A Word to the Teacher
Crosslinks can be used to show e
ven more connections and relationships (Skoog
& Lien, 1988).
Keeping a science notebook is an effective way for students to save information
about experiences for future use and provides a way for students to reflect upon
those experiences (Marcarelli, 2010). The process of notebooking:
Creates a space for students to reflect about experiences and encourages insight
into activities
Allows students opportunities to create
Encourages students to process what they are learning
Allows for the free flow of
students’ ideas and feelings
Gives a broader perspective over time and encourages students to reread and
identify recurring themes
Provides students with a safe format to communicate in a healthy and
constructive way
Involves student expression and exploration of thought
An interactive notebook is another tool students use in activating prior knowledge,
recording learning experiences, and revising their thinking about the topic or
concept. The input is the content learned, and the output is reflective thought gained
through learning experiences. Benefits of the use of interactive notebooks are
developing students’ thinking skills, increasing communication, and differentiating
instruction (Marcarelli, 2010).
Venn Diagrams and T-Charts
Having students identify similarities and differences among concepts being learned
enhances their understanding of and ability to use knowledge (Marzano, et al,
2001). The use of a simple T-chart to have students organize their initial thinking
while identifying the similarities and differences can be useful. A more sophisticated
graphic called a Venn diagram has students display the similarities between
elements in the intersection between two overlapping circles. The differences are
placed in the parts of each circle that do not intersect.
Physical Models, Simulations, and Drawings
In general, physical models are concrete representations of knowledge, while
simulations are representations of a process. Drawings may represent knowledge,
process, or both. Models, simulations, and drawings are powerful ways to generate
nonlinguistic representations in the mind. Each time students engage in transferring
information into a new f
ormat that makes their thinking visible to others, their
understanding increases.
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