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Showing Paula Averkamp

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Second Place

6-8 | Science & Tech | Video Production

Station WPNE in Wisconsin

My Classroom Innovation

USE AND MODIFICATION OF A PBS RESOURCE: I enrolled in the PBS TeacherLine course, SCIE 560: "Teaching Earth and Space Science" to prepare for a new teaching assignment at my school. I had never taught Earth Science before. Some of the TeacherLine course sessions involved watching other educators engaging students in projects and activities that required creativity and choice. For some rock cycle lessons I would introduce concepts by showing video clips from Teacher's Domain. My students viewed, "Rock Cycle Animation", and utilized the questions for a class discussion. The animation was a great way to introduce the Law of Conservation of Matter which made an Earth Science-Chemistry connection. TeacherLine Session 5, included a segment called, "Making Large-Scale Phenomena More Tangible". Mark Goldberg facilitated his students as they embarked on a walk through the solar system. I was inspired. I decided to change my perspective and see the opportunity of teaching a new course as an invitation to increase my effectiveness. In Session 2, I developed ideas on ways to incorporate the 5 E Learning Cycle Model to help my students take greater responsibility for their learning. My role in the classroom shifted as I worked on implementing a new student designed project as a culminating activity to our study of the rock cycle. ROCK CYCLE PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Following a period of brainstorming, students were offered a variety of project options such as rock raps, power points, leading a gameshow and making 3-D models to teach the class about the rock cycle. Several groups wrote rock raps and either performed them live or brought in a CD. A couple did powerpoint presentations. Another group did a "Jeopardy" type of game show. SHOWCASED VIDEO: The video showcased involves three students who wrote a rock cycle skit using a cooking show format. They used sandwiches to demonstrate how igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks form. The group videotaped their presentation and uploaded it to YouTube.

How Students were Engaged

THE RESULTS: I encouraged my students to form their own rock cycle project groups so they could work with each other outside of school. I also had the students create their own grading outline so they could determine what would be the important components of their projects. This helped them to organize their information and plan. The 5 E Learning Cycle Model was in full swing! Groups shared their projects with the rest of the class. All of the projects showed gains in student learning. The Rock Cycle Skit posted on YouTube captures how excited the students were about the freedom this project offered. They went above and beyond what I had expected. The class loved watching and sharing projects. Using a project based format increased gains in learning and helped the students to see the rock cycle as an example of how our Earth is dynamic and in flux.

PBS Program/Content Used

PBS TeacherLine