Monday, June 13, 2016

Science Mindset: Do you think like a Scientist?

Science Mindset Bulletin Board

I heard a "ting" during my most challenging class today and was reminded that I had yet to check my inbox. So, after the students scurried out the door,  I sat down to check a pile of emails from the day.  Buried under parent concerns/complaints/requests I saw a familiar name.  A student that I had the pleasure of knowing back in 2004 wrote to say thank you for inspiring her to love science.   As she prepared to move to a new city to start her work as a Physician's Assistant, she was reflecting on how her 6th grade science year inspired her love for the science process.  Talk about a Monday MOOD-BOOSTER!  

Regardless of what science content we teach, it is the science process and quest for new knowledge that sticks with our students long term.  I'm sure she doesn't remember individual lessons, games or labs that I worked tirelessly to plan for her class.  She just left 6th grade with a great feeling about learning science, something she said "later influenced my decision to study medicine."

I'm sure you have many students who look back and think about how your class has encouraged them to think like a scientist.  Most will never write, but every once in a while one will as a reminder that what you do matters. 

I just finished working on this bulletin board as a visual reminder that our science minds can grow as we open them to new ideas and perspectives.   I emphasize scientific thinking with my students and have been wanting to create this for some time now.  It is finally finished and has only been up about 2 weeks and there have been so many opportunities to reference it with my students!  

I thought about some common things that my students say and then created a "Science Mindset" version to match each statement. For example...
I used to think........but now I know.

I created a giant brain using a roll of teal green bulletin board paper and then posted each pair of statements together.  Here are a few more close-ups:

"I can't find the answer."  Never heard that one before right?

I created this worksheet with students that goes along with the bulletin board.  I want to be sure that classroom decor serves a purpose that helps drive a positive learning community.  Since this takes up a decent amount of real estate, I think going over with the whole class is definitely worthwhile.  

Thanks for checking out my science mindset bulletin board.  I hope you can use it to help encourage scientific thinking with your students!


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