Let's bring Science Alive!


What do you want to learn about in Science?




Welcome to our Science Alive project!

We are students in two Middle School Grade 8 classes that have been working on a Science topic of our own choosing.
First, we chose a topic and then we had to create our own wiki page that demonstrated our understanding of our topic. We had to show Higher-Order Thinking Skills as seen in Blooms Taxonomy (described below).

You can find all of our pages in the Navigation Bar on the left side of this page, and every, Science Alive page.
Some of us worked on our own, and others worked in groups. Be sure to check out the Table of Contents on the student pages since some of the pages are shared with several topics on a single page.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact our teacher. Also, see his Reflection on this project (May 14th, 2007).

Thank you for visiting our pages!





Daily Agenda


Monday May 7th, 2007

Copy and paste the questions below into the Project Evaluation DISCUSSION for this page.
Make sure you are replying to the Project Evaluation Discussion rather than creating a new discussion!
Reply-Pro-Eval.jpg




Please take your time and answer in detail - Thank You!

Project Evaluation
Name:
1. Tell me about your page: What do you like? What are you proud of? What are the highlights?

2. Tell me about your Science Alive! experience: What did you enjoy about it? What did you learn?

3. What challenges did you face? What was difficult? What would you do differently next time?

4. What advice would you give me, so that I could improve the project next time?

5. How would you compare this science project to others that you have done?

6. Final comments?




Friday May 4th, 2007

Today we will take a break to talk about a serious issue... Cyberbullying!

We are having this talk because of a specific wiki 'mail' issue. However, please realize that the specific issue is being dealt with appropriately... talking about an issue that has already been dealt with can be equally as hurtful.

If you scroll down to March 30th, you will see that we already discussed Cyberbullying. Also, please check out April 16th to see that we brought up our school beliefs, which we first talked about when blogging and also very early on in this project, on March 16th.

So, we will talk about the many faces of Bullying and Cyberbullying today- an appropriate conversation before our dance... and we will do a reflective assignment on Science Alive! on Monday.

Also, I will give you until Monday to put last touches on your wiki pages!
(This was something I was planning to do anyway! -Use the time well!)


Thursday May 3rd, 2007 - Projects are due tomorrow!
Please read over the agenda for the last 3 days... have you covered everything?
What else can you do?
How else can I help you?
Tomorrow: 40 min. of Science for each class before lunch (no Math- Dance in the afternoon).
You will have specific work to do during that time- you will NOT have time to work on your project during class.
PM class- leave me a message or a Help! post on this page if you need to- I am at my Numeracy Learning Team meeting.

Good progress has been made on a number of pages over the past week, but some of you still have a lot of work to do!


Wednesday May 2nd, 2007 - Editing your work

• Does your page have some sort of introduction to your topic?
• If you did an experiment, then do you have a good explanation of what you did, and why you did it?
• Do you have at least one paragraph that describes what you learned, and what questions you still have?
• Have you looked at Blooms again, and made sure that you have demonstrated higher level thinking?

Have you had someone else (such as a parent) PROOF READ your work? If not, who are you going to ask before Friday?

Look at some of the other projects to see what other students have done so far.


Tuesday May 1st, 2007 - some house cleaning...

• Do you want your own page? Let me know today and we can figure out what is best for those sharing a page now.
• Please make sure that you have your name(s) on each of the pages that you have, or sections of pages if you are sharing one.
• Link it! If you have a journal page or additional page besides the one that you can click on in the navigation bar, then be sure to make it easy for me, or others to find.
• More links! Do you have interesting discussions on you page that you want to share (or a journal discussion)? Then be sure to link that on you page as well.
• Did you use an image from another site? Did you identify where you got it from? Did you provide a link to that page?
• Do you have a table of contents? Is it being used in a way that is helpful to the reader?
• Do all of your links work?

I was able to give suggestions, or guidance to all the groups who came to me for assistance yesterday.
Don't wait until Friday to ask me questions!



Monday April 30th, 2007 Projects/pages due at the end of the week!

Thinking about Evaluation: Have you made any evaluation statements on your page?
Have you considered:
What you did? What else you could have done?
What went well? What could have been improved on?
What did you learn?
What did you like about this process? What would you improve?

