Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Landform Dinosaur

Phew, it is two days into my Student Teaching and it has been a whirlwind! Yesterday, Mrs. London was unable to come into school due to an unexpected illness. My first day- I taught ALL day! It was fantastic! I built the suspense of where Mrs. London was (never letting on that I knew she was ill). During Writers' Workshop, students had the choice to write a story of what may have happened to her. One student rewrote the lyrics to "Grandma Got Over By a Reindeer" to fit a possible reason she was gone. Another student consider she was being held hostage! I love to read students' creative stories as they unfold. We are lucky to have Mrs. London back and well.

I get to teach the students one of my favorite science units-LANDFORMS. I love geology. We live in such a wonderful place here in the Pacific Northwest, where we have examples of landforms in all directions. To introduce the concept of landforms I made a cute dinosaur to represent different types. I thought this would benefit our visual learners (like me). For each feature of the dinosaur the students and I predicted what landform it may represent. Look at what we came up with:
We also created a hand gesture to help us remember the definition of landforms. As students say, "Landforms-a natural feature on the Earth's Surface" they roll their hands like hills. As soon as I get my video recorder fixed I will include an example. We use gestures a lot in class. Gestures help kinestic learners, activate both sides of the brain to help facilitate memory, and help language acquistion.

Since now we know what landforms are, we need to know how they are formed. The next couple weeks we will be working on learning about weathering and erosion. Be prepared to see lots of hands-on observations and experiments (the BEST way to learn science in my humble opinion).

Now I am off to dig up dirt and rocks for tomorrows experiments on soil! Here is to hoping I find humus (dead and decomposing organic matter). Yay!

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