Sense-Making Discussions for Three-Dimensional Learning-Grade 6 - FOSS® Next Generation™

Full Option Science System Copyright © The Regents of the University of California E1 Sense-Making Discussions for Three-Dimensional Learning INTRODUCTION—GRADE 6 In FOSS, sense-making discussion is a prominent part of active investigation. The sense-making discussion follows the context setting, activity, data acquisition and management, and is a critically important part of the analysis process. The following vignette describes a sense-making discussion. InWeather andWater Investigation 1, students investigated the properties and particulate nature of air. In the first part of Investigation 2, they assembled pressure indicators to explore the effect of pressure on air. At this point, students have investigated air in closed systems such as syringes to develop an understanding of air pressure. They have interpreted weather maps to determine areas of high and low air pressure, labelling isobars and considering how air might move between such areas. They have drawn arrows on their maps to indicate wind direction and strength. The teacher asks students to bring their notebooks and maps and form a discussion circle, standing shoulder to shoulder next to someone from another group. Partners discuss the question posed on the class notebook, a chart stand placed within the circle. They think about what an air-pressure map reveals about weather while one pair of students places their completed map under the document Contents Introduction—Grade 6............ E1 Planning and Preparing for Sense-Making Discussions....... E3 Conducting a Sense-Making Discussion............................. E12 Sense-Making Samples— Grade 6................................ E17 In the context of the classroom, talk is not an add-on. It addresses important academic content and is a critical component of the lesson, including whole class, small group, and pair or partner discussions. Through talk, teachers and students explore ideas and use evidence to build and critique academic arguments. There is solid research evidence and wide-spread agreement that academically productive talk is critical for learning in science. Sarah Michaels and Cathy O’Connor, Talk Science Primer The FOSS active investigation has four parts. • Context setting: sharing prior knowledge, questioning, and planning • Activity: doing and observing • Data management: recording, organizing, and processing • Analysis: discussing and writing explanations

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