Think, then express your thinking on your page.



Friday April 27th Projects Due in One Week

Reality check: What do you need to do in order to make this project great?
I will check in with groups.
• How much do you still have to do?
• How can I help you?
• Have you shown me higher level thinking?
Ask for help if you need it.



Wednesday April 25th, 2007

Remember Blooms? Are you showing me higher order thinking?
If you are conducting research, you are not showing higher order thinking until you analyze your findings!

It is time to think about DISCOVERY! What have you learned? Have you shown me what you have learned?

Show me that you have brought Science Alive!



Monday April 23rd, 2007

The BIG announcement: SCIENCE ALIVE PROJECT DUE FRIDAY MAY 4TH

Today: 1 minute with Mr. Truss (Everyone!)
1. How are things going?
2. Show me, or describe to me, one highlight so far.
3. What questions do you have?
4. What do you need? How can I help you?

Some students will be asking you to be volunteers over the next few days. Please be respectful of their research and take the tasks, questionnaires seriously.



Thursday April 19th, 2007
I hope you enjoyed the plays yesterday. A lot of time and effort was put into them! I look forward to the show tonight.

Today I would like everyone to take a few moments to see what others are working on. Please go to at least 3 other pages and read what some of your peers are doing. I would like you to then go to their discussion page and write them a note... of the minimum 3 pages you visit, please contribute at least 2 discussion comments.
A few notes about Discussion Comments:
- Be positive, constructive and respectful.
- Offer suggestions, ideas, or even links.
- You can't edit after you post so REREAD your comment before you post!
- Either add your comment to an appropriate discussion or create a new discussion with an appropriate title.

After this, roll your sleeves up and get to work! I will be announcing the deadline for this project next week (no it isn't going to be due next week, I'm just setting the date then).

You have a long weekend with the Pro-D day tomorrow... commit some of your time to Science Alive!
Some groups are going to have to pick up the pace and get a lot done.
Other groups need to edit what they have already done, review their hypothesis, reword their procedures, and prepare to conduct their experiments next week.
Every group has things that need to be accomplished!


Tuesday April 17th, 2007

Remembering our focus:
Confession: I didn't do my homework. Instead of reading over your questions that you would 'ask an expert', I spent time looking at your pages. I'm getting excited about some of the effort I see going into the projects!

This is a great time for Science Alive! as we start to 'dig in' and get to the exciting part of our exploration. It is also a time to remember our focus... Here is where we started!

- - - -
I scrolled down to March 26-28 and looked at this:
About this project:

This is MORE THAN a research essay or a Poster-Board display of information that you found in books and on the web.

external image 349805072_b1b70ba6d8_o.jpgRemember Blooms Taxonomy? Here is another way to look at it:

Steps 1 & 2: Remember & Understand are about reporting out what you have researched and learned about your topic. This is the typical stuff that you find in a book report or research paper. They are about collection information.

To show me that you are doing more than just collecting information;
To show me your Higher-Order Skills;
You need to USE your research information to create/do something new:

How do you do this? Well, for example, you can conduct an experiment, compare & contrast different ideas or research, create new graphs or a questionnaire, have a debate about a 'hot topic' in your area of research.

So where do you start? Here is a great planning process to read through. On this page you will find this:
Now, before you go any further there are a few simple questions you must ask yourself: • What am I trying to find out? • How am I going to do this? • Where can I get the help I need? • What do I expect to find out at the end of my research? • Have I access to the apparatus or equipment to carry out the work?
and this, (from the last section that is worth reading, called 'research is the answer'):
Good scientists, both young and old, use a process to study what they see in the world. By following the six stages listed below, you should be able to produce a superior scientific project. 1. Be curious, choose a limited subject, ask a question, identify or originate/define a problem. 2. Review published materials related to your problem or question. 3. Evaluate possible solutions and make your educated guess (hypothesis). 4. Challenge and test your hypothesis through experimentation (data collection) and analysis. 5. Evaluate the results of your experiment and reach conclusions based on your data. 6. Prepare your report and exhibit.
- - - -
... over today and Thursday, (Wednesday afternoon we are watching the school plays so the morning will be 40/40 of Math/Humanities for both classes), I will conference with the groups again and make sure that we are keeping our focus on our projects.


