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  • Michelle Brown

Hace, Habla, y Escribe: Science Sense-making During Covid

Science sensemaking collaborations do not need to stop during remote instruction! 2nd-grade teacher, Lori Zimmerman, and Science 20/20 collaborator, Michelle Brown are engaging students in a long-term science investigation through asynchronous science lessons. We introduced students to a puzzling and intriguing phenomenon: microwaving Ivory Soap. Before the Thanksgiving break, families picked up packets that included materials to observe and microwave Ivory Soap, as well as a composition book to record notes in. Students who did not have a microwave were able to watch a video of the phenomenon. Families and students were given a handout [ file/d/1E0vdGXpW8tnCl_rs4pZgFNscNS4wKT5L/view?usp=sharing] which explains two parts of the activity: describing the soap and its properties aligning with 2nd-grade NGSS standards and then describing what happened to the soap when it was microwaved. Embedded in this take-home science sensemaking lesson are times to “Do” or “Hace” science with a family member, and to “Talk” or “Habla” with family members about what students were noticing and wondering. Lastly, we tie literacy components into the process by asking students to write and draw pictures in their notebooks, which they will share with their class the following week. Below are samples of a 2nd-grade student’s writing.

[Picture 1 of a student’s work] [Picture 2 of a student’s work]

These take-home assignments provide space for teachers to learn more about the student from a family perspective. This assignment asks families to share what they want us to know about their children and how they learn. Although it can be challenging to teach science remotely, providing asynchronous take-home learning opportunities can extend science sensemaking into the home, and create opportunities for deeper connections between families and schools.

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