Sense-Making Discussions for Three-Dimensional Learning-Grade K - 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 K 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. Students have conducted an investigation to see how redworms change their environment, in this case, a jar with plant material and newspaper. After sharing their observations, students bring their notebooks to the discussion area and stand shoulder to shoulder next to someone from another group. The teacher asks what has happened or changed in the worm jar and students turn and talk to a partner while another pair of students add their observations to the class notebook. A few students share that there is less plant material and newspaper and there is soil in the jar. Other students agree and others ask questions. Some students think the worms ate the plant material but they weren’t sure what happened to the newspaper. The teacher listens and asks questions to guide the discussion or encourages communication between all students, careful to facilitate rather than lead. Contents Introduction—Grade K........... E1 Planning and Preparing for Sense-Making Discussions....... E3 Conducting a Sense-Making Discussion............................. E12 Sense-Making Samples. ......... 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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