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5E Science Lesson Reflection


1. What aspects of your lesson were implemented differently than you planned? Why
did that happen?
There are two aspects of the lesson that didnt go exactly as I had planned, and those
aspects were the Engage portion and the amount of time I spent at each station. I planned
on spending at least five minutes engaging the students by reviewing the three types of
rocks and what properties can be used to classify rocks. I was hoping that students would
actively participate in answering the questions, and I was also hoping they would have
some misconceptions so that they could have more to explore in the stations. I didnt
realize before I taught this lesson how much exposure the students already had to the
subject matter, so when I asked the questions, the students were able to answer them all
perfectly in a little over a minute. While this should be considered a good thing because it
meant the students were paying attention in class and that we had more time for the
stations, I was afraid that the students wouldnt have much to explore in the stations
because they already knew so much. I had also planned to spend an equal amount of time
at each station after I had introduced the stations to the students, but the station with the
dilute hydrochloric acid was particularly difficult for students, so I had to spend most of
my time at that station every time the stations switched. The issue was that the students
wanted to just drop the acid on all of the rocks instead of reading the directions to figure
out which one to drop it on. I repeatedly had to tell the students to read the directions, and
guide them through the directions because the students thought they were confusing. It
was a bit frustrating because it meant that the other stations were going unsupervised, but
I would prefer that to having major mishaps with the acid.

2. If you were going to teach this lesson to the same group of students, what would you
do differently? Why? What would you do the same? Why?
If I were to teach this lesson to the same group of students, I wouldnt have an opening
question for them to write down because they already knew the answer, and having them
write it down wasted a bit of time. I would still ask the question, but I would do so
verbally so as to waste as little time as possible. I would also not spend as much time
reading through each step in the directions with them because I know now that they are
smart and capable, but prefer to be lazy. If I had chosen to let them figure out the
instructions instead of walking through the instructions with them they would have been
fine, but they wanted the attention I gave them, and they didnt want to think through
things on their own. I would keep the stations and directions the same because each
stations activity took about the same amount of time, and the students worked at a pretty
even pace, so there wasnt a situation where a group was done and waiting to go to
another station while all of the other stations were full. When the students were on-task
and focused, they enjoyed the tasks at the stations and seemed to be learning a lot.

3. What surprised you in your lesson?

The main thing that surprised me in my lesson was how easily the students transitioned
from one station to another. When I first planned this lesson, I was dreading the parts
when the students had to switch stations because I figured there would be absolute chaos,
and it would take a while for the students to get settled in their new stations. I was
especially worried because I decided that instead of having all of the stations switch at
once, I would let students switch when two or more stations that they had not been to
were open, and have the groups at those stations switch on their own. I figured it was a
risky idea because there was a good chance many stations would free up at once and
students would fight over stations, but to my surprise, that never happened. The students
were very quick and respectful when it came to switching stations, and if more than one
group wanted one, one of the groups went to another open station. Once students sat
down at a station, they got to work right away and didnt try to distract other groups. I
dont know if they behaved this well because their teacher was observing, but I was just
completely taken aback by how smoothly the transitions went.

4. Describe an instance or particular encounter that comes to mind. Why did you pick
that instance? What is so perplexing about that particular moment?
One instance that comes to mind occurred at a station where the students were supposed
to be checking the cleavage and fracture of rocks. As I went to check on the groups
progress, one of the girls at the station said that some of the rocks had better streak than
others. This came to mind because at first I was slightly annoyed that this girl was
checking the streak of these rocks when the directions clearly said to check for the
cleavage and fracture. I didnt know if she had just read the wrong directions, or was
doing her own thing, but the fact that she was checking the streak without a streak plate
was confusing to me. Even though it was a bit perplexing and frustrating, I later came to
realize that she was simply applying what she learned at another station to her current
task. It turned out that she had already checked the cleavage and fracture, and was just
curious about the rocks other properties. Although she seemed to not be following
directions, she was actually extending her learning, and that was pretty cool to see.

5. What connections can you make to your lesson today from your coursework, the
literature, and any previous lessons or experiences?
Having the experience of a science stations lesson in my Science Methods course prior to
actually teaching the science stations lesson really helped me. In the methods course we
talked about strategies to use when teaching stations that relate to time and classroom
management, number of stations, complexity of stations, etc. When I was planning this
lesson, I definitely referred to the notes I took in class about the best ways to approach
teaching a stations lesson. The biggest consideration I had to make was figuring out how
much time to give each station. After the first day of stations in my methods course where
we didnt have enough time, I learned to be flexible about the time limits. Through
implementing this lesson, I also discovered that what my professors have said about the
Explore being the bulkiest portion of the 5E lesson plan is definitely true. By the time we
finished Explore there was no time for Explain or Elaborate, so I just had to evaluate the
work they did during Explore. Time management strategies are the biggest connections I
made from this lesson to what I have learned in my courses.


