So Many Fossils, So Little Time!

May 24, 2010 at 1:48 PM Leave a comment

“Last week we learned about evolution and when and where things came onto the world. I thought it was crazy that the Earth was around for sooo long before the mammals came onto the world. Also I wonder what caused the “explosion of life”. From one of the girls. I wonder the same thing.

Lots of kids remembered the chicken wing as the big learning of last week. But WHAT did they learn from it? Balancing coolness with actual learning is always a trick.

Less excitement about dusty old fossils than I expected though. I think a case of ‘not as good as on TV’. Unlike David Attenborough, we don’t have an entire fish appear before us on a little hike down the Grand Canyon. We are under time pressure with the end of the year bearing down hard upon us, so no cool find-the-buried-fossil activities, just the trash theory of superposition – the longer you accidentally threw away your cell phone, the deeper it’s buried. Hoping no one realized after emptying the cat litter.

Passed around ammonites. What are they a bit like? Exactly like? Infer and then show a pic of nautilus. Review terms objective, qualitative, quantitative and inference. Then STOP talking and let them get to it!

They are drawing and inferring information about some fairly lame fossils – very difficult to resource this unit. We have a kit from Lab-Aids – their Science and Life Issues curriculum Evolution unit. 

Without some kind of reference, they have no idea what they are drawing, it’s just confusing and frustrating. So I have an ancient, old fashioned tome about fossils found in a back shelf of the library filled with great line drawings and book marked for our particular ones. Needed to have thought this out ahead a bit better. Sigh. Late in the year when being lazy makes my own life harder.

At least with the timeline of life on earth up by now, they have some reference for when the fossils might have formed. And actually, they do seem pretty engaged, as I’m looking around class…

Management discovery –  are you sitting down? It’s been making a big difference to the friendliness of classes when I A. Wander around and chat with kids individually about their work. B. Say good-bye and wish them a good day to several kids by name. I know. Duh.

Entry filed under: Class Management, Evolution. Tags: , , , .

The Evolving Lesson Plan: Events, Eras and Extinctions First TAP Posters Coming in – the home stretch.

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