Our Course Profile!

Many years ago, I got the pleasure of working with a teacher that absolutely blew my mind. She was so incredibly organized, her understanding of the curriculum was next level especially in the areas of math and science and to top it off she built great relationships with her students. Miranda and I were literally on opposite ends of our little rural school out in Mortlach. I was the Kindergarten, grade one and grade two teacher and she was the high school Math and Science teacher. She was a tonne of fun and I loved learning from her even though the material we were teaching was very different. Fast forward to today and here I am getting to work with her on class project!

For our class assignment I was excited to get to work with this teacher that I have always admired! Since I am not currently teaching, we figured we would create a course that would work for her current online teaching position. I knew I would still benefit from it as I could pass it onto the teachers I work with and also I would get to catch a glimpse of how she creates her lesson plans! Not to mention learning about all the different ways we can use the presentation tools we have access to! Hope you enjoy what we come up with!

Course Profile: Grade 8 Physical Science: Optics and Vision

By Miranda Sonmor and Jocelyn Wigmore

Target Audience:

The targeted audience for this prototype course is grade 8 students working from home in a virtual school setting.  

 Course Timeline:

This prototype course is focused on one out of four units found in the grade 8 curriculum.  The unit we are focusing on is Physical Science:Optics and Vision.  It would take 6 weeks or more to complete. 

 Course Delivery:

The course will be delivered using google classroom as the main platform.  Students will work in an asynchronous format where they will be able to follow along with lessons and watch video explanations posted on the google classroom. 

Each lesson will come with a written description as well as a demonstration video in order to meet the needs of the students.  Students will also have the opportunity to talk with their teacher directly through scheduled zoom drop in times. 

 Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes:

This online course focuses on the optics and vision unit found in the grade 8 curriculum.  It consists of 4 different outcomes that focuses on how our vision works in regard to light, mirrors, lenses and the help of optical devices. The four outcomes are as follows:

OP8.1:  Identify and describe, through experimentation, sources and properties of visible light including:

·         rectilinear propagation

·         reflection

·         refraction.

OP8.2:       Explore properties and applications of optics-related technologies, including concave and convex mirrors and lenses.

OP8.3:        Compare the nature and properties of human vision with optical devices and vision in other living organisms.

OP8.4:         Evaluate the impact of electromagnetic radiation-based technologies on self and community.

 Guiding Questions:

The course will be created around the following questions to promote higher level thinking. We found these on the North East Cornerstone School Division website.  

OP1

  1. What types of light are there?
  2. What properties does light have?
  3. How do the properties of light affect our daily life?
  4. How can we manipulate light and how does it travel?
  5. How is light related to absence of light?

OP2

  1. How does light interact with transparent, translucent and opaque materials?
  2. How does light interact with concave and convex mirrors?
  3. How can ray diagrams illustrate how light travels within optical devices?
  4. How have optics related technologies enabled scientific research?

OP3

  1. How can ray diagrams illustrate how the human eye sees objects?
  2. How does the human eye perceive color?
  3. How is color produced?
  4. How can optical technologies enhance human vision?

OP4

  1. What are the characteristics of electromagnetic radiation?
  2. What are the characteristics of visible light?
  3. What instruments can emit, detect and incorporate electromagnetic radiation? How is electromagnetic radiation part of our world?

Course Materials:

This course will be most successful when all students have access to technology.  This could include an online school that is completed at home during the school day.  Or it may be in a classroom setting where students have access to technology and work at their own pace. 

To meet the needs of the students that do not have a device at home the school will provide them with one to use for the school year. For those families with multiple students participating in online learning, devices will be provided on a one per family basis. Consideration will also be given to zoom times to meet the needs of limited devices in families. 

 Special Announcements:

 Students with special needs will be able to complete this course with the assistance of technology.  They can submit their answers by video recording their assignments instead of typing them and submitting them.  They can use google read & write.  They can schedule one on one meeting times with the teacher if they require extra assistance or further explanation. There is an SST available for students needing assistance. 

English as an additional language learners will be able to complete this course as they can have access to the videos posted to rewatch numerous times.  They can also use google translate and google read & write to complete written assignments.  They will also have the opportunity to interact with their peers to continue the development of their english language skills. There is an SST available for students needing assistance. 

 Attendance:

Since the course is on google classroom, students will be able to access course material on a daily basis.  Class announcements, deadlines and general information will be found here and students will be expected to check it daily.  Since the majority of the class is found online, students that are home sick or away due to travel, can still access the course material.  Students will have scheduled zoom sessions and deadlines for their course and they are expected to be present for these dates.   

Assessment:

 Assessment will be completed using google classroom, nearpod, goformative, and various other tools as needed to meet the needs of this course.  Nearpod will be used for the delivery of some lessons and will consist of check-in questions to confirm students are understanding the material.  Google classroom will have assignments that the students will need to complete throughout the course.  Students will be expected to use different technology to demonstrate their understanding of their learning, slides, posters, essays, etc. Goformative will be used as part of the formative assessment processes.  During scheduled zoom times, a teacher may be able to collect data based on conversations using collaborative tools such as Jamboard, Kahoot, flipgrid, etc. There will be no unit exams because students will be expected to demonstrate their understanding in other ways. 

Students will be assessed based on a rubric constructed using the Saskatchewan curriculum outcomes. 

Assignments:

 The assignments will require the students to complete tasks that will include videotaping themselves, written work via google classroom, completing assessments on goformative, research projects, online labs, etc.  Each lesson will have different requirements but a thorough explanation will be given prior to the completion of the lesson.  Students that require assistance or accommodations will be met on an individual basis.  

Rationale:

This course was designed in the format to be immediately used in a virtual school setting. The course is being designed for students to collaborate with the teacher and their peers to increase student engagement but still flexible enough for students to complete on their own due to personal circumstances. Google classroom was chosen because it is a simple easy to use delivery system that most students are already familiar with. This productivity suite has been attached to all staff and student accounts and has been used in the division for a number of years. The use of nearpod, jamboards, kahoots, flipgrid, goformative and other tools is to keep students engaged in their learning. This course is also being created to be flexible to the needs of the students and able to be altered year to year, student to student based on the needs of the class. 

5 thoughts on “Our Course Profile!

  1. That is exciting that you two get to work together again! I am excited to learn about some of these assessment tools you are incorporating into your course. I have taught the Optics unit in the past and enjoyed the hands on learning activities and can’t wait to see how you do those virtually. Looking forward to borrowing some of your great ideas!

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    1. I always find Science is a bit tough to do all online because so much of it can be hands on. I am sure there are many ways to achieve this and still include a hands on experiment but it just doesn’t feel the same as face to face learning. I am excited to see how it all turns out and then try it out with some students too!

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  2. Jocelyn and Miranda, this sounds great! I hope that you enjoy working together and creating something amazing. Until recently, I haven’t taught science for years. There is so much that you can do with the subject matter, and it could be so helpful to have an online platform to reach more students. I am excited to see what you come up with, as I am always looking for great ideas that I can adapt and use in Grade 6/7. I also love the way that you set up your post, very easy to follow and to read! Keep up the great work!

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    1. It has been a long time for me too! It will be fun to dive into science again as it is a subject I really do enjoy teaching. It will be so nice to see everyones ideas and what they come up with. We all teach differently and will create lessons in a way others may not. It will be fun to be able to see!

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