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Engaging Students with Text

Angry birds = Forces

on 26 May 2014

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Transcript of Engaging Students with Text

Engaging Students with Text
Lori Moritz
University of Southern California
EDUC 505
Dr. Nicole Mirra

CA 8th Grade Physical Science Text
For use with Section 3:
Newton's Laws of Motion
For use with Section 1
Gravity: A Force of Attraction
Forces and Motion Unit

Students know when the forces on an object are balanced, the motion of the object does not change.
Students know the greater the mass of an object, the more force is needed to achieve the same rate of change in motion.
Learning Outcome
: Using the vocabulary of the lesson, students will be able to accurately explain where they have noticed Newton's 3 laws in previous personal experiences.
: This is an entry-level (easy) discussion of the concept of Newton's Laws that utilizes the vocabulary of the textbook coupled with a visual example that is familiar to all 8th graders. It will familiarize/frontload students with the concepts of Newton's laws before they read the text so they are familiar with the vocabulary enough to learn more details from the text. This video aligns with the standards in that it explains standard 8.2.c as the concept of inertia and explains standard 8.2.f when explaining why it is more difficult to pedal a 10,000 pound bike. The visual format coupled with vocabulary from the text will make it easier for students to put material into context when they encounter it in the textbook. Students will understand the content because they can connect the concepts with clear illustrations of what they mean from familiar life experiences (their funds of knowledge) such as bouncing a ball and riding a bike.
Learning Strategy
: To introduce this text, I would use
Problematic Perspectives.
For example: You need to convince your parents to buy you a car (or a motorized bike) for your new paper route. The papers you carry are over 60 pounds. Since your parents only consider logical arguments, how can you use science as evidence that you won't have time to ride around the neighborhood?
This problem will activate interest in listening and watching the video to find out how to use science to convince parents to get what they want. Students will generate solutions to the problem in small groups before they watch the 3 minute video.
Learning Theory:
This video/text invokes
Cognitive Theory
in that it adds visual images to illustrate theories to enhance the understanding of the material. It also invokes
Constructivist Theory
as the video shows how Newton's Laws relate to something that they already know about, namely, riding a bike. Students will build upon their previous knowledge of bike riding to understand Newton's Laws.
The end of the video has a series of 8 questions, some short answer, and some multiple choice. Students will work in groups of four to answer the questions, then regroup as a class and have students discuss their answers. Students will wrap up discussion with personal experiences of Newton's Laws in their lives. Final assessment will focus on proper use of new vocabulary. Students will be informed that vocabulary in discussion is important for participation grade.
: CA-CCSS 8.2.a
Students know a force has both direction and magnitude.
Learning Outcome
Students will be able to interpret a visual representation of the magnitude and direction of a force from a vector map.
: This text represents a medium-difficulty visual map of a gravitational field. It will enrich student understanding of gravitational fields with an intuitive representation of forces that emphasizes magnitude and direction with arrows. The image aligns with the standard in that the image represents both the magnitude and the direction of the force of gravity on a massive object. Because scientists often represent forces visually as a field of vectors, students will get the opportunity to familiarize themselves with a real-world scientific graphic representation of forces. Not only will this help with the current concept of gravity, but in high school, the same type of image will be used to represent electric and magnetic forces. This means that once in high school they will be able to draw upon prior knowledge to build an understanding of more complex phenomena in physics. Students will understand that the bolder arrows represent stronger forces and the arrows will point in the direction the force is acting. Students should notice that the arrows closer to the body are larger because the force is stronger there.
For use with Section 2:
Gravity and Motion
Fig 1: A force field like gravity, if we have a very large mass at the origin, then we can plot the gravitational field, as in the diagram.
Reading Strategy
: Directed Reading Thinking Activity (DRTA) and a KWL chart. This image will be supplemented after reading the entire section of the textbook to enhance understanding of gravity. Teacher ask students to fill out what they know about gravity and what they would like to learn about how it is represented on a map. Then teacher will show the diagram on the overhead and direct the students to examine the diagram before they read the caption, then to note various characteristics about the graph such as the size of the arrows and the direction the arrows point with respect to their location from the red ball on the graph. Questions will focus on what the larger size might mean, to note where all the arrows point, and why they all point to the red ball. Questions will redirect to application to real-world scenarios such as, "What could the red ball represent?" Students will read the caption and reevaluate their previous responses in light of the information given.
Learning Theory
: This strategy will focus on Cognitive theory as the Thinking aspect of the task will call on metacognitive activity. Students will have to evaluate and recognize their own thinking about what the arrows represent and how their thinking changes as they receive new information about the text and listen to the opinions of their peers. It will activate prior knowledge of size representation in terms of power and knowledge of what it means to point in a direction with an arrow, which touches on constructivist theory.
: The assessment of this activity will largely be formative. Teacher will take note of student responses and participation. Participation points will be awarded. Self assessments in the form of a KWL chart will be collected and evaluated for understanding of what the specific elements of the diagram represent.

