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Analysis of Teacher Video

The teacher I observed in the video used continual support throughout her lesson.  The lesson began with a review of the previous material they had covered.  This served as a great starting point because it evaluated whether the students were prepared to move on to the new topic.  While discussing the scientific method, she asked students to elaborate on the responses they gave to attain a deeper understanding of what they knew.  The teacher also modeled the correct format for a lab write-up, providing students with a great visual for learning.  During the experiment, the teacher walked around asking the groups questions and giving them specific pointers. After the experiment was completed, she led a discussion in critiquing their experiments, and addressed changes that should be made for next time.

            The teacher gave some very specific praise and identified what was expected from the students.  Through being very clear and concise, she set the students up for success.  She also encouraged students to think outside the box when she explained that the observations they had made were all important.  She utilized scaffolding during the experiment when she asked question and provided pointers to keep students on task and encouraged deeper thinking.  This method also illustrates the constructivist theory in which students create their knowledge by investigating ideas and connecting them to prior knowledge.  

            Group activities are important because they emphasize the individuals taking responsibility for their work.  Also, it is seldom that people are expected to work individually.  The advantage to random grouping is that individuals focus better when they work with people that they do not know.  This way they are not distracted by chatting or common interests.  The disadvantage to working in groups is that often the work can fall to one or two individuals.  This results in some students who become knowledgeable while others do not.  Factors that should be taken into consideration when dividing students into groups are: the group size, individual personalities and whether individuals should take on certain roles in the activity.   

            Inquiry-based science is beneficial because it allows students to develop their own knowledge with the support of the teacher.  Students become scientists within the classroom and learn how to make observations and connections to real life.  This is important because it places students in charge of their learning.  Inquiry-based science is also important because it emphasizes the importance of students investigating the answers to problems opposed to being given answers by the teacher. 

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Written November 28th, 2006