December 10, 2018

How to Teach Science with Technology Tools -- An #ELLEdTech Chat

When I was a student, my school district in Pennsylvania had a wonderful science curriculum.  The entire textbook consisted of descriptions of scientific concepts and how to demonstrate or prove them by doing experiments.  For every experiment we had to write a hypothesis, write the steps for doing the experiment, do the experiment and collect the data, analyze the data, and finally write a conclusion.  Then we had to submit that to the teacher who would, hopefully, approve it; if he didn't (all my science teachers were men), then we had to do the experiment again.  When the write-up of the research was approved, we could take the test and after that, we could start the next chapter.

I didn't know it then but we were following the steps of the scientific method, though I don't recall anyone ever using that term.  It was a great way to learn science because it was totally hands-on.  But it also had its downside, which was that some of us were more concerned about getting through the textbook as fast as possible so we could get a head start on the next year's book.  And often, as soon as we took and passed a test, we forgot the material in our rush to move on to the next topic.

Nevertheless, I developed a love of science as a result of being able to do the experiments all by myself.  But when I was a rising junior in high school, my family moved to another state and I was told that the science program in my new school consisted of the teacher standing at the front of the room doing the experiments while the class watched.  It sounded really boring.  And so, since science wasn't a required subject, I never took another science course in high school.

When I became a teacher and co-taught in mainstream science classes, I wanted my English Language Learners and the other students to enjoy science.  With that in mind, I created the resources in my Scientific Method Bundle. There are 3 resources in the bundle and they provide students with a way to talk with a real scientist and to learn about 5 scientists considered fathers of the scientific method.  There's also a poster that explains what the scientific method is, a short writing task about it, and a word search puzzle.
Click HERE for more info
Nowadays, there is a renewed emphasis on having students do science experiments themselves.  Unfortunately, not all schools have the funding to purchase materials to make that possible.  However, with access to the Internet, maker spaces, and virtual labs, there are many ways students can learn scientific concepts.  Please join Laurah, my co-host from Tools for Teachers by Laurah J, and me on Sunday, December 16th, to discuss Tech Tools for Teaching Science, the next #ELLEdTech chat topic.   As always, the chat will start at 4:00pm Pacific, 7:00pm Eastern, and 11:00pm UTC time.  Below are the details.

Schedule and Questions
7:00 = Introduction:  Tell us your name, location, level/grade and subject taught. #ELLEdTech
7:05 = Q1: What tech tools do you use to help your students learn Science? #ELLEdTech
7:13 = Q2:  How do these tools help students learn about Science?  #ELLEdTech
7:21 =  Q3:  What are the advantages & benefits of using these tech tools for teaching about Science? #ELLEdTech
7:29 = Q4:  Are there any cons or drawbacks teachers or students might have when using these tools? #ELLEdTech
7:37 = Q5: What advice do you have for teachers who want to use technology to help ELLs learn Science? #ELLEdTech

Come join the next #ELLEdTech Twitter chat on December 16h to discuss using Tech Tools to Teach Science! | The ESL Nexus
All are welcome to participate! source: The ESL Nexus
Directions for Joining the Chat
1. Log into Twitter on Sunday; the chat runs from 7:00 - 7:45pm Eastern.
2. Search for tweets with the hashtag #ELLEdTech in the search bar.  Make sure to click “All tweets.”
3. The first five minutes will be spent introducing ourselves.
4. Starting at 7:05, @ESOL_Odyssey or @The_ESL_Nexus will post questions every 8 minutes using Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. to identify the questions and the hashtag #ELLEdTech.
5.  Answer the questions by prefacing them with A1, A2, A3, etc. and use the hashtag #ELLEdTech.
6.  Follow any teachers who respond and are also using #ELLEdTech.
7.  Like (click the heart icon) and post responses to other teachers' tweets.

You can schedule your answers to the questions in advance by using an online scheduler such as TweetDeck or HootSuite (and remember to use A1, A2, etc. and #ELLEdTech).  Links are encouraged, but use tinyurl, bitly, or to shorten your link so it can be included in your tweet.  Just click one of those links, paste the longer link in the app's box to shorten it for Twitter, then paste the shortened link into your tweet. If you have relevant images, we encourage you to post them, too.

Is this your first Twitter chat? Here are our rules:
1. Please stay on topic.
2. Please do not post about paid products unless explicitly asked.
3. If you arrive after the chat has started, please try to read the previous tweets before joining in.
4. Feel free to just read, like, and/or retweet if you prefer -- we know the first time can be a little overwhelming!
5. Always use the hashtag #ELLEdTech when tweeting.
6. Make sure your twitter feed is set to "public." (And do remember that Twitter is completely public; that means anyone--students, parents, administrators--may see what you tweet.)

You are welcome to let your teacher friends who might be interested in joining us know about this Twitter chat.  And for more info about teaching science to ELLs, you might like to follow my Pinterest board Science for ELLs, which posts resources, articles and ideas about this subject.