No Series: Time Management in 7th Grade Science

Time Management in 7th Grade Science

Lesson Objective: See a new teacher's instruction improve with coaching and reflection
Grade 7 / Science / Teacher Evaluation

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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. As you watch, think about the feedback you might give Ms. Shon. What advice does Dr. Royce give about wait time, inquiry, and time management?
  2. How does Ms. Shon make her classroom more student-centered?

6 Comments

  • Private message to Elizabeth Owonikoko

This video shows how teachers struggle with time management in planning their lessons. The first lesson was more of a teacher-centered classroom because the teacher was doing most of the talking and even answering the questions she should have allowed the students to figure out. The students were not engaging and most of them were feeling lost. But the second lesson was an improvement because the teacher presented the questions and allowed the students to work on the experiment in their groups and come up with the answers to the teacher's questions. She was able to control the class and time by giving the students what she could not complete as homework. She implemented the three suggestions she got from Dr. Royce and made the class student-centered. 

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  • Private message to Bree McNeil
This seems like a wonderful lesson. Can the lesson plan be shared?
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  • Private message to Michelle Jennings
Very insightful on what works and what can be improved on. Thank you for sharing.
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  • Private message to Michael VILLANUEVA
Thanks Ms. Shon for allowing us into you classroom. I know it's been a couple of years since this was made but like your colleague mentioned here, you are to be commended for your thoughtful lesson planning and beyond.
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  • Private message to Amanda Eldridge
This was a very insightful video as I am currently trying to better my own practices in the classroom. I have a little trouble with student wait time and keeping my lessons from being simply reading / lectures - this gave me some great ideas / tips! Thanks!
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External Resource Materials

Transcripts

  • Aiming for Excellence: Time Management in 7th Grade Science
    With Lynn Shon and Christine Royce

    EXCELLENCE. IT’S WHAT EDUCATORS STRIVE FOR,

    Aiming for Excellence: Time Management in 7th Grade Science
    With Lynn Shon and Christine Royce

    EXCELLENCE. IT’S WHAT EDUCATORS STRIVE FOR, PARENTS HOPE FOR AND STUDENTS DESERVE.

    WE PUT MIDDLE SCHOOL SCIENCE TEACHER LYNN SHON TO THE TEST.

    A SCIENCE EDUCATION EXPERT OBSERVES ONE LESSON AND GIVES NOTES ON HOW LYNN CAN IMPROVE HER SKILLS.

    LYNN THEN HAS ONE WEEK TO MAKE CHANGES BEFORE THE EXPERT GIVES A FINAL ASSESSMENT.

    LYNN: I have a lot of things to learn and I am so excited to become a better teacher. I know this is the right career for me and so there’s nothing more that I want right now than feedback.

    TITLE: TIME MANAGEMENT IN 7TH GRADE SCIENCE

    LYNN SHON IS A FIRST YEAR SCIENCE TEACHER AT MIDDLE SCHOOL 88 IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK.

    LYNN: I have actually not always wanted to be teacher. Frankly at the beginning I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.

    LYNN TRIED SEVERAL CAREERS – INCLUDING FASHION, EVENT PLANNING AND FINANCE – BEFORE SHE FOUND HER NICHE.

    LYNN: It was through those experiences that made me realize that what impacted me most was education. In La Marque, Texas, which is where I grew up, I felt like I was teaching myself out of a textbook. And there are those few teachers who really just impacted me so personally because I felt like I was really excited to go to their classrooms. And knowing that I have the opportunity to play that role here at M.S. 88 has been so amazing.
    WE CHALLENGE LYNN TO GO FROM BEING A STANDOUT FIRST YEAR TEACHER TO AN EXCELLENT EDUCATOR.
    WITH A DEGREE IN MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR BIOLOGY FROM YALE UNIVERSITY, LYNN’S ACADEMIC BACKGROUND SHINES THROUGH IN THE CLASSROOM.

    LYNN: Do we think that is a physical or chemical change and why? Jeremy.

