Thursday, April 24, 2014

KWL Discussions and Landmines

We started a new unit in science this week. One of the goals in the science curriculum is to help students to see things from another view point. Today we got to work on that a bit. It was an interesting discussion.

We were making a chart of all the things we know about animals, as well as writing down questions we have about animals. Later in the unit we will finish the chart by writing down what we learned in this unit.

We had a lot of great facts to share today. The children in my class know a lot about animals. One boy brought up the idea that chickens were actually once dinosaurs. His comment was met with roars of laughter. He plead for a chance to explain. As he started to explain, I realized that what he was talking about was evolution. I offered a bit of a summary about his comment: scientists have a theory that animals EVOLVE over time (great science word!).....and I explained the idea quite simply. It was interesting to see the reactions. Some students were ok with the idea. Others were really really adamant that this could not be so. It was interesting to see how intense their responses were. It made me wonder if they had heard of these ideas from their parents (the evolution versus creation arguments) or if their religious upbringing naturally brought them to the idea that this was not something they could accept.

I don't know. I usually drop those kind of controversial things quite quickly. I left them with, "It's just one theory. It is interesting to look at many different theories."

Life in the classroom is never dull! 

It reminded me of a discussion the other day when we were writing. Our story was about a kid whose family was going to a wedding. The kid didn't want to go and ended up getting forgotten at home (our own version of Home Alone). We talked about weddings and how horribly boring they can be. One boy piped up that his mom is getting married to his dad and he wouldn't want to miss that wedding. Some of the kids were surprised that his mom is getting married. He confirmed that this was in fact true. Then someone said, "Wait a minute! That isn't how it works! FIRST you get married THEN you have kids!"

We dropped that hot potatoe too. My response was, "That is often how it happens...but not always!" 

....anyway, back to our story!! So...what did our character do when he was home alone??

LOL Teaching: AKA how to dodge the landmines!!

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