Thursday, August 28, 2014

Observation vs. Inference

Observation vs. Inference Journal Entry
This was our journal entry for observation versus inference. I began this lesson by acting out a skit (the kids not involved in the skit had no idea what was going on!) while we were cleaning up our math centers to get ready for science. I purposely had a few kids leave a mess at their center, then I made a scene about how upset I was. The children who made the mess had a really hard time keeping a straight face, but they did a great job! Now, let me make it clear I don't do this for very long because I don't want the other kids to start to worry. But boy, talk about hooking their attention! Their eyes were glued! I basically just acted WAY over the top and told them they were never doing centers again as long as they were in the 4th grade, and they were going to clean my room during recess for the next month. Once the kids and I started to laugh because we couldn't hold it in any longer, we discussed what they observed me doing, and what they inferred from their observations. Then I acted out a few more scenarios and we looked at some pictures and discussed those observations and inferences as well.

The kids will learn about making an inference in language arts, but it never hurts to hit it a little in science as well. This always proves to be a hard concept to grasp at 9-years-old! Really the main idea I wanted the kiddos to grab was that observations are strictly the facts about what's going on. When making an observation in science, it's very important to keep opinions and prior knowledge out of your observations. Those can be brought in later, when analyzing data and deciding which direction to go in an experiment.

One thing that's not on our journal page (and we'll probably add Tuesday) is the idea of using our prior knowledge. We discussed it in class, but forgot to add it in the journal. In class, we talked about how we make an educated guess by using the knowledge we already have that's stored in our little "file folders" in our brain.