Campbell & Fulton Science Notebooks, Elements of a Science Notebook

Campbell, B., & Fulton, L. (2003). Science notebooks: Writing about inquiry. Portsmouth, NH: Heineman.

Chapter 2 – Elements of a Science Notebook:

•    Recording and Organizing Data
    o    What does recording and organizing data look like?
        •    Great question for interns – What organizational expectations will you have for your students as they record? How will your expectations change over time?
    o    How do students begin recording and organizing data?
        •    During initial use, focusing on recording is a difficult task for students, and therefore, some initial exploration time with materials may be essential. Then the students can be encouraged to focus on recording.
        •    Great question for interns – How do your instructional decisions impact what your students view as important?
    o    When does the teacher actually teach recording strategies?
        •    “Helping them expand upon the depth of their recording is the larger task (p.30).”
    o    What about the materials provided in the adopted program?

•    Technical Drawings
    o    What are technical drawings?
        •    “Technical drawings are a powerful way to record observations and share information with others; they include more attention to detail than typical drawings (p. 31).”
    o    What is the first step?
        •    “With a little practice and guidance, everyone can experience success with technical drawings and go beyond recording a symbol to recording a detailed drawing (p. 32).”
        •    Many beginning drawings will look similar in appearance. “Through guided drawings students are gaining experience with the tools of drawing as well as realizing the observational skills needed to draw an object accurately. This initial support is crucial (p. 32).”
        •    P. 33 provides steps for modeling technical drawing
    o    What other types of support do students need?
        •    Accurate technical drawings require proportion. By asking questions, the teacher can help students’ focus, record accurate observations, and create technical drawings.
    o    What other ways are technical drawings used to enhance understanding?
        •    “By asking students to draw and label an object rather than label a worksheet, teachers gain a better idea of the students’ understanding and of what they are able to do independently (p. 36).”

•    Students’ Questions
    o    What are students’ questions?
    o    What can be done to help students recognize their questions?
        •    “By talking with them, the teacher can discover what their (sic) students are thinking and help them reword their thoughts as questions (p. 36).”
    o    How do I help students record questions that are worthy of investigation?
        •    Create a research board for the class where questions can be recorded
        •    “Open-ended questions allow thinking to be extended beyond the initial question (p. 37).”
        •    Great idea – have students record their questions on sentence strips so that they can be reorganized later.
    o    What do students do with their questions once they are recorded?
        •    “It is the students’ questions that fuel their desire to know more and do more with their investigations (p. 38).”

•    Recording Thinking
    o    What does it mean to record thinking?
        •    “(Teachers) are asking their students to reflect on their thought processes and how they came to their way of thinking, to use data collected as evidence to support or change ideas about concepts and to share questions they now have (p. 39).”
    o    What does it look like when students record their thinking?
    o    How do students record their thinking?
    o    How much time is needed for students to record their thinking?
        •    Great question for interns – How and when will you provide time to reflect?

•    Other Elements
    o    What else might be included in science notebooks?
        •    “Photos can be inserted into their science notebooks, and students can use them as prompts to write about the experience (p. 45).”