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ERIC Number: EJ1161627
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8148
More than Data: Using Interactive Science Notebooks to Engage Students in Science and Engineering
Mason, Kevin; Bohl, Heather
Science and Children, v55 n3 p38-43 Nov 2017
A traditional science notebook is an official record of a scientist's research. Even in today's digital world, it is still common practice for scientists to record their experimental procedures, data, analysis, results, notes, and other thoughts on the right pages of a bound notebook in permanent ink with nothing written on the left side or back of a page. The notebook becomes an official record of scientific research. The use of a science notebook in elementary classrooms enables students to be scientists by documenting their investigations in much the same way. Each component of the inquiry and design process is recorded and communicated in their science notebook. In addition, educators have found a productive use for the left-side pages of a science notebook to better engage students in the learning process. While a traditional science notebook only uses the right page, an interactive science notebook uses the left page to facilitate interactions between students and between the student and the teacher. The teacher prompts students to document their scientific thinking on the left page, using teaching strategies such as questioning, sentence stems, concept maps, drawings, and diagrams. For example, the teacher may pose thought-provoking questions at the beginning of a lesson or unit to assess students' prior knowledge or identify misconceptions held by the students. The students' conceptions can be expressed on the left-side page in words, charts, diagrams, or drawings. After recording their own ideas in their notebook, the students are then asked to discuss their ideas about science in small groups or as a whole class. In this way, the notebook is facilitating interactions and scientific discussions within the classroom. During future lessons, the teacher can continue to use the notebook to check for understanding, which facilitates more discussion and informs the next steps of instruction. This also allows a place for students to document their thinking and changes in their thinking during the learning process. As a result, the interactive science notebook is an official record of both student thinking (on the left page) and scientific investigations (on the right page). A list of resources is provided.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A