Brooke, a student teacher in Middle School Science class finds useful strategies she adapts for use with students 7th grade in Life Science class from my book TEACHING MIDDLE SCHOOL LANGUAGE ARTS: Incorporating Twenty-First Century Literacies.
Excerpt from Facebook Message 12/11/2010 about Brooke’s student teaching experience
Hi Mrs. Roseboro,
…The main teacher with whom I am working with was *** teacher of the year in 2008. The other teacher has been teaching for 37 years and has won awards as well. As talented as my teachers are, they are very busy.
As a result, I have been depending a great deal on other resources, including your book for the guidance that I feel that I need. There are many parts of your book that I have found relevant this semester. I recently taught my 7th grade students about mitosis. It was important that my students understood that there were several reasons that mitosis exists (reproduction, growth, our body’s ability to repair itself, etc). I wanted to bring this up regularly during the week and drew upon your passage on page 142 where you talked about resisting the temptation to discuss what a poem meant. In some ways, English and science are very different on the surface. On the other hand, by stepping back and allowing the students to approach mitosis from different angels, they were able to come to why mitosis is necessary from their many unique perspectives (and often from ways that I might not have approached it myself but that were correct!). Chapter 10 (Reading, Performing and Writing Drama) has also provided inspiration for me. In science, there are not scripts or stories that students can act out in the language arts sense. However, we did learn about the cells, including the organelles within the cell. As a class, we created a cell. Certain students were the cell membrane (letting certain molecules into and out of the cell), one student was the nucleus (giving directions to the rest of the “cell”) and so so I think it helped students to remember which organelle had what function later on. Simply by reading a book that focuses on language arts, I have been reminded of the importance of writing and the ability to communicate effectively. Warm-up activities (short activities at the beginning of classes that help students to focus on that particular class) are very important at Calavera Hills. I have used many warm-up activities that have required students to write paragraphs about different scientific topics. I recently required students to begin writing about mitosis on a Monday and add to that writing each day. I have enjoyed watching my students’ improve their ability to effectively communicate in writing, especially when it comes to scientific concepts.” Brooke
See her note describing several ways she finds the Roseboro book a helpful resource.