Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pollution, Week 1 with a Black Banana

So we started our pollution and conservation unit before Christmas. The kiddos did a fabulous job figuring out ways to conserve energy and water, reuse common items and prevent pollution. So why did they bomb the test?
Short answer- excellent
Multiple choice- 40s and 50s
That's backwards.
I spent a great deal of time writing that exam. Scrutinizing the depth of knowledge for each question. Maybe it was plain and simple. Two days before Christmas break, we rested. Probably not my finest idea!
Well, we're spending a few minutes each week reviewing and all out reteaching these standards.
Ever have that problem? A whole unit that needs redelivery?
Well, today we focused on decomposition and composting. We took a two week old rotten banana which we held on to from pre- Christmas, and the kids discussed factors affecting the rate of decomposition. Next they made a list of ways to speed up that rate. Water, bugs, and natural elements topped the list. I then had them design their strategy for how and where to place it outside on our playground.

It was a beautiful sight to see, them flying to the far corner of the playground at the end of today to check on their experiment. Notice I said THEIR and not our. Think of how much pride they gained and confidence in science just because they designed the experiment themselves. Maybe we teachers should give up a little more power more often... Food for thought!

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