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Showing Keri Dowdy

First Place

3-5 | Science & Tech | Hands on activities

Station None in None

My Classroom Innovation

"Scientific Surgery" - Over the weekend, I transformed our classroom into a makeshift "emergency" room. Students arrived to discover that they were going to be doctors for the day. However, not just any kind of doctor; but food chain surgeons. Student doctors donned in masks, gloves, stethoscopes and scrubs worked in teams of five to mend a broken food chain and then place it in appropriate sequence. I developed this idea because I believe all students can learn to high levels when participating in activities that engage and interest them. Immersion activities such as this one excite the kids and create an environment where the kids are also eager to see what is coming next. All 51 of my fourth graders can successfully sort a food chain in the correct sequence due to this “out of the box” activity. Students need to be given the chance to learn in a way that is creative and innovative to them. I look for scenarios and settings (such as an emergency room) that are familiar and interesting to the kids. My next immersion activity in the works is a forensic themed activity where “someone” is going to come in and steal our classroom mascot --Very exciting!

How Students were Engaged

All of my students were 100% authentically engaged because the activity was hands on and they all had a job to complete. The students’ expressions, comments and actions were evidence of higher order thinking and deep engagement. "I never knew studying the food chain would be this much fun," commented a 4th grade student. All students completed their task successfully as assessed by my self created rubric and journal entries. The students were on task and interested in the topic of a forest food chain only with a surgery twist on it.

PBS Program/Content Used