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Dr. Christie Classes: EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCES

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Course Syllabus

Description | Learning Outcomes | Texts and Materials | Course Format
Policies | Assignments | Schedule | Evaluation

Get Down to Earth (or Not): Exploring Earth and Space Sciences
Course Description:

Professors: Dr. Alice Christie and Dr. Helen Padgett

alice.christie@asu.edu

helen.padgett@asu.edu


Face-to-Face Class Hours:
Four Friday Evenings from 5 – 8 PM: February 26, March 12, March 26, and April 16

Four Saturdays from 9 AM – 4 PM: February 27, March 13, March 27, and April 17
Office Hours by Appointment

 

Get Down to Earth (or Not): Exploring Earth and Space Sciences focuses on understanding (a) the Earth, its history, composition, and formative processes, (b) the solar system, and (c) the regularities of the interrelated systems of the natural world. This course explores basic laws, theories, and models that explain the world from both historical and modern perspectives. Students will explore (a) how data-gathering and observation technologies are used to explore the solar system and beyond, (b) the relationship among earthquakes, volcanoes, mid-ocean ridges, and deep-sea trenches, and (c) the impact humans have on the Earth and its environment. The course is designed to teach analytical thinking in earth and space exploration so that teachers and students can make informed decisions about issues affecting our planet. Participants will develop strategies needed for rigorous inquiry, problem solving, and visual representations of data. Finally, they will discover pedagogies for enhancing scientific thinking and rigor in elementary and secondary students.

 

This course will provide hands-on experiences in collecting data through systematic investigations, analyzing/interpreting data, and forming hypotheses, which - in turn - will lead to new questions. It focuses on conceptual learning, interactive science lessons, and innovative 3D simulations provided by Adaptive Curriculum.

 


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Student Learning Outcomes

An important goal of this course is for students to be empowered by technologies and increased understandings of scientific principles to enhance instruction in their classrooms. Students should gain a solid understanding of the many emerging ways technology can be used to engage students more deeply in science concepts in their classrooms. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an ability to use a wide variety of hardware, software, and Internet-based tools including Adaptive Curriculum Activity Objects that are applicable for science within elementary or secondary classrooms.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of exploratory learning as facilitated by Adaptive Curriculum electronic simulations and electronic manipulatives.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of national and state Earth and Space Science Standards and their alignment to units of study.
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop a unit of study on a topic specified in the AZ Earth and Space Science Standards and facilitated by electronic simulations and electronic manipulatives.
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop blog posts on teaching Earth and Space concepts to K-12 students that specify a curricular concept, grade level, tools needed. web resources, and strategy to be used.
  • Demonstrate the ability to contribute to an online environment, Teach AZ Science, that promotes the teaching of science in Arizona. Participants will contribute (1) strategies used in K-12 classrooms that are aligned with AZ Science Standards, and (2) links to Web resources (videos, photos, informational sites, interactive activities or lessons, etc.) that:
    • help teachers gain content area knowledge
    • teach science in a way that is more engaging and empowering for K-12 learners
  • Demonstrate the ability to use GPS Receivers to locate EduCaches hidden on the university campus
  • Demonstrate the ability to incorporate EduCaching in their standards-based unit of study.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use GoogleMaps to create an earth- or space-tour that will be incorporated into their standards-based unit of study.
  • Demonstrate improved content area knowledge in Earth and Space Sciences
  • Process Learning Outcomes
    • Demonstrate an ability to collect, evaluate, synthesize, and share real-world data relevant to curricula in elementary or secondary education
    • Demonstrate an ability to solve problems, evaluate the efficacy of possible solutions, and discuss strategies and processes needed for effective problem solving
    • Demonstrate an ability to use a variety of pedagogical strategies to enhance the teaching of science to elementary or secondary students
    • Demonstrate improved efficacy of teaching science
    • Deal effectively with the frustrations that are inherent in using technologies

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Required Texts
  • Online Readings
  • One textbook to be chosen by each student during the first class meeting
  • A Flash drive to store files
  • Notebook for recording notes during demonstrations and exploration
Required Materials

 

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Course Format

Students will participate in an action-oriented classroom which will feature illustrated lecture, discussion, demonstration, hands-on activities and presentations, and project presentations. The emphasis will be on doing rather than talking about technology and science - and their uses in educational settings.

Additional lab time beyond the scheduled course hours will be necessary to fulfill the course requirements. Your assignments provide you with what I consider to be a minimum amount of hands-on time. The more you use and experiment with technology and science, the richer your learning experience will be.

Assignments should be submitted electronically by the beginning of the class period. All submitted papers should be consistent with upper division university writing; that is, university level grammar, correct spelling, and logical, clear organization.

 

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Class Policies

Attendance and Participation: Since this class is highly participatory, attendance and a high level of participation are mandatory. Students are responsible for attending all face-to-face classes and for participating in all online classes.

 

Late Arrival to Class: Classes are carefully planned to maximize learning. Late arrivals disrupt class and reduce learning.

Cell Phones and Pagers: Please turn OFF all cell phones and pagers during face-to-face classes.

