The Role of The Science Notebook in Our Elementary School Essay

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School Population:

Our elementary school serves a diverse group of about 600 students within the Denver metro area. Currently, we have one document camera that is shared within each grade level, but this technology is in high demand, and often cannot be checked out when needed. With our 21st century learners, the document camera is quickly becoming an essential tool for our science classrooms. Our school expects larger class sizes in 2010-2011. Greater access to the document camera in the science curriculum would aid in the development of higher-level thinking and spontaneous exploration of the physical world.

Integration of the Document Camera:

As our classrooms switch their focus from teacher-led to a more student-led
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Through scaffolding, students will gradually assume the responsibility of developing questions and designing their own investigations for more advanced scientific understanding. Using the document camera will allow them to demonstrate their thinking to others without expending valuable class time for transitions.

Each document camera purchased will be specifically assigned to teachers that teach science regularly. However, the document camera will undoubtedly become integral to other content areas other than science. The integration of the document camera will supplement the effectiveness of previously installed projectors and whiteboards. The document camera will be used to:

• Model scientific thinking
• Closely examine three-dimensional objects (like a microscope!)
• Collect and graph data
• Record movies of demonstrations and experiments
• Create and label diagrams and illustrations.

Teachers will collaborate to formulate grade level expectations for assessing science notebooks. A book study will be established to learn from the books, Science Notebooks: Writing about Inquiry by Brian Campbell and Lori Fulton, and Using Science Notebooks in the Elementary Classrom by Michael Klentschy. Teachers will meet once a month to discuss specific ideas that the book addresses, sharing ideas about integration for the document camera that supports these objectives. Outcomes:

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