    JEREMY: Um, I think that when the milk gets sweeter that’s a chemical change because in order for it to get sweeter it has to have a chemical reaction.

    LYNN: Is there something new being created?

    LYNN ALSO HAS A WEALTH OF PERSONAL EXPERIENCE TO DRAW FROM.

    LYNN: My parents were immigrants. And a lot of the students here are immigrants themselves. They came within the past two years. And I don’t know if I even realize when I do it but I definitely think it impacts the way I communicate with them and the way I teach.
    MS88 ENCOURAGES MENTORING RELATIONSHIPS AMONG ITS TEACHING STAFF AND ACADEMIC CONTENT IS INTEGRATED ACROSS SUBJECTS.
    CRISTI LAGOS IS THE SCHOOL’S SCIENCE CURRICULUM COORDINATOR. SHE IS MENTORING LYNN TO BECOME THAT TEACHER WHO INSPIRES HER STUDENTS.
    CRISTI: Initially my plan was to teach for 2 years and get that PhD. However when I got into the classroom what I found was that I loved it I’ve actually taught everything from the 6th grade level all the way through high school so with that I have a lot in my teaching toolbox, to then help other people with. But at the same time when they come to me with their projects or ideas, I’m learning from all of the teachers and then I make sure that they learn from each other.
    LYNN FACES SOME COMMON FIRST YEAR CHALLENGES.
    LYNN: I’m so used to working only with…with adults. And so knowing how my students think, how they work, how they understand things is a priority of mine because there’s no other way to…to reach them. I always think oh we have twenty minutes to do this lab. Well it ends up taking thirty minutes and I have five minutes to do the reflections. So time management within the classroom is definitely something that I would like to…to work on. I have been blessed with an amazing mentorship and teaching staff here and really one thing that I’d like to do more is reflect on the advice they give me.
    DR. CHRISTINE ROYCE, A SCIENCE EDUCATION EXPERT, WILL OBSERVE LYNN IN THE CLASSROOM AND OFFER GUIDANCE ON HOW SHE CAN TAKE HER TEACHING TO THE NEXT LEVEL.
    LYNN: I’m a little nervous because, you know it’s not…it’s never easy to hear the truth, especially if you kind of inside know that you…it’s not always going to be all positive.
    LYNN: OK so, we in the past few weeks have learned about how to separate mixtures. In order to separate dissolved lead from water, what do you think we need to think about? Nigeria.
    NIGERIA: Um, the properties of lead and whether or not it’s water-soluble.
    LYNN: Awesome. OK so here’s lead. Lead is on the periodic table, it’s an element. And, um, it’s water insoluble. It’s also very, very toxic. What do you think could have happened to lead to make it dissolve in water when in reality, lead as an element is water insoluble? Any ideas? Angel.
    ANGEL: Probably, it says highly toxic, so probably one of them, probably, it’s kind of like a chemical reaction to the water.
    LYNN: Wow, great job. We’ve been talking about physical reactions- guess what? We’re talking about chemical reactions now, OK? So, the lead that dissolves in water is chemically bonded to something else. And when things bond to something else, OK, they change the properties of what it was before. When lead is an element by itself, it’s water insoluble, OK it’s a grey black heavy metal, it’s toxic, OK, but all of a sudden when it bonds to something chemically, it can change its properties. OK now lead nitrate is very, very toxic. And this is the common lead found in our drinking water, when it is found. But the question still remains, OK, how can we separate it when it’s dissolved in our water? OK? All right. So, I need some volunteers. OK so, we’re going to have a MS88 spring dance. You can be lead. You can be nitrate. OK so, this is what I want you to do. I want Brian and Sadika to hold this bond in between you. You’re chemically bonded. And you guys are chemically bonded. Well it’s the dance, OK, and um Nasheem and Sam, which are sodium and sulfide, and are dance partners, and Brian and Sadika lead and nitrate are dance partners, and all of a sudden, Brian decides that he wants to dance with Sam, Lead decides that it wants to dance with sulfide, OK so please switch partners. All right, so we have two new compounds. OK, and guess what, do those two compounds have the same properties or new properties than they did before? Totally new properties. Now when they were dancing the night away, something special happened when dance partners were swapped. When lead and sulfide met there was like, heat generated.
