The Top 5 ‘Aha Moments’ from Our 3D Learning Webinar on Making Thinking Visible
Quick Take: The first session of our 5-part webinar series, Snapshot Webinars on 3-Dimensional Learning to Ignite Your Science Classroom, was filled with transformative insights that can enhance teaching methods and boost student learning outcomes. It explored strategies for 'Making Thinking Visible' in students, focusing on methods to help students employ writing and drawing for sensemaking.
Have you ever had an 'Aha Moment' - that sudden spark of understanding where everything just falls into place? That's the magical moment we seek to ignite in students in STEM education.
But the Aha Moment is more than just a flicker of comprehension-it's the pulse of creativity and the catalyst for scientific breakthroughs. Aha Moments pave the way for a deeper, more engaging, and more authentic scientific learning experience.
The first session of our 5-part webinar series, Snapshot Webinars on 3-Dimensional Learning to Ignite Your Science Classroom, presented by Rebecca Garelli, a Professional Learning Specialist at Activate Learning, was filled with transformative insights that can enhance teaching methods and boost student learning outcomes. It explored strategies for 'Making Thinking Visible' in students, focusing on methods to help students employ writing and drawing for sensemaking.
The one-hour, interactive webinar was bursting with actionable information, resources, and strategies that teachers can apply in the upcoming school year. The session covered a wide range of topics, all designed to enhance the learning experience in the science classroom, including:
- Reflecting on Student Writing and Drawing
- Sensemaking Task + Structures for Making Thinking Visible
- Driving Question Board (DQB) Jamboard
- Analyzing Patterns in Data + Developing an Initial Models + Explanations
- Reflecting on Student Writing and Drawing
- Reflecting on Instructional Strategies
This sequence was designed to encourage active learning and the application of sensemaking strategies in the context of a scientific phenomenon. It also emphasizes the importance of student writing and drawing as a part of the sensemaking process in science education.
Without further ado, let's dive into the top five Aha Moments from the webinar!
Aha Moment #1: One-Minute in the Alone Zone is Worth a Thousand Words!
The Alone Zone technique shone brightly during the webinar, not merely as a strategy but as an individual journey. It spotlighted the beauty of solo thought - an integral prelude to collaborative exploration, a confidence-booster, a thought-deepener.
The attendees themselves experienced this epiphanic journey, diving into their own Alone Zone exercises, and emerging with insights that reverberated throughout the session. This wasn't just a technique, it was an Aha Moment in action!
Aha Moment #2: We're Smarter Together: The Dynamic Driving Question Board (DQB) Powers Collective Intelligence!In an exciting moment of collaborative exploration, webinar participants brought the Driving Question Board (DQB) to life in a digital format! Their ideas spilled onto a shared Jamboard. They began painting it with a vibrant mosaic of observations and wonderings, and an awe-inspiring DQB took form, mimicking the real-world experience of students creating a DQB in the classroom.
This wasn't just an ordinary board, though. It was filled with the participants' shared curiosity, with their questions fueling deeper investigations into the phenomenon they were investigating. The realization hit them all at once - this DQB was more than a tool. It was the heart of their investigation, the epicenter of their shared curiosity, and the catalyst for a more profound understanding of the phenomenon.
Aha Moment #3: Our Differences Can Unite Us: Building Inclusive Classrooms with Native Languages in Initial Models!
Imagine a classroom where every voice is heard, where language barriers are shattered, and where learning experiences are enriched by diversity. During the webinar, one powerful revelation underscored the potency of this ideal: the integration of native languages in initial ungraded models as a method of encouraging participation from ESL students.
Rebecca, highlighting the strength of this innovative approach, explained its vital role in carving out an inclusive learning atmosphere. This isn't just an educational trend; it's a seismic shift that morphs classrooms into inclusive, nurturing hotbeds of diverse learning. By inviting students to engage using their native languages in their initial, ungraded models, we're not just opening the doors to participation but also facilitating a sense of belonging.
Aha Moment #4: It Starts By Letting Go: Shifting the Power of Ownership to Students!
And then it all clicked! Towards the end of the webinar, as participants took a step back to reflect on student writing and drawing in science, it was like watching pieces of a puzzle come together. It became clear that these weren't just exercises - they were opportunities, golden tickets for the students to express their understanding and navigate the intricacies of scientific concepts.
Through their writing and drawings, every stroke, every word, was a testament to their evolving comprehension, facilitating student-led investigations and giving students ownership of their learning journey. Teachers act as facilitators in the learning journey. This is the promise and power of Three Dimensional Learning. And as educators, being able to witness these shifts, these Aha Moments in the student's sensemaking tasks, was nothing short of a revelation!
Aha Moment #5: The Moment of Transference: From Webinar Insights to Classroom Triumphs!
Imagine carrying the sparks of revelation from a webinar straight into your classroom-unleashing the power of newly learned strategies on an eager sea of young minds in the new school year. This was the confident anticipation expressed by many participants towards the end of our session. Brimming with fresh insights and ready-to-deploy resources, they looked forward to transforming their classrooms into dynamic hubs of active learning and creativity.
The question was no longer, 'Will these strategies work?' but rather, 'Just how amazing will it be when they do?' The support network was already in place, connecting passionate teachers and offering a platform for continued professional learning through upcoming webinars with Activate Learning.
There's More to Come!
If you missed this first webinar, don't worry; we've got you covered. Watch the webinar recording below, download the awesome resources Rebecca shared HERE. And register for upcoming webinar sessions in this series HERE to catch the Aha Moments for your learning journey! 🚀
[Header Photo Credit: 7th grade IQWST students using light boxes and the Alone Zone to gather evidence to support their claims. CREDIT: @mcgarigle_nbc/Twitter]
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