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Resource type Theme Title Teaser Grade Level Name Comments Post date
Learning activities, Field work resources Scientific inquiry Vital Signs Quality Assurance & Peer Review - Updated 2013 Before observations are published to the Vital Signs website and made public, data must undergo a Quality Assurance Check and an optional Peer Review. The Quality Check is a first step in the online review process to ensure that the data entry form is complete, and jives with the Vital Signs site policy. Peer Review is a process the scientific community uses to critique and validate scientists’ work before it is published. A combined Quality Check and Peer Review is the very best way to make sure that a data collector's very best work is available for the Vital Signs community to use. Middle school (grades 6-8) vitalteach 0 2013-05-02
Field work resources Ecosystem health Why are water quality data important? This document gives a quick overview of why scientists pay attention to water quality, and the importance and expected ranges of each of the chemical measurements: temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and salinity.
Middle school (grades 6-8)
High school (grades 9-12)
vitalteach 0 2013-04-27
Rubrics and Assessment Tools, Instructional models Scientific inquiry Collaboration Self-Reflection Assessment Tool How well do you collaboration with your teammates during fieldwork, data entry, and making conclusions about your investigation? Use this tool to reflect on and build your collaboration skills over time. This tool was created with the help of a team of teachers in August 2012. If you use this tool, please share back with the community the ways that you use and modify it. Use the comments section below and/or post your new version back to the curriculum bank. Thanks!
Middle school (grades 6-8)
High school (grades 9-12)
vitalteach 0 2013-04-11
Rubrics and Assessment Tools, Instructional models Scientific inquiry Scientific Argument Assessment Tool How expert is your scientific argument? Use this tool to find out if you are a recruit, novice, intermediate, or expert! Just examine your claim, field notes, and written and photo evidence to answer a few questions. You can also use the tool to as a guide to improving your arguments over time. This tool was created with the help of a team of teachers in August 2012. If you use this tool, please share back with the community the ways that you use and modify it. Use the comments section below and/or post your new version back to the curriculum bank. Thanks!
Middle school (grades 6-8)
High school (grades 9-12)
Professional development
vitalteach 0 2013-03-21
Rubrics and Assessment Tools, Instructional models Scientific inquiry Scientific Observation Assessment Tool How expert are you at making scientific observations? This reflection/ assessment tool can help you figure that out! Just examine your field notes and written evidence and answer a few questions. This tool was created with the help of a team of teachers in August 2012. If you use this tool, please share back with the community the ways that you use and modify it. Use the comments section below and/or post your new version back to the curriculum bank. Thanks!
Middle school (grades 6-8)
High school (grades 9-12)
Professional development
vitalteach 0 2013-03-21
Learning activities Current events, Ecosystems, Invasive species, Scientific inquiry Research Jigsaw: Japanese knotweed This is a jigsaw you can do with students to build knowledge and context for a study focused on Japanese knotweed. The research question driving this jigsaw is: Is there more invasive Japanese knotweed in southern or northern parts of Maine? Rest assured, this jigsaw will work incredibly well with other research questions about Japanese knotweed! In their Jigsaw Teams, students attack these questions, then return to the Fieldwork Teams share what they learned and come up with informed predictions: 1. What's the big deal about knotweed? 2. How do I know it when I see it? 3.
Middle school (grades 6-8)
High school (grades 9-12)
vitalteach 0 2013-03-19
Rubrics and Assessment Tools Scientific inquiry Combined Standard/Numerical Grade Sheet After using the new rubrics offered by Vital Signs for observations, argument, and collaboration, I created several documents to streamline the process for my students. To keep data entry day moving smoothly and to hold each group member accountable, I created a document for data entry. To hold students accountable for a numerical grade (we are not a standards based school), I created a score sheet that also includes an area to score students on Expert, Intermediate, Novice, and Recruit status (without aligning this with their actual numerical grade). Middle school (grades 6-8) Mrs. Tate 1 2012-12-14
Learning activities, Field work resources Biodiversity, Scientific inquiry Great Introduction to Field Study: The Treehugger Game The Treehugger Game Abstract: Oftentimes the best way to conduct a field study with students, especially younger ones, is to begin with a game. Games can release the stress and energy built up throughout the day and create a more focused and calm learning environment. Additionally, in the colder months games can prolong students exposure to cold weather by increasing their body temperature during play. The Treehugger game allows students to hone their observational skills in a fun environment and release stress, preparing them to use these skills in proceeding field studies. Middle school (grades 6-8) Jmlynch 0 2012-11-08
Learning activities Invasive species Triumphs, hurdles, and the evolution of Vital Signs in my classroom Laura Seaver, grade 8 science teacher at Loranger Middle School in Old Orchard Beach, reflects on her Vital Signs experiences to date. This is good stuff, especially for teachers new to Vital Signs. Middle school (grades 6-8) vitalteach 0 2012-09-27
Learning activities Invasive species A Teacher's Reflection on Missions 1 and 2 Tim Hebda, grades 4-5 teacher at Waynflete School, shares the highlights and missteps of his first Vital Signs Missions, and his excitement for getting his 56 students participating in the Vital Signs community. Middle school (grades 6-8) vitalteach 0 2012-09-27