    NASHEEM: They had chemistry.
    LYNN: They had chem- thank you Nasheem – they had chemistry. Serious chemistry, OK? And so much chemistry that they became, they formed a new substance – a solid, OK? Thank you so much for volunteering. So here’s exactly what happened. This was Brian this was Sadika at first, OK this is the solution of lead that’s dissolved in our drinking water – lead nitrate. OK, when the dance partners switched, when Brian got with Sam, OK, when lead got with sulfide, something called a precipitate formed. Precipitate is a solid that forms from a chemical reaction. OK? So something special happened here. We’re going to focus on this. OK so it’s your turn. We are not going to be experimenting chemical reactions with lead because that’s dangerous. We can’t do that in this classroom. But we’re going to be working with are two salts. One is called magnesium sulfate, and the other is called sodium carbonate. OK? You’re going to add two dropper-fulls of water in each then pour those test tubes both in this flask and record your observations. Just think about how this reaction is similar or different to the reaction we just talked about. OK? I would like Nancy, Daniel and Alyssa to get the trays.
    LYNN: So that looks like enough water right there, so now swirl it around, swirl the test tube around until the solution dissolves, keep swirling. All right, just do this one now and then answer the questions and then answer the questions.
    STUDENT: Oh this is a powder.
    LYNN: It’s a water-soluble salt so what should have happened?
    SOBNOM: It should have dissolved.
    LYNN: It should have dissolved. OK, so the problem is there’s a little too, there’s not enough room for it to swirl around, we need more time too. Perhaps if we had colder water or hotter water do you think it would have happened faster?
    SOBNOM: Hotter.
    LYNN: Hotter water right. So, let’s write down our observations for part two. OK so start writing down your observations, explain what happened. It’s OK if you didn’t get a precipitate – think about why you didn’t. Why didn’t you get a precipitate? OK. Make sure your name is on your reflection.
    DR. ROYCE SITS DOWN WITH LYNN TO DISCUSS HOW SHE CAN IMPROVE HER TEACHING METHODS
    ROYCE: You really did a nice job with your lesson, and you were interactive with the students. And starting to go through here, we’re going to watch it a little bit and come back and forth.
    SOT LYNN: Yes Alyssa?
    SOT ALYSSA: when you look in the filter, you do see black things. Can lead dissolve in water or is it not?
    SOT LYNN: That’s a very good question Alyssa. And after today’s lesson, you’ll probably have a better idea of what might be going on, on that paper- OK?
    ROYCE: All right, I’m going to stop you there for a second. You went from questioning and letting the students refresh their memory about what they learned, into a lesson. And while you really know your content and it's great to see that someone has the content ability, it seemed like you wanted to get through a certain amount of content quickly.
    LYNN: I’ve heard that before, yes.
    ROYCE: Okay. And that's very common with new teachers - the feeling that you really want to just push through because I have to get through so much. But allowing the students to try and answer some questions interspersed with the information you’re giving would actually help them retain that information better.
    LYNN: I guess one thing for me that I’m struggling with is, is managing my time in the classroom and knowing when I’m lesson planning. How much space should I allot for these random questions like this?
    ROYCE: Think about what could happen at that exact moment and then before you say anything literally use wait time for yourself. Count to three, count to five. I think two things will happen there, one you’ll take that step back, and, and not immediately jump in with an answer. But I also think that kids may continue their conversation and give you some more insight into what they’re understanding.