1. To what extent did the students learn what was intended? How do you know?
Aside from time being an issue, the students learned the majority of what it was intended
for them to learn. I know this because I walked around and saw that they were correctly
identifying rocks after reading the directions, and they thoroughly answered the questions
at each station.
As part of your answer, please indicate:
a. In what ways were your teaching methods effective? How do you know?
I could tell that my teaching methods were effective because when I asked questions I would
praise the answers the students gave, even if they werent correct. By doing that, more and
more students became involved in answering questions, and more of the class participated in
the discussion. As I went around to each station, I would walk through some of the instructions
with the students, and the students followed the instructions exactly as I gave them and
independently continued working once I left them. Even though there were some issues with
excessive talking, the students listened to what I said and were eager to learn because I was
enthusiastic about teaching.
b. In what ways were your activities effective? How do you know?
My activities were effective to the extent that they allowed the students to apply the
knowledge they already had about rock properties to physical rocks themselves. Students
knew about the hardness of rocks, but one activity enabled them to test the hardness of rocks
and classify rocks based on their hardness. My activities were also effective because they kept
the class engaged and occupied (for the most part).
c. In what ways were the instructional materials effective?
My instructional materials were mainly effective in keeping the students engaged in
interesting. Most of the students had never worked with streak plates or acid, so they had fun
discovering what some of the materials were and how they could be used to identify rocks.
Luckily the majority of the students knew not to play around with the materials, but there were
a few students who played anyway, which was frustrating.
d. How did any special considerations of accommodations affect the lesson?
Surprisingly I didnt really have to make any accommodations for this lesson. None of the
students were English Language Learners, and none had disabilities. Since it was a higher
performing class I did push them to answer all of the questions at the stations, and I was a little
bit lenient towards students who needed to move around a bit to get focused (as long as they
werent distracting). Other than those little considerations, I really didnt have to plan any

2. Identify an individual or group of students who had difficulty in todays lesson. How do
you account for this performance? How will you help this (these) student(s) achieve the
learning objectives?
There was really only one student who I constantly had to keep an eye on and talk to about
staying on task. The teacher warned me about him because he consistently gets into trouble, but I
was particularly worried about him for this lesson because I didnt want him playing around with
the acid. I first told him to go sit at a station that he hasnt done yet. I thought that he understood
that he should stay with the people at the station, and just rotate with them. Apparently he didnt
understand, because 2 minutes later another group was complaining that he suddenly joined their
group. Once I got him in the right group I went around to other stations for a while only to come
back and see that he had tested the streak of graphite too many times and had gotten all of the
materials and his hands covered in graphite. I told him to go wash his hands and tell the teacher
what he had done. As he did so, his group members told me he hadnt contributed anything to the
lesson, other than making a mess. I dont know why he refused to follow directions or do the
right thing, but I hated to think that I would constantly have to monitor him. I suppose I could
help him achieve the objective by giving him a partner who will hold him accountable so that I
can be assured that he will be on task and so that I dont have to be with him all the time, which
wouldnt be fair for the other students.

3.Identify an individual or group of students who did especially well in this lesson today.
How do you account for this performance?
There was one group of girls who stayed on task the whole time and didnt need really any
direction from me. They are well behaved normally, but I think they did particularly well during
this lesson because they were actually interested in the types and properties of rocks. They were
fascinated by all of the materials and activities, and loved learning about the different types of
rocks. This proved to me that giving students assignments that interest them will really help
them stay engaged and get work done.

4. In what ways did you access prior knowledge? What misconceptions were revealed
during this lesson?
I accessed prior knowledge at the beginning of the lesson having the students write down the
three types of rocks and the properties that can be tested when working with rocks. The
students already had access to the answers of these questions, so surprisingly they didnt have
any misconceptions. If I had known that they already knew the answers I would have looked
into other questions I could ask them that would have been slightly more challenging for them.

5. Consider the extent to which you provided opportunities for your students to do
science. What process skills/practices were embedded and discussed in the lesson?
The students only had 45 minutes for science, so I dedicated the majority of the time to stations
where students could actually do science. The students had to read carefully to make sure they
didnt make mistakes, and they had to make a lot of observations about the rocks and minerals.
The students were able to predict which rocks they thought belonged to certain categories, and
they were able to test their predictions by rubbing rocks against a streak plate, dropping acid on
rocks, rubbing rocks against other rocks, and carefully observing fracture patterns. The whole
time students were able to discover and go through the scientific process. The main skills
embedded in this lesson were patience and careful observation. Students had to be patient and
not just mess with all of the materials right away, and they had to pay careful attention to the
directions so as to make the right classifications.
6. Analyze the explain phase. To what extent were the students sharing discoveries
from their exploration? Consider your scientific explanations. Were you accurate in
your discussions of science content? Were you precise in your use of vocabulary?
Did you encourage precision in students use of vocabulary? Did you support
student accuracy (in other words, did you correctly identify student work as
accurate or inaccurate)? This does not mean that you necessarily told a student they
were wrong, but that you recognized their lack of accuracy and took steps to
support their further learning.
Unfortunately, we were not able to get to the explain phase of this lesson because the
lesson was only 45 minutes, and the majority of the time the students were interacting
with materials in the explore phase. The students had a lot of background knowledge
from their teacher about the types of rocks and the properties of rocks, so this lesson was
a chance for them to apply their prior knowledge in more of a hands-on setting. In the
engage portion I was intentional about using proper vocabulary when referring to the
types of rocks (igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic), and I informally assessed the
students knowledge of proper terms. To my surprise, they already knew the proper terms,
and were mainly excited to get to the explore phase.

7. Consider how science was represented in the class. What explicit connections were
made to the nature of science?
The content of this lesson really reflected the work scientists do every day out in the
field. Many scientists go out and look for rocks, and once they have collected rocks they
make observations and test the properties of the rocks in order to classify them. While the
students didnt collect the rocks from todays lesson, they were able to see how scientists
who do collect rocks make observations and perform tests on the rocks. It was noted
during todays lesson that science is very methodical and precise, so the students were
told to write down their observations and keep track of the discoveries they made.
Students learned how to make scientific predictions, observations, and inferences, and
they learned that sometimes you have to more than just observe to make discoveries.
Students asked how the hardness scale was developed and how rocks were named, and
although I didnt have the exact answers I was able to say that the scientist who created
the scale had to be very methodical in his work, and he made many observational
breakthroughs, which is why the scale was named after him. Overall I could tell the
students really enjoyed observing and being able to work in a hands-on capacity during
this lesson.