Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Interactive Science Notebooks

Those of you that follow know that I am just crazy about interactive science notebooks.  I especially like the use of 3-d graphic organizers or foldables to help students demonstrate their learning in a creative and meaningful way.   First I teach an inquiry based lesson, such as a learning cycle.  Then I have students choose certain concepts to demonstrate in their notebook.

Entries should have the following information:

Title (or Focus Question)
Explorations (What did I do?)
Evidence of process skills: observing, classifying, inferring, recording data, comparing and contrasting, measuring, communicating, predicting and designing investigation.   (You may only have one or two of the listed process skills in a given lesson)
Recording of Data: lists, charts, diagrams, pictures, descriptions, graphic organizers or foldables
Conclusion: Concepts articulated
And for my students, who are pre-service teachers: Teacher Tips

Here are some student pages following a lesson on animal adaptations.   Note how the students have put their own flare and creativity in expressing their understanding.   This particular lesson used a concept development format to list, group and label types of animals and then identify what types of adaptations these animals that are suited to their particular habitat.

The tri-fold give them plenty of room to write their great ideas and conclusions.  

In a related lesson, student learned about Camouflage and Mimicry.   This lesson started with a concept attainment activity including pictures of animals with camouflage, mimicry or neither.   The students defined camouflage and provided examples of it.    Students then read about pale and dark moths before during and after the Industrial Revolution.   

Because the pale moths sat quietly on the pale lichens during the day, predatory birds could not easily see them. Occasionally, mutant black individuals appeared. These black moths, extremely conspicuous against the pale lichen, were easily spotted by birds and didn't live long. During the Industrial Revolution, Great Britain's growing industries began to burn huge quantities of coal for fuel. With no pollution-control technology, soot from the smokestacks soon blanketed the countryside. … Increasingly, pale moths fell prey to birds. Soot-covered trees, however, provided excellent camouflage for black moths. … Black moths, once rare, survived and reproduced, passing on their genes for dark pigmentation for future generations. As the years passed, ever-increasing numbers of black moths appeared. … Fortunately, pollution-control laws have now dramatically reduced emissions of soot and other pollutants, and lichens grow once again on the trees near British cities. As predicted by the principles of evolution, the pale moths are making a comeback in these areas, and the black form is becoming increasingly rare. 

Students colored a paper moth and hid it in the hallway for others to find.   Here are the entries In their interactive science notebook:

A piece of newspaper was used to make a small square.   A moth, also from newspaper was cut out and glued on top.   This provided a great example of camouflage.

šExplorations (What did I do?)Templates for Foldable Graphic Organizers
šHere is a free Template for an Interlocking Fold
Interlocking Fold

Please take a look at my new STEM Package: Lessons plus interactive notebooks pagesSTEM Activities

You may also like Editable Flaps and Folds for Interactive Notebooks