The aftermath of my venture has finally settled. My students made their first honest attempt to Plan and Carry Out their own lab investigation regarding land and sea ice melt. I talked to my kids and let them know my thought process, that I felt I had not given them a chance to really experience science. They were given a rough idea of investigating land and sea ice, to develop the question and then carry through with the investigation on their own. Many had never had that experience before, of developing it on their own and it showed. They wanted reassurance every step that it was “right”. It was hard to not to jump in, to help them out, to give them the answer. My goal was to give them some experience with Science and Engineering Practice 3 Planning and Carrying Out Investigations. It was tied into MS ESS 3-5 and Climate Change for a content hook.

I have just started to analyze the student analysis that went with their investigations. This also includes one of my main goals for this year and that is to have my students better at analyzing the limitations and merits of any model they use. I let my kids know that on any activity for me, they will see the following questions:

1) List at least two limitations of this model.

2) Evaluate one of the limitations listed above.

3) List at least two merits of this model.

4) Evaluate one of the merits listed above.

What I have seen so far is a slight improvement in their identification of the limits and merits. We are still working hard on describing the “why” they are a limit or merit!

I feel like a first year teacher all over again. The single biggest difference is that with Twitter and this blog, I have access to so many other people who can help me through this process. Anyone else feel the same way?