Students know a force has both direction and magnitude.
Students know when an object is subject to two or more forces at once, the result is the cumulative effect of all the forces.
Students know that when the forces on an object are unbalanced, the object will change its velocity (i.e. speed up, slow down, or change direction).
Learning Outcome:
Students will be able to create hypotheses given limited data about the free-fall of an object using their knowledge of the theory of gravity and Newton's Laws.
Students will be able to answer pointed questions related to the logic of student hypotheses.
: Intended for use to use book to use theory to create reasonable explanations for real-world phenomena. This text is chosen to challenge them, as this is a difficult excerpt from a college entrance exam (ACT). With the proper reading strategies, students will learn that even the most challenging scientific material can be broken down into simpler elements. This should develop student confidence in their scientific reasoning abilities, and to reduce anxiety about future college entrance exams, as well as expose them to what will be expected of them in the near future. Text aligns with standards in that it covers what students should have learned by reading the entire chapter, especially through Section 2. This activity would be introduced at the very end of Chapter study. The text will offer the opportunity for students to generate their own hypotheses for the observed phenomena as the teacher will ask for this before the teacher allows the students to read the printed hypotheses on the page. To do this, the teacher will cover the answers on the overhead until they are discussed as a group. This develops argument in science, as limited data is often a circumstance scientists must deal with and they must make reasonable hypotheses that can be tested with arguable results.
Reading Strategy
: This reading will be done with the teacher initially as a class Think Aloud. Students will be asked to form and write down their own hypotheses before printed student responses are read. After text has been read, the questions will be addressed as a QAR activity. Teacher will model the Think Aloud and the QAR activity before participating. The QAR activity will initially be modeled as a class and continued as a small group activity.
Learning Theory:
As the teacher will model and heavily scaffold this activity, the main influence of this activity is Sociocultural Theory. Students will learn how to think about the text during the modeled Think Aloud and apply it for themselves in a class setting. Students will then follow scaffolded instruction from the teacher for the QAR and finish working in small groups to answer the multiple choice questions.
Teacher will collect and assess group answers to the multiple choice questions. Teacher will ask students to mark the type of question per QAR format and note where each answer can be found or inferred from the text when applicable. Incorrect answers with reasonable explanations and references to the text will receive partial credit as the process of reexamining the text is an essential step toward making correct answer choices. Teacher will ask for a written Think Aloud of the entire text, not including the questions, to be done as homework and handed in next day for Assessment based on a rubric handed out before end of class. Emphasis on rubric in identifying strategies used during think aloud.

Baker, M. (n.d.). Gravity [image]. Retrieved from http://www.euclideanspace.com/maths/geometry/space/fields/gravity.png

Buel, D. (2009). Classroom strategies for interactive learning (3rd. ed.). International Reading Association

Ormrod, J. E. (2011). Educational psychology: Developing learners (7th. ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education

Princeton Review (2009). 1296 ACT Practice Questions. Random House Inc.

TED-Ed (Producer). (2012). Newton's 3 Laws, with a bicycle - Joshua Manley [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube(dot)com/watch?v=JGO_zDWmkvk

Vacca, R. T., Vacca, J. L., Mraz, M. (2011). Content area reading: Literacy and learning across the curriculum (10th. ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education
The Text
An ACT Excerpt
covering gravity
and free-fall.
Full transcript