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Ms. Martin’s Classroom Edit display name

  • Nokomis Regional High School
  • Newport, ME
  • More than half of students from low‑income households

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My goal with 9th graders who are taking Physical Science is to teach them how to be analytical thinkers; this involves learning how to ask rational and relevant questions, devising appropriate methods with which to investigate those questions, and collecting and analyzing data sets to draw conclusions. The process of actually doing science in the classroom has traditionally been quite cookbook; students follow a set of prescribed steps that are intended to lead them from Point A to Point B with specific anticipated outcomes. This is not how I prefer to teach science, although it is necessary at times due to limited time and resources. I want them to end the school year with a stronger analytical background than when they entered. This means I want them less terrified of using numbers and making calculations. I want them to be more comfortable asking good questions and being able to identify steps that they would take to begin to answer the questions. I want them to be able to manipulate data and look at it multiple ways; numerically, graphically, conceptually, etc. I want them to gain skills in being able to compare and contrast information and to become more adept at using data to support their ideas, even if their ideas were not entirely correct! What does the data tell us?! To become proficient with thinking about data and using it to answer important questions, students must have access to tools that allow them to easily manipulate numbers. I have very basic calculators in my room that only allow for simple mathematical functions. This hinders data analysis skill building, and slows down the flow of learning, overall. Cell phone apps are difficult to use because some students don't have phones and inconsistencies in apps makes concise instruction for their use difficult.

About my class

My goal with 9th graders who are taking Physical Science is to teach them how to be analytical thinkers; this involves learning how to ask rational and relevant questions, devising appropriate methods with which to investigate those questions, and collecting and analyzing data sets to draw conclusions. The process of actually doing science in the classroom has traditionally been quite cookbook; students follow a set of prescribed steps that are intended to lead them from Point A to Point B with specific anticipated outcomes. This is not how I prefer to teach science, although it is necessary at times due to limited time and resources. I want them to end the school year with a stronger analytical background than when they entered. This means I want them less terrified of using numbers and making calculations. I want them to be more comfortable asking good questions and being able to identify steps that they would take to begin to answer the questions. I want them to be able to manipulate data and look at it multiple ways; numerically, graphically, conceptually, etc. I want them to gain skills in being able to compare and contrast information and to become more adept at using data to support their ideas, even if their ideas were not entirely correct! What does the data tell us?! To become proficient with thinking about data and using it to answer important questions, students must have access to tools that allow them to easily manipulate numbers. I have very basic calculators in my room that only allow for simple mathematical functions. This hinders data analysis skill building, and slows down the flow of learning, overall. Cell phone apps are difficult to use because some students don't have phones and inconsistencies in apps makes concise instruction for their use difficult.

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