Pseudo Day 122 – Natural Fluid Systems

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Science 8 – May 14

Students learned about fluid systems today, both constructed and natural.  I had the kids work in groups and create GIST summaries.  For gist summaries I usually have the kids summarize a paragraph or short section of text using exactly 20 words.  The idea is that it forces the kids to pick out the really important parts of the text and be clear on definitions and context.

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Day 76: EM Spectrum

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Science 8 – Today the class learned about different types of electromagnetic radiation.  Students were split into groups of 3 or 4, and each group was assigned a spectrum to learn about: radio, microwaves, infrared, visible, ultraviolet, x-ray and gamma rays.  Students had two main tasks.  First, they summarized the information in the textbook using a 20 word GIST.  The idea with the gist is that the text is re-written using exactly 20 words. The reason for using a gist is to promote close reading and determining the most important parts of a section of text.  It forces the students to think critically about the text rather than blindly copying words from the textbook to a notebook.

Their second task was to prepare a whiteboard in order to present their findings to the rest of the class.  The whiteboards were completed with varying degrees of success. However, most students learned from the presentations: both the content and with improving presentations.

After class I took the GISTS and copied them to give back to the students.  These gists can help serve as reference material for the students.

Day 52: GIST Readings

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Science 8 – Students were introduced to the GIST summary literacy tool today.  The idea is that for each paragraph or section of text, the student summarizes the main ideas using exactly 20 words.  This helps the students focus on what is really important, as well as requiring them to find out what each new word means.  The need to summarize forces the students to not guess at the definition of new words.  Grammar gets a little wonky, but that’s totally ok.  The importance is in comprehension, not in the re-writing.