A Teaching Focus Area

In studying science, students develop various skills such as hypothesizing, investigating, predicting, analysis, and critical and creative thinking in problem-solving processes. They get to work individually or in groups to plan, conduct investigations and experiments, evaluate issues and problems and come up with questions for inquiry and investigation to draw evidence-based conclusions. They are also expected to communicate their findings to others and disseminate the information they have gathered in a scientific manner.Observations were done in a Year 8 science class. There were 22 students in the classroom sitting in rows of two. Four children shared a table. The class was studying a unit on Magnetism and the class session observed is a continuation of discussions on the topic from the day before. The lesson objectives of the teacher included investigation of the strength of a magnet by counting the number of paperclips it can hold. recording data in bar graphs and in the students’ science journal. and opportunities for the students to observe, predict and conclude. The learning strategies she used were pairing off students to think and share their ideas to each other (think-pair-share), actual manipulation and exploration of materials, using of the word wall to remember new words for new concepts, and class discussions spurred by her effective use of questioning.The teacher began the class by asking children to share with their seatmate what they knew about magnets. As pairs began their conversations, the teacher walks around the room to supervise and listen in on what the children are talking about. Once in a while, she would probe the children’s discussions with questions like What is magnetism?, Where is it found?, How do you know?, Do you have something to say about the magnets? These questions give the teacher ideas about what the children already know about the topic.