Teacher Spotlight: Shannon Wilson

  • Name: Shannon Wilson
  • District: Magnolia ISD (Magnolia, TX)
  • Grade/Subject: 6th Science
  • Twitter Handle: @WilsonScience

Q: What kinds of scaffolds/support did you give the students as they were creating their argument?

A: Students used their lab handouts and I projected the image from ADI of the components of a whiteboard. I moved around and asked questions as they were working.

Q: How much experience do these students have with ADI?

A: In my class, this is the third ADI students have done this year. Some also have some experience from earlier grades (various levels depending on the elementary school that they went to and the teacher that they had).

Q: What do you like most about ADI?

A: I LOVE that students, using the same materials and guiding question, take different approaches to collecting their data and arrive at different (yet accurate) claims. In this investigation specifically, I like how students classified forces as being “balanced” “somewhat unbalanced” and “very unbalanced”. They noticed that forces, depending on the size, can cause the object to respond in ways that fall on a spectrum – not just one way or another!

Q: What did you find challenging when using ADI at first and how were you able to overcome that challenge?

A: At first, I struggled with the time management of ADI and focusing on students being correct early on in the investigation. I’ve learned how to manage my students by time, not necessarily to completion of a stage, because I know they will have multiple opportunities to revisit information at a later time. I also have allowed myself to be more forgiving of students not learning the content right away. I’ve noticed that students learn at different rates and learn best when they internally use feedback to correct or deepen their learning; sometimes this learning occurs during explicit discussion or even when writing the investigation report.

Q: What advice do you have for other teachers as they are starting out?

A: Be forgiving of the mistakes you will inevitably make. Focus on the positives that your students will bring to light. Be impressed with your students’ abilities! Keep doing the investigations until the process becomes second hand and the learning of content takes the forefront.

4th Grade Whiteboard