Monday April 16th, 2007

Highlighting things so far... looking at your expert questions and looking at some of your pages.
It is time to share, please feel free to comment on each other's discussion pages.
We will talk a bit about etiquette today!
(Remember our school beliefs- Inclusion, Respect, Safety and Learning.)



Friday April 13th, 2007

3 Questions about Experts
Questions 1 and 2 are to be answered collectively by your group. Question 3 must be answered individually!
Answer in the discussion section of YOUR PAGE with the title EXPERTS. If you share a page then be sure to include your specific topic. For example on the Sugar & Insulin page: Cam, Tom & Eric's discussion topic would be EXPERTS: Sugar. Today while you are together, try to answer the first 2 questions as a group. Then on the weekend you can each add a reply to this discussion with your answers to #3.

To be done as a group.
1. Provide at least 3 links to universities, research companies, medical facilities, or other organizations that relate to your field of study (your topic). These links should help you find out the answer to #2.
2. Who is an expert in your field of study? List 2-3 people, living today, that are experts on the subject you are studying.

To be done individually.
3. If you had a chance to ask an expert in your field of study any 5 questions, what would you ask?
Hints:
• Can they answer yes/no or is this a better question that requires a more detailed answer?
• Do you want to ask them questions that you can find the answer out on the internet, or questions that tell you more than that?
• Think of the kind of questions you ask each other in Ms. Mirhaj's Current Events classes.

If you want to answer on paper, (especially for those that will have difficulty getting to a computer this weekend), you may do so.
Everyone must complete question 3, on their own, by the start of Monday's class.



Thursday April 12th, 2007

A very short class today:
Photos,
1/2 hr classes of Science & Humanities,
then Peter Parker, concentration camp survivor, will talk to us about the Holocaust this afternoon.


Tuesday April 10th, 2007

So, we are well on our way now!
Follow the links: Science Project Resource Guide

This week we will not have class on Wednesday, we will be doing our district Numeracy Task for Math instead.

A Weekend Highlight: Christina's tongue models

What do you plan to accomplish today? How can I help you?


external image egg.gifThursday April 5th, 2007

Conferences... continued


Remember these VERY HANDY links (They will help you set up your page and/or your experiments)
Scientific Method
Project Report: Experiment and Data



Wednesday April 4th, 2007

Conferencing Day
I will try to meet with every group today to discuss your progress and plans.

Here is a great link that looks at the old Blooms Taxonomy.
Why is it great? Because of all of the potential activities and products it suggests... Check it out if you want some new ideas.


Tuesday April 3rd, 2007

Putting a Table of Contents on your page.
1. You need to 'Use Text Editor'
2. At the top of the screen put the word 'toc' inside double brackets as seen below. Then Save the page.
TableofContents.jpg





3. Now any time you highlight text and change the 'Normal' to one of the 'Heading's, that line will go into the Table of Contents.
Table_of_Contents2.jpg




Have a look at this Table of Contents:
Table_of_Contents3.jpg




The first two are done with Heading 1
The middle one is done with Heading 2
The last two are done with Heading 3

Notice how they are tabbed.
Headings 1 should be used for Main Breaks such as when more than 2 groups are sharing a page.
-
Today: In your PROJECT PLANNING Discussion on your page, answer these 2 questions.

1. What do you want to have accomplished by the end of this week?
2. What will you do at home, and what will you do at school?

If you answer as a group:
Make sure you identify everyone in your group; and,
Make sure that your answers tells me what each person will be doing.


Monday April 2nd, 2007

Check out Joyce on Sugar & Insulin: Katie and Sara have shown great initiative on their Science Alive! Project.

Today we are going to think about recording data.

Read Project Report: Experiment and Data.

Here is a handy page to Create a Graph.

Remember Friday's link on Scientific Method... we start with a Problem, then a Hypothesis before we carefully plan out our Experiment.



March 30th, 2007 Today is Stop Cyberbullying Day... see what people around the world are saying.

