Campbell & Fulton Science Notebooks, Role of the Teacher

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

Chapter 1 – The Role of the Teacher:

•    Planning
    o    Where to begin?
    o    What type of notebook should be used?
    o    What should be included w/every notebook entry?
        •    By establishing some guidelines (whether student and/or teacher generated), students are practicing and consequently developing habits of scientific documentation.
    o    What will students write about in their notebooks?
        •    Students improve over time as a result of practical use during investigations and discussions.

•    Establish realistic expectations
    o    What organizational tools will students need?
        •    Students may need reminders to write on the next page rather than skipping as well as using the entire page for recording before moving on (if appropriate).
    o    Which experience will provide students with a meaningful starting point?

•    Implementation of Science Notebooks
    o    What goals will science notebooks address?
        •    Focus lessons first on content, process, and representation. Then turn the focus on “facilitating the interactions between the students and their notebooks (p. 12).”
    o    What will the first week actually look like?

•    Formative Assessment
    o    What role do science notebooks play in formative assessment?
        •    They are NOT graded
        •    Not used for summative assessment
        •    Question for interns – How might you use notebooks as a form of assessment?
    o    What does formative assessment look like?
        •    Observing
        •    Listening
        •    Observing and listening looks like the teacher circulating and using documentation of some sort (a checklist is one option) to record observations, taking note of students’ recording methods, use of process skills, and understanding of content (p. 17).
        •    Question for interns – How will they gather data to formatively assess their students?

•    Developing Science Notebooks
    o    Now that students have begun using notebooks, how are they supported?
        •    Time invested up front is well spent.
        •    A foundation for scientific thinking is needed and requires time investment.
        •    Materials: Exploration
        •    Discussion: Setting the Stage
        •    Materials: Recording Strategies
            •    (p. 19) “I only interact with the students to clarify directions or redirect their attention to the activity.” How do you (the interns) feel about this statement? What are the pros & cons to such decision?
        •    Discussion: Small and Whole Group
            •    Use a think-pair-share, adding thoughts to notebooks
        •    Materials: Content
            •    First, the focus should be on helping students learn and use recording strategies. Then the focus should shift towards content.
            •    Evidence of teacher decision making (p. 20) “’What are you finding? What are your thoughts? What evidence do you have to support your thinking?’ Sometimes I ask why they are recording the information the way they are.” Be sure to think aloud for interns to help them see their decision-making.
        •    Discussion: Content
        •    Notebooks: Reflection
            •    “Students benefit from writing in science, as it allows them a means to process their thinking. By giving them time to reflect on their thoughts, the teacher is asking them to make sense of their learning. These reflections can serve as a window into their true understandings (p. 21).”
            •    “Students need time to explore their own thought processes and questions (p. 21).” Therefore, uninterrupted time is essential in helping students internalize their learning and personalize it for themselves.
    o    What types of modeling support the development of science notebooks?
        •    “Students are less likely to become dependent upon teacher guidance when they are encouraged to share their work with one another rather than learning from teacher-generated models (p. 22).”

•    Creating a Purpose for Notebooks
    o    Why create a purpose?
        •    A purpose is essential. Without it, the notebook becomes meaningless. Authenticity in use helps students see practicality in notebooks and provides the required purpose for relevancy.
    o    How is an authentic purpose for science notebooks created?
        •    Presentations help to establish an authentic purpose.
    o    What is the vision for science notebooks?
        •    Great question (p. 24) “What benefits and limitations are there to various amounts of structure?”