The topic for science in class at the moment is Earth, Sun & Moon. The children the display is aimed at are Year 5 and Year 6, included within the class are 1 child with a statement of Special Educational Needs, 3 further children on School Action plus, 4 on School Action and a further 18 mixed ability children. Within this topic the children are expected to cover the following objectives; a. That the Sun, Earth and Moon are approximately spherical b. How the position of the Sun appears to change during the day, and how shadows change as this happens c. How day and night are related to the spin of the earth on its own axis d.
That the Earth orbits the Sun once a year, and that the Moon takes approximately 28 days to orbit the Earth (Programme of study – National Curriculum 2000)Through the display the intention was to build on the children’s previous knowledge of light, dark and shadows, which they were expected to cover during year 3 and year 4 in ScI, Sc4, 3a and b. Using the display for the different ability ranges the objective was to help those with lower ability begin to recognise the movement of the earth, creating light, dark and shadows throughout the day, moving onto the movement of the sun throughout the day, from there the children would be led further into the programme of study dependent upon their responses. As the ability of the children increase so could their involvement and interaction with the display. The display is used, as an extension of their class work, a visual reminder, which would also eventually incorporate some of the work the children would do in class throughout the topic.The display would become a useful revision tool for the year 6 who are sitting their STA’s in May, also as a form of assessment for the teacher to help guide her further teaching in this area in order to help any misconceptions, addressing them before the onset of the STA’s. Those children showing a particular interest could also look at the rest of the solar system and how the movement of the planets affect the temperature and seasons this would only form a small part of the display as this will be covered in Year 7, further research would be encouraged with the information given for books and websites being displayed.
The area the display covered was not ideal due to lack of table area large enough for practical equipment, therefore books needed to be attached to the display as did other items, this made them accessible to the children.The introduction of the subject in class was through a range of books, the children each had chance to search for books In the library relating to the topic during library lesson. Through a range of questions on the display the children were asked to investigate and jot down which of the answers they were able to discover, these questions were taken from the programme of study as the learning objectives. The concept cartoons were used as a form of assessment, each child being given one and some laminated and put up on the display with a marker pen. The children found these less intimidating than a question/answer session often used at the beginning of the session to gain knowledge of what the children already know.
The teacher can then take these ideas into account in developing the lesson in the most appropriate way. Meanwhile the learners have the opportunity to engage in discussion and debate about their ideas, so becoming more aware of their ideas and recognising the purpose of further enquiry. In this way assessment can become a valuable and purposeful part of the learning process. Concept Cartoons In Science education 2000 page 15/16The class teacher encouraged making use of the display as a form of help over the following sessions on this topic she also informed the children their work might be going onto the display. Using familiar objects to represent the Earth, Sun and Moon helped to consolidate their knowledge regarding the shape since familiar objects were used to represent them.
Through open questioning I was able to see that all the children recognised that they were all spheres, some were able to give an example of how we know that the Earth is a sphere