So now you have a topic!
Today and this weekend I will be reviewing your answers to my 6 questions in your Project Planning Discussions.
Here is what you need to do:
Go to the Science Fair Central page on Scientific Method and read it over. Note the section on Project Experimentation... especially this section about variables: (Be sure to read the whole section after we go over this agenda!)
The independent variable is the variable you purposely manipulate (change). The dependent variable is the variable that is being observed, which changes in response to the independent variable. The variables that are not changed are called controlled variables.
Many of you have approached me with some great ideas for experiments that you want to conduct, but either:
Too many independent variables are being changed, or there is more than one dependent variable.

Ask yourself these questions:
1. What specifically are we measuring? (What is our dependent variable?) What do we want to find out?
2. Is this really what is being measured by our experiment? (Are there other things we are actually measuring?)
3. Are we changing too many factors when we conduct our experiment? (Is there more than one independent variable being changed?)

SUGGESTIONS:

1. If you are on a shared page then start your own section. Notice that I use line dividers between the dates in this agenda, your page can use these in between groups. Next week I will show you how to create a table of contents for your page.

2. Don't start doing any experiments yet! Even though you want to get things started, first you must ask yourself:
Do we have a Problem? A Hypothesis? A Procedure? (go back to the link above and read it if you haven't already)
I will talk to you about recording data on Monday.

3. Keep a journal of what you are doing. You can have this on your page or create a New Page. Make sure the new page has your project title in it, so if Kimberley wants to have a journal page, she could title it "Optical Illusions-Journal". Link to this page from your page not the nav bar.
Or, she can just Reply daily to her Project Planning Discussion.
Either on your new page or in your discussions it would be a VERY GOOD IDEA to record what you have done on a daily basis (it could be set up like this page, or put the date in the subject of your Discussion Reply).
Why is handy?
• Sometimes your failures, or things that you try that don't work are really important lessons that you learn from... tell me about them!
• It is good to have a place where you can plan, create lists, make goals for the day or week, or share ideas/links with your group.
• As the project moves along, it is very easy to forget the order that you did things (or the procedures that you followed) if you don't record them.
• Sometimes a lot of work goes into something that does not end up in your final presentation. Let me know about your effort.

4. Use your time wisely! I will be setting a due date in the coming week. Time will go very quickly - use it well!

5. Ask for help. (Don't be a marshmallow)



March 29th, 2007 Greetings to Students and Parents

Student Plan for class today:
If you have added a PROJECT PLANNING: (your topic) DISCUSSION to your page answering the required 6 questions, then re-read them now. How can you make your answers better? If you can improve them, then add your ideas by posting a Reply to your own discussion.
I will read all of these and give feedback to every group by Monday. If you have completed this task... start your research! Remember to provide citation and link to any pages that you collect information from.
If you have not added this discussion to your page yet, then get to it! Your parents will be checking this out tonight.

Parents and Guardians: Welcome to our Science Alive Wiki!
Here is your on-line agenda:
• Have your child show you how to find this page from the school website.
• Have a look at your child's PROJECT PLANNING Discussion and ask them questions about their plans, or about these wiki pages.
• At your convenience, feel free to check back to this site to watch the progress of our class projects.
- - - - -
Below are a few reasons why we are doing a project like this, and below that is our daily agenda from the past few days of class.
When you get home, remember to bookmark this page and/or your child's page and feel free to check back with us on a regular basis.
Thank you for coming to our Student Led Conferences!
Mr. Truss
- - - - -

Why do 'Science Alive!'?

The goals of creating a learning environment such as this:

Extend students' responsibility for their own learning.
  • -Allow students to determine what they need to learn.
  • -Enable students to manage their own learning activities.
  • -Enable students to contribute to each other's learning.
  • -Create a non-threatening setting for learning.
  • -Help students develop metacognitive awareness.

Make learning meaningful.
  • -Make maximum use of existing knowledge.
  • -Anchor instruction in realistic settings.
  • -Provide multiple ways to learn content.
    Promote active knowledge construction.
  • -Use activities to promote higher level thinking.
  • -Encourage the review of multiple perspectives.
  • -Encourage creative and flexible problem solving.
  • -Provide a mechanism for students to present their learning.

Source: Bonnie Skaalid. Application of Constructivist Principles to the Practice of Instruction Technology. [Online] Available http://www.usask.ca/education/coursework/802papers/Skaalid/application.html, March 29th, 2007

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns, or if you would like to contribute in some way to this wiki.


