Science Mentorship with Telus Spark and RVSD

Our grade 8 students and teachers are very fortunate to be working with Telus Spark and schools from the Rocky View School Division in the Science Communication Mentorship Program. Our students will be working with Telus Spark Exhibit Developers, members of APEGA, and Telus Spark Facilitators in creating exhibits for a public celebration of learning at Telus Spark on December 4, 2013. Our RIG “You be the Wires”  Teachers from the two divisions met at Telus Spark on August 30, 2013 to discuss the project and participate in a RIG process (Random Idea Generator) in their prototype lab. The Calgary … Continue reading Science Mentorship with Telus Spark and RVSD

CSS Podcasts: Assessing Website Credibility

Grades: 6-9 Subject: All As part of our Collaboration and Outreach Program, the Calgary Science School is creating and sharing podcasts and PDF handouts of inquiry-based lessons designed by our teachers. We encourage feedback, comments and dialogue on the materials we publish. This podcast contains one approach to assessing website credibility by introducing three criteria for students to use when conducting internet research projects. These materials on website credibility were designed by The Critical Thinking Consortium, and are shared here with their permission. Here’s the accompanying PDF of the handouts. You can download the PDF by clicking on the download … Continue reading CSS Podcasts: Assessing Website Credibility

How To Build an Awesome Car (Engineering Thinking in Grade 4)

Deirdre Bailey Traditionally, Grade 4 “Wheels, Levers and Devices that Move” units involve hands on investigations in which students have the opportunity to build something. Often however, these building opportunities are heavily regulated and have students follow a specific set of instructions, put pieces together sequentially and then showcase a collection of virtually identical products. While I can’t pretend to know a whole lot about engineering, I am pretty confident that if the discipline were focused on building from instruction booklets, Chris Hadfield wouldn’t have spent the last 6 months in space. As Dr. David Perkins’ mentions in Making Learning Whole, kids … Continue reading How To Build an Awesome Car (Engineering Thinking in Grade 4)

The Potential of the Flipped Classroom: Post Number 3

A Collaborative Action Research ProjectDave Scott & Jason Publack Grade 9 Humanities As outlined in our last post found here, we have been looking at the potential of the flipped classroom within the context of a grade 9 Humanities class. In case you haven’t encountered this model of learning, within the flipped classroom students watch classroom instruction for homework as part of a video or ‘vodcast’. Class time is then spent on inquiry-based learning where students apply what they learned at home and are also given the chance to ask questions and receive feedback. Whereas last time we had students … Continue reading The Potential of the Flipped Classroom: Post Number 3

My Flip Classroom

A Collaborative Action Research ProjectJason Publack & Dave Scott Grade 9 Humanities The flip classroom is a fascinating addition to a teacher’s tool box. But it is not a final answer, or a complete one. Below are my thoughts on some of the strengths and weaknesses of the flip classroom as I’ve experienced it this year in my grade 9 Humanities classroom. To see an example of one of our videos click here.   “A lecture is an occasion when you numb one end to benefit the other.”  John Gould “It’s about changing instructional models so the students can receive more … Continue reading My Flip Classroom

Using the SmartBoard to Teach Algebra

Kevin Sonico~ Grade 9 Math and Science Some have referred to them as glorified whiteboards.  SmartBoards have had the unfortunate reputation of digitizing technology that was already in its own way a useful tool.  Some teachers may have even requested for the removal of SmartBoards for the use of that valuable real estate behind it. The challenge is the to rethink of how we can use them differently in our classrooms. So instead of thinking of them as expensive blackboards or overhead screens where we only project content, let us make them more dynamic and interactive.  Perhaps we can start … Continue reading Using the SmartBoard to Teach Algebra

Grade 6 Wind Tunnel: Air and Aerodynamics

John Cadman & Greg Neil~ Grade 6 Math/ Science Teachers Calgary Science School This is a design for an open ended wind tunnel. This means the fan pushes air into the tunnel instead of pulling it out the end. Assembled it is 4ft long, 2 feet wide, and 2 feet high. Our hope in building this tunnel as we did was that in future it would require no tools to re-assemble. This design is a larger version of a tunnel original built by Louis Cheng at CSS using an old computer fan. How it works in the classroom: The challenge to … Continue reading Grade 6 Wind Tunnel: Air and Aerodynamics

Student Insights into the Educational Potential of the Flipped Classroom

David Scott and Jason Publack ~ Grade 9 Humanities Over the last few years there has been increasing talk within educational circles around the potential of the flipped classroom to enhance learning. Historically, and this is confirmed by a great deal of research, classrooms have been places where students spend a great deal of their time listening to teachers talk. Whether teachers are lecturing or explaining a particular concept, this has meant students have relatively limited class time to apply the concepts or ideas they learn from the lecture and must therefore do this at home for homework. This has … Continue reading Student Insights into the Educational Potential of the Flipped Classroom

Grade 5 Electricity Collaboration

Kathryn Desrochers ~ Grade 5 Math/Science Student Teacher University of Lethbridge Just before spring break, our grade 5 students (and teachers) had an opportunity to learn from an expert. Emily Marasco is a University of Calgary student working on her Graduate Degree in Electrical Engineering. As part of her Master’s research, Emily has gone around to various schools conducting a set of electricity modules for project based learning. This turned out to be a wonderful partnership, in which Emily could conduct her research with 100 willing students and our school community benefited from her expertise, enthusiasm and hands on approach. … Continue reading Grade 5 Electricity Collaboration

Student Teaching: Mentorship and Collaboration – A Video Reflection

Jenna Callaghan and Deirdre Bailey Deirdre  Working with a student teacher these past few months has been an exciting and rewarding experience. From our first meeting, it was evident that Jenna and I shared a similar pedagogical philosophy; with a strong focus on reflection and discipline-based inquiry. Jenna’s early ideas and questions were guided by an honest vulnerability that allowed for a number of frank conversations around assessment, engagement and lesson design in an inquiry based classroom. My understanding of collaboration – developed and deepened through a powerful team-teaching relationship with Amy Park – had led to a familiarity with … Continue reading Student Teaching: Mentorship and Collaboration – A Video Reflection