    ROYCE: Great idea. But give the students the ability. You had up on the board the different shapes and say can you get yourselves arranged like this so you’re the right compounds? But again you were trying to make it go a lot quicker than perhaps the students needed it to go.
    ROYCE: Up until the activity, you did most of the talking. And I’m actually going to go out on a limb here and say, I would have actually flip-flopped, put the activity first and then followed up with the sharing of information or interactive discussion. That would allow the kids to do more of the investigation and then you could actually introduce the terminology. Rather than introducing the term initially up front, and trying to say alright who got what I just told you you’re going to get in this jar?

    LYNN: I think I’m noticing a kind of a theme with everything you’re saying. It seems a lot of- a lot of what I’m doing is somewhat inhibited by the fact that I’m feeling rushed inside. I’m just focused on this end point, rather than the processes.
    ROYCE: Well what was the end point? What did you want the kids to walk away from this lesson knowing?
    LYNN: I wanted them to be able to connect visually the reaction that we had spoken about here, on the skit. That when two compounds, two solutions combine, the solid substance can form, it's a chemical reaction because a new substance has formed. And that new substance can be filtered out, like such as lead can be filtered out.
    ROYCE: Okay and that’s a clear point. But giving the kids the actual activity first would have gotten them to that point, and then have them report out at the end. OK? You had them recording their ideas in their notebooks but you didn’t have them sharing their overall ideas either within their small groups or with the large class.

    LYNN: Mm-hmm. Right. And that's something I’ve been told many times by other teachers and mentors and administration at the school.
    ROYCE: Literally have some kind of maybe bell go off 5 minutes before the end of the period, And make it part of the class. We’re almost done, let’s not forget to report out. What have we learned today? I think part of the process about being a new teacher is having a bunch of mentors. It seems like you have a really supportive team. I’m sure that you probably have all these other people who have experience, as well as me, trying to sit here and say you should try and do this. Listen to it all, and, and really consider how to take their suggestions and make them your own.
    LYNN: Any advice I’m taking I don’t instinctively make it my own because I’m in the presence of people that I respect and look up to I kind of shut down.
    ROYCE: Do you respect your mom?
    LYNN: I do.
    ROYCE: Would you go home and wear your mom’s outfits?
    LYNN: No. No.
    ROYCE: What would you do?
    LYNN: Oh if I were forced to wear mother’s clothing which hopefully I won’t, I would pick out the things that I like and put them together in a way that…
    ROYCE: So go home and think about that with other teachers you respect. Not doing something exactly the way they tell you to do it doesn’t mean you disrespect them. Go home and think about your mom’s clothing every time you think about oh I should do it some way, like this - pick the pieces that work for you.
    LYNN NOW HAS ONE WEEK BEFORE DR ROYCE RETURNS TO TRY OUT HER SUGGESTIONS AND TAKE HER SCIENCE LESSON FROM GOOD TO EXCELLENT.

    TITLE: TWO DAYS LATER

    LYNN: Before we do this before I explain – this is the new content, I want them to act out the same reaction we did on Wednesday. But rather than telling the students what to do, I will assign each – the four students – an element or a compound, and they are to figure out how to arrange themselves. Then have, throw in another variable- the resin bead. Then, I’ll go into the mini-lesson –

    CRISTI: See I’m just wondering how this is different than before. Last time, you had the spring dance, right? With the kids acting it out and then there was a mini-lesson on lead. And today you’re planning to do the spring dance and then a mini-lesson. So I’m not sure that we’ve really flipped it around in terms of a true inquiry

    LYNN: OK. I think, I think I know what to do. I should do the same skit first, but rather than jumping to the mini-lesson, do this next, have this resin bead- they’ll, they’ll see it, they’ll remember that this stays still. So just basically attach a resin bead to both carbonates and let them figure it out.

    CRISTI: But this would be the challenge. This is the same thing that they’ve done before, right? We- they’ve seen this equation, they could actually get this right, possibly, without even thinking about it. But now that you throw in this new variable – and that’s exactly how the Brita filter works, it’s a real life application, they have a problem-solving component now at their tables in discussion.

    LYNN: Right, so do you think I should just give them – give each packet a set like this?

    CRISTI: It could work let’s see what happens. Let’s see what happens! Let them do it.

    LYNN: OK then I need to get some cutting done.

    LYNN: So, One thing that I did notice is that I like felt really relaxed. I felt like I was having fun. I had some revelations I was like really this really will I guess just allowing them to do this activity opens a lot of windows for me to make it easier for me to explain things when I have to explain them.