March 26th - 28th, 2007

Welcome Back!
As you can (temporarily) see, the last time we visited this page as a class, we were in the process of changing and combining some of the topics. By tomorrow the navigation bar on the left will be 'cleaned up' so that only the necessary pages are listed.

Today I want to make sure everyone is happy with the topics they have chosen. For some of you, I made some suggestions for alternative topics... please realize that I only did this if I thought you would have difficulty meeting all the requirements for this project.

For most groups, I combined you on to pages with other students/groups who have related topics - this is temporary! I hope that as you study similar ideas, you will find ways to collaborate, work together, share ideas & resources, and help each other to learn. When we are near the end of the project you will be given the opportunity to have your own page or keep your pages together depending on what works best for you.

About this project:

This is MORE THAN a research essay or a Poster-Board display of information that you found in books and on the web.

external image 349805072_b1b70ba6d8_o.jpgRemember Blooms Taxonomy? Here is another way to look at it:

Steps 1 & 2: Remember & Understand are about reporting out what you have researched and learned about your topic. This is the typical stuff that you find in a book report or research paper. They are about collection information.

To show me that you are doing more than just collecting information;
To show me your Higher-Order Skills;
You need to USE your research information to create/do something new:

How do you do this? Well, for example, you can conduct an experiment, compare & contrast different ideas or research, create new graphs or a questionnaire, have a debate about a 'hot topic' in your area of research.

So where do you start? Here is a great planning process to read through. On this page you will find this:
Now, before you go any further there are a few simple questions you must ask yourself: • What am I trying to find out? • How am I going to do this? • Where can I get the help I need? • What do I expect to find out at the end of my research? • Have I access to the apparatus or equipment to carry out the work?
and this, (from the last section that is worth reading, called 'research is the answer'):
Good scientists, both young and old, use a process to study what they see in the world. By following the six stages listed below, you should be able to produce a superior scientific project. 1. Be curious, choose a limited subject, ask a question, identify or originate/define a problem. 2. Review published materials related to your problem or question. 3. Evaluate possible solutions and make your educated guess (hypothesis). 4. Challenge and test your hypothesis through experimentation (data collection) and analysis. 5. Evaluate the results of your experiment and reach conclusions based on your data. 6. Prepare your report and exhibit.

Here is a short summary:

What do you know? What do you want to know? How are you going to find out?

PROJECT PLANNING:

In the next few days, this is what I would like from you. I would like you to start developing the answers to these questions and then create a discussion on your page to answer these questions for me: (You might need to do some research first)
1. What are we trying to find out?
2. How are we going to do this?
3. What do we expect to find out at the end of our research?
4. How are we going to present this information?
5. Are we showing higher order thinking skills? (Explain)
6. What supplies do we need, how can Mr. Truss help?

You can cut and paste these questions into your page for now, so that the class can see your progress.

When you are done, each group will add these questions to their own Discussion:
The discussion title will be PROJECT PLANNING: (Specific topic)
Use your topic title, not your page title.
For example the group doing Intelligence are on the Human Ability page . This group will add their discussion to the Human Ability page but the title will be... PROJECT PLANNING: INTELLIGENCE

Do not rush to answer these questions! You might have to do some research first.
The deadline for answering these questions is Thursday March 29th.
You will share this with your parents at your Student Led Conference.

Use your time well over the next few days... the time will go quickly!



March 16th, 2007

This is it... everyone (or rather every group) is going to have their own page in the Navigation bar by the end of class today.

Once you have a page to work on there is still a lot you can do today:
• Start doing some research. (Do you have your own del.icio.us account yet?)
• Start a discussion that you use to plan things with your group
• Go to the practice page and try adding different things to a page such as:
-a Science Alive page
-an external page
-a video
-an image
-a table
• look at the Blooms Taxonomy image below and start to develop ideas (on your page) that you might do, so that you demonstrate skills in all of the areas: Remembering/Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, and Creating.

Remember our

School Beliefs

As they relate to this project:

Safety: We do not reveal any personal information about ourselves. We do no use last names on this site, we do not put personal information such as e-mail addresses here either. Anyone who wants to, including your parents, can see this site, but only students and adults whom I invite can join and contribute to our Science Alive! space.

