I am lots of things. I’m a teacher, mother, wife, blogger, public speaker, and even a co-host of a local TV show, but one thing I’m not is a scientist.
So when I was approached to guest blog for “Secret Life” this season, I asked myself, “Why me?” After all, I’m not a scientist and this website is all about science. I’m a teacher, and although I do teach science to my 4th graders, I’m not a “science teacher.” So, if I have no special credentials, why would anyone care what I have to say on a website devoted to scientists? Well, I’m pretty sure I figured it out. I just may represent that “average teacher” who knows just enough science to teach it well and yet is constantly seeking those extra, sometimes random nuggets of engaging instructional support. If that’s you too, then we’re here for you—I’m here for you. Through my posts, I hope to create some valuable conversations and share my class’s journey as each new scientist on “Secret Life” is revealed this season.
Last year when I first introduced “Secret Life” to my students, we had a great time learning about the various disciplines and taking a peek into the secret lives of the profiled subjects. It was a truly unique opportunity for them to videoconference with biochemist, Erika Ebbel, who is also a former beauty queen. And to top it off, my students then revealed their own secret lives in a culminating activity.
This year I plan to take it slowly, spending a little more time on each scientist’s field of study as well as his or her secret life. I’ll always start with an essential question. At this point, with only a few weeks of school behind us, I’ve already asked my students to respond to this one question, “What do scientists do?”
They had to respond on the spot in a brief paragraph and illustration. No research allowed. Their responses (besides being incredibly adorable) will give me insight into their prior experience with science. To take a peek into the fascinating minds of my 4th graders, check back here for my next blog post when I’ll not only share some of their responses, but take you along on our first steps of integrating “Secret Life” into our classroom. Join us—you’ll be glad you did.“What do scientists do?” by one of Lee’s 4th graders, Demetrius T.