J came up with her own question. She’s amazing like that – a natural inquirer who loves to dig deep into a topic. She tells me, “I want to know what can light travel through and what can it not travel through.” I scribble on my anecdotal notes, “develops own question to explore with scientific method.”
She uses the Scientific Method Guide to help her make a plan and formulate a hypothesis, “light will travel through most things.” Interested in J’s question, A comes along and asks to join. While I set up the light box, the two girls collect materials to test with.
Holding up objects to the light, these two scientists are engaged, thinking, problem-solving and reflecting. With each material, they add new observations to their guide sheet.
I sense they are ready for some language to describe what they are observing and ring the musical triangle. “Pause for Learning,” I announce. Within seconds I have the eyes, ears, hands and brains of a classroom of third graders.
I ask the girls to separate the materials into two groups, things that light can travel through and things that light cannot travel through. I give them the word opaque.
We revisit the pile of objects that light can travel through. J immediately notices that light can travel completely through some things – they are “see-through.” I give her the word transparent.
What about the last group, which light can travel a little bit through? I give them the word translucent.
The “Pause for Learning” is over, and the Magical Minds dissipate around the room, refocusing their attentions to their own inquiries. I stick our new “science words” up on our “inquiry wall.” They will be revisited in days to come.
When the session is almost at an end, and J is putting things away, she catches my attention. “You know Ms. M, my hypothethingy was wrong. Light doesn’t travel through most things. Most things are…” There is a pause while she looks for the right word on our inquiry wall. “Most things are opaque.” I remind her, trying to silence the sound of my heart bursting with joy, to write this insight down as her conclusion.
- Investigating Light: Reflection (teachingmahollitz.wordpress.com)
- Child-Centered Inquiry with Guidance (teachingmahollitz.wordpress.com)