Respect: We are polite, kind and appropriate at all times. Remember that many students, Mr. Truss, and the whole world, can view your page and your discussions. Also, we do not edit other student pages, only our own. (Feel free to be helpful and discuss other student pages).

Inclusion: We are respectful and accepting of others at all times. From joining groups, to sharing computers, to responding to people in the discussion pages, we are always co-operative and inclusive.

Learning: These pages are places to creating new meaning, learn and reflect. You are encouraged to: Ask questions; Answer questions; Share your learning; Synthesize ideas; Plan projects or assignments, and Reflect on the process of learning.

*HAVE A FUN, ACTIVE AND SAFE MARCH BREAK!*


March 15th, 2007 (Beware the ides of March)

Today we will be:
• Sharing some of our ideas,
• Figuring out who has similar topics and can work together, and
• Making sure that everyone is up to speed.

Here are some links you can explore: (If you are still honing in on a topic... last chance to have priority on your own choice!)
Science in the news (scroll up and check out the rest of the page too)
Patterns in Nature (VERY COOL)
A study about aging
Edheads - Activate your mind (I got the knee surgery link here) - I am not sure how well the interactive components will work on our school computers

The goal is that we all have a topic and that we set up pages for groups before the March break... use your time well!


March 14th, 2007
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this wiki so far! We are making progress.
I have suggestions about how you use your time today, depending on where you are with respect to choosing a topic.

1. If you have no idea what topic to choose, then I am going to suggest Body Systems.
Here are some link to get you started: Science Learning: You have to have a system, or The Heart: Online Exploration, or The Brain.
Be sure to read the suggestions in number 2.

2. If you have a topic it is time to refine it. This is NOT a book report. This is NOT a presentation of ideas that you have found on the internet.
THIS IS a project that you will have to expand in many areas.
For example...
To show me that you can:
Remember and Understand, you will have to research, have diagrams, models videos, news clippings(links) on your wiki.
Apply what you have learned, you will have to report your findings, experiment, teach or interview an expert (more on this later)
Analyze what you have learned, you will have to categorize, contrast, survey, chart and report your own findings.
Evaluate what you have learned, you will have to discuss, debate, recommend, evaluate and self evaluate your work.
Create new learning, you will have to invent new ideas, compose something new, hypothesize, predict,or develop a video, podcast, story or product.

*Is your topic something that you can do this with? Monkeys or Twins is not specific enough to cover all these skills, but topics within these subjects can be... it is time to get more specific.

Ask for help if you need it.


March 13th, 2007
Take a few minutes and explore the links we have looked at before:
Reproduction and Heredity
BBC Science & Nature
BBC Science: Human Body
Or search out another SCIENCE RELATED subject that you are interested in exploring.

Getting Started/Blooms

Here is today's assignment.
Your task today is to answer the following questions. You can do this either on a page to hand in, or you can cut and paste this into the Discussion titled Planning: note that if you do this, you must click on the planning page and then Reply ... do not create a new discussion!
This is due on Thursday.

1. You will be exploring a subject in Science, of your choice, and going into great detail. What subject or subjects are you interested in?

2. What interests you about your subject? Why is it something you want to know more about?

3. Would you rather work individually or in a group? And what is the largest group that you would be interested in working in?

4. Look at the image below. For each of the levels/skills on Blooms Taxonomy that we discussed, use the key words in the image to tell me some of the things that you might do in your wiki assignment, in order to demonstrate each of the Skills.

Remember/Understand:
Apply:
Analyze:
Evaluate:
Create:


external image circle.gif
Note: Think about the differences between Activities and Products on this page. How are they different?


March 12th.
Welcome 'HOME'
This will be our Science Class homepage for this project.
Here you will find a Table of Contents that will list all of our class projects.
Note that some projects will be done by students in different classes, this is one of the advantages of working on a wiki page... any number of page members can contribute to the project at different times.
Today, March 12th, we will talk about the features of a wiki (in the navigation bar to the left as well as the ones above this frame.
Then, if we have time, we will explore some of the links we have already looked at:
Reproduction and Heredity
BBC Science & Nature
BBC Science: Human Body
Then, do you want to join this space? (You will need my permission)