    TITLE: ONE DAY TILL FINAL OBSERVATION

    LYNN: So this is what happened. Dr. Opherc left a little bit of food dye that he used to make his eggs – one little sample and I actually have no idea how to make this OK? And your job is to help me figure out which recipe was Dr. Opherc’s.

    CRISTI: Um time management is possibly more of an issue now, just because the inquiry process takes longer and in my mind that’s ok because it’s a lasting impression.

    LYNN: I ask you to make lemonade and I really like my lemonade super concentrated. What would you do to it? What would you do?

    STUDENT: I would add lemon.

    LYNN: So you’re adding more stuff. OK? So keep that in mind when you try to answer this question.

    CRISTI: She’s really concerned about developing herself professionally and providing the best possible lesson she can to her students and that’s to be commended.

    IT’S THE DAY OF LYNN’S SECOND OBSERVATION.

    LYNN: You’re about to see a huge mess. The lab is a scary place. Oh graduated cylinders. Thank you.

    LYNN BEGINS HER LEAD TESTING LESSON AS DR. ROYCE LOOKS ON.

    LYNN: I want us to brainstorm everything we have learned about lead. What do we know about lead – it can be chemical properties, physical properties, how it affects our bodies – anything. Jeremy?

    JEREMY: It’s highly toxic.

    LYNN: Toxic very great. Very good. OK pass the mic.

    SAM: Um, when it’s in solid form it’s insoluble.

    LYNN: Great – anything else from that New York Times article? Qingmei?

    QINGMEI: It’s found between… um if the homes were before 1961.

    LYNN: Great – that’s what I was looking for too, OK? They- pipes in homes were made with lead pre-1961. All right that’s a pretty darn good list right there.

    ANGEL: So what happens if a person drinks a large amount of lead and they don’t know it but they’re getting sick at the same time? Does the wa… does the lead appear in the body or is it still dissolved because there’s water in our bodies?

    LYNN: That’s a great question. Yes, lead – there are chemicals in our body that the lead is reacting with. Think about the Brita filter - is there any chemical reaction going in the Brita filter? Yes. OK?

    LYNN: What is the question we’re trying to answer today?

    SAM: Is lead in our tap water?

    LYNN: Is lead in our tap water. Is lead in our home hot tap water? Cold tap water? All right, so we have here our materials list, OK you’re going to get two lead test strips per person, they look like this. And you’re going to get two cups – one for hot and one for cold. You’re going to measure out five milliliters of your cold-water sample with the graduated cylinder and put it in your cold cup. Then you’re going to add your lead reagent. Then you’re going to take your test strip and you’re going to dip it in for one second. They you’re going to put it down shake off any excess water, and lay it on your tray to dry. Then you can start measuring out your other one while you’re waiting. So once it – after two minutes have passed you’re going to look at the side of this vile. You’re going to take it and see where it falls on this color line. All right so, when I give you the go you can go get your tray. I want one person from each group. Qingmei, please, Kevin, please go get a tray.

    LYNN: Ok so do we see any differences between our hot- and our cold-water strips? No? No differences? OK.

    LYNN: All right, when you finish with your tests, start filling out your data table – your results. When you finish your results, we’re going to talk.

    LYNN: All right, so I want to hear how things went for you. OK? How did it go? What did you learn? How did it go? Jeremy.

    JEREMY: I learned that this lab was cool and that it helped us out a lot, and that my, my um test strips said that my water is safe.

    MATTHEW: Also, I learned that like… in the middle of the strip it’s like lighter than the tip is. Cause for um… like Angel’s on the bottom but, uh, the tips it’s like darker.

    LYNN: OK, so I want you to think about why is it that some of you have darker edges around your boxes than the center?

    QINGMEI: Also, could not get enough water because there’s only five milliliters of water in such a huge amount of cup so –

    LYNN: Sorry can you repeat yourself?

    QINGMEI: So you might not get as much water on the strip as you can cause there’s only five milliliters of water in that cup and the cup is huge comparing to the amount of water.

