative examples!
  • Modifications: bit more or less than 10 minutes/ or longer than 2 minutes
  • Again, extend the time to 3 to 5 minutes for students with lower writing skills.Feedback on what students thought of your lessons. What they learned can be different from what you intended

Transcript

  • 1. Student Centered Approaches for science educationDeveloping Science Writing Skills
    RTTC Kandal, July 2011
  • 2. Contents
    Purpose of science writing
    Tips for better writing in science
    Note taking
    Creative writing
    Formative Assessment through writing
    2
  • 3. Introduction
    Often
    Science writing = copying notes from whiteboard
    Involves very little thinking and learning
    3
  • 4. Introduction
    But …
    it can be turned into an active learning activity
    4
  • 5. Why writing in science?
    Even in science students spend a lot of lesson time writing.
    Card sorts activity: discuss why you let students write during science lessons.
    5
  • 6. Think-Talk-Write
    Purposeful talk in science lessons is necessary for good writing
    between students
    between teacher and students
    6
  • 7. Taking notes
    What are good notes?
    Taking notes ≠ dictation
    Good note taking involves:
    Structuring
    Filtering: important vs. unimportant things
    Processing: organize thinking about the content
    7
  • 8. Taking notes
    Note taking can help students
    To improve listening skills
    To improve understanding of lesson
    To structure better what they have learned
    8
  • 9. Cornell system of note taking
    Note taking structure
    For use during and after the lecture
    Stimulates
    Critical thinking
    Review afterwards
    Connecting with prior knowledge
    Listening skills
    9
  • 10. Cornell system of note taking
    Write down main points & relevant details during lecture
    Leave empty spaces
    Use abbreviations
    Highlight and underline
    10
  • 11. Cornell system of note taking
    Things you don’t understand
    Review questions
    Gaps in notes
    11
  • 12. Cornell system of note taking
    Review asap after lecture
    Complement notes
    Compare with textbook
    Use own words
    3 to 4 sentences
    Study using key-words and questions, then check in notes
    12
  • 13. Review each other’s work: peer learning
    Students improve their note taking skills by learning from each other
    13
  • 14. Tips
    Be rigorous but sensitive in correcting students’ use of scientific words
    Allowing inaccurate use will limit students’ progress
    Let them use scientific words often
    14
  • 15. Tips
    You may let students use 2 notebooks
    One for draft writing exercises, one for final study notes
    15
  • 16. Cornell note taking - Variations
    Can also be applied to reading assignments
    You can provide predetermined categories;
    Similarities and differences
    Arguments pro and contra
    Main topics of the lecture
    Write down questions on the topic before the lecture.
    16
  • 17. Cornell Note taking: rubric
    Try-out this rubric
    Personalize based on your experiences
    17
  • 18. Practice Time
    Short lecture on a science topic
    Take notes with a Cornell structure
    Review and discuss notes with your neighbour, using the rubric.
    18
    Photo by Lindsay Phillips
  • 19. Creative Science writing
    Writing on science in a creative way
    Learning experience
    Fun experience
    Use science vocabulary in own words
    Confidence & motivation
    19
    Photo courtesy Cobalt123
  • 20. Why Creative Science writing?
    Objectives
    Opportunity to show scientific knowledge and understanding
    Formulate knowledge in own words
    Apply correct scientific terms
    Argument ideas
    Requires engagement and decision making by students
    Detect conceptual errors
    20
    Photo by irenegr
  • 21. Creative writing
    Bringing non-science writing formats into the science lesson
    … can you give some examples?
    21
  • 22. Tips
    With creative writing students take ownership about what they write
    Reformulating their knowledge is important process in learning
    22
  • 23. Creative writing: structure
    Audience
    Format
    Topic/ Purpose
    23
  • 24. Creative writing: structure
    24
  • 25. Creative writing: an example
    Write a letter to your grandmother in which you explain that water boils faster in the mountains, but that it will take longer to cook rice.
    25
    Courtesy Tsiangkun
  • 26. Creative writing: an example
    Explain to your brother why there are more lunar eclipses than solar eclipses, but that even lunar eclipses don’t occur every month.
    Courtesy Simon Barnes
  • 27. Creative writing: an example
    Finish the poem…
    27
  • 28. Practice time
    Design 3 different creative writing challenges for the topics that you pick out of the envelope.
    28
  • 29. Inspiration for creative writing challenges
    Imagine you are a chloroplast. Describe in your diary a typical day in the sun.
    Write an article describing different ways leaves are modified to their environment.
    Write a song describing the importance of Carbon in the human body
    Describe your journey to the center of the Earth
    29
  • 30. Formative Assessment
    Continuous assessment during class
    Teacher: collect information
    • Learning process
    • 31. Pace of instruction
    • 32. Misconceptions
    • 33. Difficulties
    Students: think and learn
    • Evaluate learning process
    • 34. Deepen understanding
    • 35. Clarify and formulate ideas
    30
  • 36. 10 – 2 technique
    Every 10 minutes of instruction …
    Give students 2 minutes of reflection:
    Quiet thinking
    Summarizing
    Formulating questions
    Discussing
    31
  • 37. 2-minute papers
    Near the end of the lesson…
    present students with general questionabout their learning
    students write a short answer in 2 minutes
    collect the notes to evaluate your lesson
    32
  • 38. 2-minute papers
    Some examples of questions
    What was the most important thing you learned today?
    What did you learn today that you didn’t know before class?
    What important question remains unanswered?
    What would help you to learn better tomorrow?
    What did you like about today’s lesson?
    What did you not like about today’s lesson?
    33
  • 39. Conclusions
    Discussion
    Write down two points from this chapter that you will use in the classroom.
    Write down one element that you won’t use.
    Share with your neighbor.
    Reconsider your original choices regarding purpose of writing
    Analyze and change if necessary your initial priority list. Discuss conflicting issues.
    34