Learning is: Finding the STEM in the Study of How Glaciers Helped Shape The Land Around Kennedy Middle School
Visit Ms. Buck’s eighth grade classroom at Kennedy Middle School in Natick, Massachusetts. Ms. Buch and Kennedy Middle School allowed our Discovery Education Community to join them in their study of the history of how glaciers helped shape the land around their school and their STEM connections.
The Big Idea
Through interactive STEM centers organized around five different activities. the students in Ms. Buck’s classroom explore the movement of glaciers. Using a variety of educational experiences, along with traditional and digital content from Discovery Education’s Science Techbook and elsewhere, students are able to dig deeply into the movement of glaciers. Students in this eighth grade classroom experience this learning in teams that collaborate together on the learning. This approach fostered communication, creativity, and critical thinking across teams as students worked their way around the room. Although this Big Idea focuses on exploring STEM and glaciers, it can easily be modified for any other middle school science topic study.
Learn more by stepping into a 360 degree view of Ms. Buck’s classroom. Here are tips to maximize the experience:
- After launching the 360 degree image, spin your view to find the pin that reads Begin Here. Play the embedded video to meet Ms. Buck as she welcomes you to her classroom.
- Then, spin your view to find the numbered pins to learn how Ms. Buck uses the Discovery Education Science Techbook in her classroom.
- Just as students rotate through the centers, follow the pins in numerical order and view the embedded images that share some of the other resources Ms. Buck incorporated into her students’ learning experience.
- Don’t take our word for it: hear from Ms. Buck and see examples of her students’ learning by selecting the pins with images.
Interested in creating a similar experience in your class? Check out the strategies and resources used by Ms. Buck. You can also explore additional resources and lesson plans by utilizing the updated Search by Topic feature within your Discovery Education resources.
Setting the Stage: Ms. Buck began the day by reviewing content for an upcoming assessment with the following question about roles of organisms within a habitat:
Wolves kill many elk every year and often attack old, sick, and injured members of a herd. Which of the following best describes the role of the wolves in the wolf-elk relationship? A) Competitor; B) Host; C) Parasite; D) Predator
The review question was projected on the screen as students entered the classroom. Once settled, she asked students to read the question and respond. Instead of a traditional discussion or paper response, Ms. Buck had her students respond through the incorporation of Four Corners, one of Discovery Education’s Spotlight On Strategies. After students selected their response and moved to either corner A, B, C, or D, Ms. Buck had them share with each why they joined together in one corner or another. Finally, the students shared across the classroom to defend their response.
Station One:Every student must master multiple types of literacy. To ensure that in her classroom, Ms. Buck’s students engaged in a station of traditional content by reading text about exploring New England shorelines. After reading, students used various reading strategies and note taking methods to record their ideas about the reading.
Station Two:Using additional digital content. students continued to explore the formation and movement of glaciers. Station Two also included opportunities for students to draw out responses to show the formation of glaciers, thereby allowing them to use multiple strategies to show mastery of content.
Station Three:Incorporating digital and traditional content and work product, students continued to learn about glacial movement. Knowledge was shared through students being able to identify weathering characteristics based on glacial movement.
Station Four:While viewing content from Discovery Education’s Science Techbook, students worked together to explain how glaciers weather and erode landforms in their path.
Station Five:There’s no better way to experience the power of glacial movement other than moving one yourself! Here, students use colored ice cubes, dirt, sand, and pebbles to see how glacial movement changes landforms over time.