    LYNN: OK, so Qingmei said actually the size of the cup affected it. I agree. OK. so last question for today OK, do you think that any chemical reactions occurred to test for the presence, like do you think that anything chemical was going on today? And why? Sobnom, what do you think?

    SOBNOM: I think that lead reagent has some kind of chemical reaction to the waters, I don’t know, I didn’t see any bubble but the smell smelled different.

    LYNN: OK so for whatever reason, when we add the lead reagent, when we add the water, and we stick the test strip in we don’t know where the chemical reaction is happening. But the fact that we’re observing color change, there was probably some sort of chemical reaction going on and we’re going to look more into that – hopefully tomorrow and Monday. OK, so for your homework answer the analysis questions.

    DR. ROYCE GIVES HER FINAL ASSESMENT OF LYNN’S TEACHING.

    ROYCE: Today you did a lot better job using the questions that the students asked as a springboard to the next part of your information, so it actually allowed the kids to be more engaged. I also think it gave you a better sense of what they actually knew and understand.

    ROYCE: The other thing we talked about was flipping the activity and the instruction. And while the information you gave this week did come before the activity, you didn’t give them the information that they were going to get from the activity. So it was truly an inquiry-based activity where the students didn’t know what was going to happen in the end.
    ROYCE: And finally, the other thing I think we talked about was related to having time for students to report out, and I heard the buzzer go off and you quickly shut it off, which was a great way to just kind of keep the flow of the class going. The reporting out you actually allowed the students to do, allowed them to share their information and I think sending them home with the analysis questions then was a really great way to actually measure what they got out of it. So I think you did a really nice job trying to focus on three areas that we were working with last week.
    LYNN: Thank you very much. And I’m definitely feeling a difference as I’m teaching it. You mentioned that I’m using my question as kind of a springboard you know, for me it was always in my mind a way for students to take and answer a question. But in reality, it’s really an opportunity to get students engaged, an opportunity to understand where students are, and it’s a way to teach the content when I do get into the mini-lesson where I can refer back. So like, for example, one thing I really liked was when we charted out at the very beginning of the class, I think the question was “what do you know about lead?” Basic question. And we put everything on paper and it was pretty much, hit everything that I wanted to talk about that day, and the students came up with those answers.
    ROYCE: And that was good because it also connected to what the students already know or previously learned, and it made it more student-focused rather than teacher-focused, which is always a good thing in the classroom. What about the putting the activity first without knowing the answer? How did you feel about that?
    LYNN: Actually we- I’ve done it ever since we last saw each other and um, that is something that I think has shifted my way of thinking as I’m lesson planning, really, just like, it forces me to think more about the kinds of questions students will have. It makes the students more engaged when they do listen to the lesson.
    ROYCE: Have you noticed a difference with the reporting out in what the students are being able to explain?
    LYNN: Yeah, the reporting out definitely helps collect, helps the student collect their thought, his or her thoughts, and yea, be more excited, prepared for the next day’s lesson.
    ROYCE: I think as you start to use strategies and skills like this more and become more comfortable with them, you’ll actually start to tweak them to better meet your needs in the classroom. And it’s kind of a continual learning process. It’s not “I hear something once and then do it.” It’s actually going through it and figuring out what works best for you and you might do different things different days, depending on your lesson. So it’s nice to see that you’re trying it.
    LYNN: Right. Absolutely and that, as you mentioned last time, all the advice you’ve given me, you know I’m testing it out and I’m going to see how I adapt it to fit the way I work.
    LYNN: I want my students to know that I’m passionate about science and most importantly that I’m passionate about empowering them with knowledge. That- letting them know that this knowledge will take them somewhere. Allowing students to be curious and problem solve, find that information on their own. That…that is a skill that transfers no matter where or what they do in life.

School Details

Jhs 88 Peter Rouget
544 7th Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11215
Population: 1275

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greatschools

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Lynn Shon
Science / 7 / Teacher
Christine Royce
Science / Other

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