Who doesn’t like free food?

Only knuckleheads.

Short post here because I’ve got a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it. Just spent the last two days at the James Noyce Midwest Regional Conference in Indianapolis with two pre-service science teachers at UC with me and our advisor.

And there was a lot of free food. I feel pretty fat.

The Noyce Scholarship seeks get more people into the STEM education field in high needs school districts (mostly urban and rural). I was fortunate enough to be one of the recipients of this scholarship. So I was at a conference for all Noyce Scholars. I have a lot of notes from the conference, and I’ll communicate more of my thoughts on it later, but one thing that I took away was from a session on the last day that made me feel a little better about how that lesson I wrote about in my last post went.

I mean, I was already feeling better just because of how well classes have gone since then, but it was still a frustrating (but enlightening) experience. In the main session on the last day, Jeff Marshall from Clemson University spoke about EQUIP and inquiry in the classroom. EQUIP stands for Electronic Quality of Inquiry Protocol which I don’t think is exactly the most relevant or descriptive acronym, but Dr. Marshall gave us a great rubric with four levels of four different areas of inquiry: Instruction, Discourse, Assessment, and Curriculum. The whole talk was great, but what made me feel better about the lesson I gave (which was inquiry based) was this:

“If students have only seen Level 1 [of inquiry lessons defined by EQUIP] then they won’t know what do do with 3 or 4.”

I don’t know if my inquiry lesson was so good to say it was a 4, but looking at the rubric, I would say it was a high 2 or a low 3. Part of the reason I flopped so badly the first time was that my students weren’t used to the kind of lesson I gave them. There were still a lot of classroom management problems that bell that are all on me, but it makes sense that I cannot expect my students to suddenly know what I want them do.

I’ll write more on the conference later. There was some good and some not so good there, but overall I feel I benefited from my first professional development conference. Hopefully I can find a time to write it when I don’t feel so rushed, because lately I have felt that I haven’t taken enough time to really craft my blog posts and communicate clearly and effectively. I just kinda spit everything out at once.