Celebrating Inquiry: Fall 2014 V.1 no. 1

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Grade 8 Science Finds…Alyssa Gaudet

I created a blog for my students to post current articles about science. At first, we used the blog I created, but we quickly switched to using the blog one of my students made. Each week, a student from each class finds an article and posts it to the blog. The other students then read the article of their choice and add comments to it. Comments must include summarizing of the article and a relation to previous knowledge in order to get full marks.

This blog has allowed students to take some ownership of their learning. They get to choose the article and topic they research, and get to choose from two articles to comment on that week. They broaden their horizons of knowledge and expand it beyond the classroom walls. The students love that it is open to the entire realm of science, meaning they can learn more than just the curriculum. This blog enriches their knowledge of science, but also literacy. They learn to summarize thoughts and relate it back to something they already know. They get a chance to see what their peers think about different topics and can agree or disagree. Students also learn to be digital citizens. They don’t always agree with each other and it is important they reply in a respectful manner. Some students who usually say the least in class typically say the most on the blog. This gives them a voice in the classroom and it makes them feel more included. Some of them even start conversations with each other in the comments. I mark these on a rubric, and they are graded as a project. For many students, it gives their marks a boost.

Alyssa is a general math major, with her other streams being chemistry and kinesiology. She completed her Internship at D.A. Ferguson School, teaching math and science to two grade eight classes and “loving every second of it”. She believes each student is unique and capable of learning. View her professional site and samples of her project at http://msgaudet.weebly.com/grade-8-science-finds.

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