Introducing New Material

Sep 5, 2017 | by Janice Smith

While short clips from classrooms are effective for spotlighting specific techniques, when it comes to the structure and flow of a lesson it can be harder to do this without observing a full lesson.  To do this, while also making the most of your time, we’ve created a new Collection in the Mission 100% Video Library that features the four main parts of a MS Science Lesson.  Each clip within the collection has been edited down to show the key components of that portion of the lesson.

Today’s Video of the Week features Jennifer Freeman, an award-winning MS Science teacher at KIPP STRIVE Academy in Atlanta, introducing new material to her 8th grade students.


Things We Love…

  • :10- One thing you’ll notice about Ms. Freeman’s classroom almost immediately is how structured and organized she is.  All students have notebooks, where they paste the notes she has begun for them.  While every teacher has their own approach to guided notes (how much they generate ahead of time vs. require students to create on their own), this structure provides support to students while taking notes, models high quality note taking, and allows a portion of their focus to remain on the content and participation, rather than just writing quickly to keep up.
  • She uses a similar structure every time they’re taking notes, so they know exactly what’s expected.
  • :21- “Let’s get this note party started”.  Never do we hear Ms. Freeman apologizing for the note taking portion of the lesson, or using any language that insinuates this section of the lesson is ‘boring’, or just needs to be ‘gotten through’.
  • :41- Asking a student to read (rather than reading herself), while also taking the extra second to encourage more participation from those she hasn’t heard from yet that lesson.
  • 1:04- Watch her eyes.  While she also circulates the room pretty regularly, even while not circulating she is constantly scanning.
  • 1:19- Immediately puts them to work applying and practicing the word they’ve just learned.  She doesn’t do this just once or twice, she does this five times.
  • 1:45- Before simply giving them the definition of ‘abiotic’, she puts them to work.  They’ve just learned biotic, and if they know the prefix a- they can make an educated guess as to what this word might mean.
  • 2:30- Once learning these two new words, she then presents them with opportunities to immediately practice using something they likely already know/love.
  • 3:00- As 8th graders, they can do more pieces of the transition without explicit instructions.  Here we see them cutting out the notes and pasting it into their notebooks, with little guidance from Ms. Freeman.  It is clear these expectations have been set previously (and likely used every time they are taking notes), and the time in which they are expected to complete it.

From here, feel free to explore the full collection from this lesson that also highlights her Opening, GP & IP as well as Lesson Closing.

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