Part 1 of 2: Inquiry Based Science in the Classroom by Guest Blogger Ann Johnson
Students Discover Scientific Principles through Inquiry Based Science And Learning
“Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Johnson! THIS is exactly what I was talking about – right here! See this: D-e-p-o-s-i-t-i-o-n. This is EXACTLY what I was talking about…you know when the really fast water moves all those pieces of rocks and all those little rocks fall out of the water and end up somewhere new…this is EXACTLY IT! This is EXACTLY what I said!”
I was hooked. For the first time in my teaching career a student was excited about “deposition,” “erosion,” and “weathering” - topics that I approached each year with a sense of dread. As amazing as those forces might be, my yearly earth science unit never failed to induce a state of drooling or daydreaming in my 4th and 5th grade students. I taught with the usual suspects: photos of the Grand Canyon, the standard multi-syllable vocabulary, text passages loaded with main idea and detail, rock and soil samples and those cookbook “experiments” that dominated our curriculum. It bored my students to death and frustrated me: I love earth science, and that love (not to mention the key science concepts) was not being transmitted to my students.