Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Generating & Testing Hypotheses: Constructionism in Practice

In order for students to have successful careers, classrooms need to promote collaboration and technology.  One way for educators to do this is by giving students quality essential questions that they can create hypotheses and test.  When students generate and test hypotheses, they enhance their overall understanding of the content (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007, p. 203). 

In my own classroom, we typically hypothesize during our science units, but now I will incorporate technology.  Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works is a wonderful resource that is packed full of resources that make using technology with your students a synch.  Before the years ends I would like to have my students create their own essential question and collect data to help them answer it.  I teach a unit on data and probability which allows me time to utilize some of these new online sources I know about without steering too far off of the time allotted to complete certain units.  Microsoft Excel is a little challenging, so I plan to have my students use to collect their data.  This site will graph results for my students, which will allow them more time to analyze their results. 

According to (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007, p. 203), there are six tasks that teachers can use to help students generate and test hypotheses; systems analysis, problem solving, historical investigation, invention, experimental inquiry, and decision making.  My students generally use experimental inquiry, but I would like to offer the opportunity for them to engage in more problem solving projects to encourage more dialog that connect to real world problems.  Overall, I am very excited to use these new data collecting tools because they are more efficient allowing more time for students to collaborate and create less opportunity for error. 

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works. Denver, Co.: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.


  1. Kelly,
    I love that you are going to use surveymoneky to collect the data. I never thought about using it in that manner. I usually have the kids collect and graph the data themselves (especially because fourth graders have a hard time creating graphs) but at this point in the year, when time is ticking quickly, surveymonkey will really speed that process up!

    1. In past years I have always had students make appointments with other teachers to visit their classrooms to collect data. When students are absent, they would catch up by collecting data during their recess time. I thought survermonkey would be easier and allow us to have a large group to access because each class uses the computer lab and the teachers willing, could have their students take the survey. I don't know about you, but I also always have students collect all their data only to find many errors. Hands on activities really suck up quite a bit of instructional time, so it's not convenient when you have to find time for kids to correct their errors.

  2. When looking through the Technology Standards I realized I would like to be more proficient in many areas, but I decided to focus this year on:
    1. Communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital age media and formats
    2. Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity
    In order to share information with families about my students, I will learn how to create digital portfolios. I am very intrigued at the simplicity this can create and the organizational factor is huge. I used to keep portfolios on my students, but when I began having such large class sizes, it went to the wayside. As far as pursuing my goal with integrating more digital creativity, I will contact a colleague of mine that uses digital story-telling for a unit we put together. I see her dedicating a large amount of time for students to create their story, so I need to definitely plan accordingly.
    It will be evident whether or not I am able to pursue my goals or not. My hopes are to have students using a lap top to share they work with families by spring conference. As well, the unit I want my students to use digital story-telling with begins in the spring. I will keep track of my progress initially by creating these two items on my own.
    In order to properly evaluate the two goals I have set for myself, I would first like to have a family evaluation about how they felt the conference went using the digital format. As for the digitial story-telling project, I would seek out critical feedback from my colleague that has used this previously and attending many trainings on implementation.