Have you ever found yourself gazing up at the sky and wondering what is out there? If you have, you are not alone. This integrated designed-based math, science and technology unit is called, ""The Wanderers"" because ancient Greek astronomers, who were also intrigued by the sky, observed objects that seemed to wander through the stars. These wandering objects are also known as the planets.
Over the past few months, I have been a guest teacher in a classroom of five enthusiastic seventh grade students. The school where I taught this unit is located in an affluent suburban area, approximately forty-five miles east of a major metropolitan area in the northeast corner of the United States. It is a college preparatory independent school that houses grades six through twelve.
I felt it was important to teach this astronomy unit on the planets, because it is crucial for students to understand the differences among the planets in order to appreciate how fragile life is. I hoped that upon completion of this unit, the students would be able to make well-informed decisions to protect our planet and preserve the attribute that are essential to life.
There were four content goals addressed in this unit that were assessed using variety of techniques. The first goal was, as a result of this unit I hoped that the students would be able to understand that there are nine planets in the solar system, that they are held in orbit by inertia and the force of gravity, and that each planet travels in a slightly elliptical orbit in the same direction around the sun. The second goal was that I hoped the students would be able to understand that each planet has a different rotation and revolution due to its distance from the sun. The third and fourth goals of the unit were as result of this unit, I hoped that students would be able to identify that each planet has its own unique characteristics that make the planets different from one another, and be able to understand that atmosphere, temperature, and water are the unique characteristics that enable the planet Earth to support and sustain life. Overall, I had a positive experience implementing this unit. Through an intense evaluation of the information that I have obtained from a pre and post assessment exam, teacher journal, minute papers, design portfolio and design project I am able to prove that my content goals have been achieved. I also felt that I learned a great deal about myself as an educator. In the future, I plan on utilizing the skills that I used to develop this integrated math, science and technology unit because it has been one of the most successful units that I have taught.
Type of Publication
King, Alison M.
Nation(s) of Study
United States of America