“Opener and Closer” Due Oct 5

Assignment from Syllabus

Opener and Closer
You should observe the opener and closer from one class period in your endorsement area.

Summarize the opener.  How was/were the objective(s) made known?  Did the opener activate students’ prior knowledge?  Was the opener authentic?  Engaging?  Was the opener routine for the class?  What did you like? Dislike?  What could have been done differently?

Summarize the closer.  How did the closer relate back to the objective(s)?  Was the students’ level of understanding clear?  What level of Bloom’s was used?  What did you like? Dislike?  What could have been done differently?

The objective for the class would be:  students will prove their understanding of “hypothesis”, “dependent-“ and “independent variables” by measuring their pulse rate and predicting if certain activities (their choice) would raise or lower their pulse rate.

The opener for a class session about the scientific method was trying to make a connection between hypothesis and cooking.  It was meant to connect something very familiar, i.e. amount of salt in a soup, and the process whereby an initial taste (experiment) found the flavor lacking (dependent variable), at which time more salt was added (independent variable) which led to another taste (hypothesis testing) which proved that the soup had good taste.

I feel like the opener was authentic, since the teacher definitely cared about cooking and we all know about salt and its impact on food flavor.  That was engaging for the class (might have perhaps been more so before lunchtime, since that could have probably also triggered a saliva response!).  Some might argue that more engagement was possible if the example had come from a student’s experience, or from a shared experience that the students had.  Perhaps this then is my like and dislike, namely I like that salt in a soup is common experience, but dislike that students weren’t asked to relate this to a particular, specific experience that they had.

The closer was a quick survey of the room on the hypotheses they had made for activities that impacted their pulse rate.  In order to summarize their findings they had to state their hypothesis and their dependent variable (pulse) and choice for independent variable.  I believe this was clear to the whole class at the end.  The level of Bloom’s Taxonomy was Application, which was good.  I think getting the students to all relate their findings was good in a qualitative sense but not a quantitate sense.  I might have requested that they actually produce a table or a chart of their findings (and maybe next do some statistics on the measurements).

I think the opener was routine, in that it came from the teacher, and was something the class could easily be familiar with and which also was something the teacher felt passionate about.

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Comments

  • Amy Vaughn  On October 12, 2011 at 12:01 am

    Was the opener just commentary that the teacher shared verbally? I agree that students might have been more engaged if they had been asked to think of other situations where they use the scientific method every day. If this might have been difficult for students to come up with on their own initially, the teacher could have asked students to pair-share additional ideas after she shared the cooking example.

    I think the closer could have been extended in this same way. After getting some examples of hypotheses and variables for the pulse rate experiment, students could have come up with hypotheses and variables for other unique experiements so the teacher could confirm that students could in fact transfer their knowledge to other situations.

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