Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Agreement Circle in Science

We are approaching the end of phase one of our matter unit. We did a little check in and there were clearly some misconceptions about what is matter. With the suggestion of Dr. Hanuscin from the MU QuEST program, we held an "Agreement Circle".

How does it work? Students create a circle. The teacher reads a statement. If the students agree with the statement, they move "inside" the circle. Then, they turn to the members that are on the "outside" of the circle and explain (and defend) why the believe the statement is true.  We developed the statements directly from the student "check-in" the day before.

Here are the statements we posed:

  • Everything is matter.
  • Air has mass.
  • Liquid or gasses are matter.
  • Oxygen is matter.
Not only did students think the format was "fun" they probably refined their thinking during the process.  There were a few stragglers that stayed firm in their ideas, but most were able to see the way after talking it through with their peers.

Next step, let's go back and define what is matter by using a Frayer Model that is often used for vocabulary words.