Collaborative vs. Cheating
: Cooperative or collaborative learning is encouraged! However, there is a fine line between collaboration and cheating. Turning in the work of another person is considered cheating and offenders are subject to disciplinary action.

Disabilities: If you have a disability, please tell me at the beginning of the semester. I will do all we can to enhance your learning experience.

 

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Course Assignments

As you will see, there are a limited number of large assignments with a great deal of connection between each of the assignments. Each is designed to provide you with the tools and foundational knowledge to complete the assignment that follows it. As such, all assignments are designed to provide a comprehensive learning experience with all elements intertwined.

  1. Readings and Reading Sharing (10%)

    Students will read a textbook of their choice from a group of texts selected by Drs. Christie and Padgett. Students will share with their peers, using a multimedia tool of their choice, what they discovered about (a) science and (b) themselves as scientists.

    Student will also read three brief articles about constructivism and science teaching found at Online Readings.

  2. Content Lessons (20%)

    Students will complete twenty-two online Earth and Space Science lessons. Students will choose one lesson from each of eleven module of the National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) and one Adaptive Curriculum Activity Object from each module, thus demonstrating their ability to use exploratory learning as facilitated by electronic simulations and electronic manipulatives.

    Each module contains three or more Science Objects or Activity Objects that are online, interactive, inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach.

    Students will share their new knowledge with their peers through demonstrations or presentations to the class AND will integrate this content into their Science Unit (see Assignment # 3 below).

    Content Lessons

  3. Earth or Space Science Unit (30%)

    Students will create a 3- to 4-week science unit in which they:

    • provide an Essential/Guiding Question for the unit
    • provide a timeline for the unit
    • align unit objectives with AZ K-12 Earth and Space Standards
    • integrate 2-3 Adaptive Curriculum Activity Objects from those they completed in Assignment 2 above
    • integrate a GPS/EduCaching Activity, thus demonstrating the ability to use GPS Receivers to hide and locate EduCaches hidden on their school campus
    • integrate a GoogleMap Activity, thus using real-world data and demonstrating the ability to use GoogleMaps to create an earth- or space-tour within a standards-based unit of study
    • incorporate links to online resources
    • involve their K-12 students in hands-on activities, problem solving, and higher-order thinking
  4. Sample Unit: Earthquakes

  5. Standards-Based Wiki Resource (20%)

    Students will contribute to and collectively write a wiki resource entitled Teach AZ Science during the online segment on our class, thus demonstrating the ability to contribute to an online environment that promotes the teaching of science in Arizona. Students will contribute (1) strategies used in K-12 classrooms that are aligned with AZ Science Standards, and (2) links to Web resources (videos, photos, informational sites, interactive activities or lessons, etc.) that help teachers gain content area knowledge, and teach science in a way that is more engaging and empowering for K-12 learners
  6. Teaching and Learning About Earth and Space Blog: (10%)

    Students will contribute at least four times to a blog entitled Teaching and Learning About Earth and Space, thus demonstrating the ability
    to post entries to a blog, anddevelop a strategy for teaching a curricular concept in Earth and Space Science at a specific grade level, identifying tools needed, and web resources used.
  7. Reflections and Participation (10%)

    You will write a 3-page Reflection Paper that speaks of your growth in each area of the course, and specifically answers the questions of (1) how Adaptive Curriculum materials facilitated your instruction in Earth and Space Science; (2) how this course helped develop your personal Earth and Space Science skills; and (3) how you will incorporate the content, skills, and strategies modeled in this course in your classroom.

 

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Course Schedule

Face-to-face classes will be indicated in white, online classes in yellow. All electronic assignments should be submitted on or before their due date.

Date

In Class Activities

Online Activities/
Assignments

Class 1
Friday,
Feb. 26

  • Problem Solving Activity
  • Introductions
  • Review of Syllabus
  • Student Questionnaire
  • Overview of Web Site
  • Adaptive Curriculum Logon and Accounts

Purchase storage media (if needed)

Class # 1 Agenda

Class 2
Saturday
Feb, 27

  • GPS and EduCaching
  • Questions
  • Wiki
  • Blog
  • Sample Unit: Earthquakes
  • Standards

Class # 2 Agenda

Class 3
Friday
March 12



Class 4
Saturday
March 13

Class # 3 Agenda

Class 5
Friday
March 26

 

Class 6
Saturday
March 27

Class # 4 Agenda

Class 8

Friday
April 16

 

Class 9
Saturday
April 17

  • Sharing Units
  • Course and Self Evaluations
  • Focus Groups
  • Celebration

Class # 5 Agenda

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Evaluation

Assignment

% of Effort

Assignment 1: Readings and Readings Sharing

10%

Assignment 2: Content Lessons

20%

Assignment 3: Earth or Space Science Unit

30%

Assignment 4: Standards-Based Wiki Resource

20%

Assignment 5: Teaching and Learning About Earth and Space Blog:

10%

Assignment 6: Reflections and Participation

10%

Total

100%

 

 

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