The lesson is structured according to the provisions of the Illinois Science Standards/Goals, i. e., IL.11 GOAL and IL.11.A STANDARD. These standards specify that every lesson is in the first place oriented on the general development of the students within the framework of the academic curriculum. In order to ensure their comprehensive application, I recommend that the lessons should start at the beginning of the academic year, and namely, in the fall. I believe that it is the best timing to launch Science classes because students arrive at school fresh, relaxed, full of their holiday time explorations and discoveries, and eager to continue these captivating experiences in the classroom. Therefore, they are just in the right mood for observation, research, experiment, investigation, and analysis. A Science class will fit a conventional academic time frame of 45 minutes and is meant to cover one unit of the lesson information during each class. It will take one or two weeks to go through the theoretical course material.
The instructional strategies will be targeted both at the application of the didactic approach to delivering theoretical knowledge efficiently within a narrow time frame of the academic schedule as well as at the implementation of the UDL principles to ensure the adequate presentation of theoretical material meeting the students’ learning capacity. I apply maximum effort to ensure that every student feels comfortable and engaged in the process of learning. One of the greatest challenges, when teaching fourth-grade students, is to develop their realization of the process of learning, make them understand the value of the received academic knowledge, and enhance their interest in the subject. In order to maximize attention and involvement during the class, I will first show them a video introducing the topic of magnets and magnetism. I will check their understanding of the video material by asking questions directly related to its content. I will encourage my students to ask questions related to the learning material at any stage of the academic process. Then I will put a question directly related to the topic at issue but requiring the performance of experiments to test the validity of students’ answers. In the course of the lesson, the students will divide into smaller groups and cooperate in the process of conducting magnetism experiments. During the process of experiments, I will monitor performance, maintain discipline, and prevent gross mistakes. Then I will ask them to present their findings in front of the class and argue conclusions. In such a manner, I will incorporate both the method of direct instruction (presenting and explaining the new material), scientific research (hypothesizing, testing, analyzing conclusions, defending opinion), direct experiment (bridging theory to practice), group project (granting relative interdependence, collaboration, and creativity when performing the task requirements), and the UDL principles (using a variety of visual material to suit diverse learning capacity of students with special needs and those, who excel in academic learning). These instruction strategies will provide a comprehensive approach to deliver basic scientific knowledge to typical fourth-grade students’ populations.
A Science class will be performed in a typical fourth-grade classroom setting. In order to boost my students’ performance, I intend to optimize the diversity of practical activities and presentation materials. I try to balance the reproductive and creative performance of my students during the class, i. e., direct instruction and indirect learning process. I try to set interactive situations, in which my students are to be encouraged to apply new knowledge and methods of operations to rationalize judgments, make decisions, and generate solutions. A range of visual instructional materials includes a video presentation, a smartboard, textbooks, classroom computers, and expedient materials that reveal the magnetism phenomenon, such as items of iron that will be attracted by a magnet field and items of other material that will not. I will explain to them how to work with bar magnets with north and south poles marking. They will test a great number of items for the magnetism effect during their experiments. I will instruct the students on how to keep proper records of their experiments using data tables.
Making Instruction Relevant
During my classes, I plan the presentation of the new material along with the development of correlations between the new and prior received knowledge. Instructional relevancy is the basic requirement for efficient knowledge cognition among students. It enables students to synthesize, combine, and generalize diverse pieces of information. Every lesson my students will study a new situation. In order to make instruction relevant, I will maintain a reasonable proportion between the new and familiar material presented in the fourth-grade class, establish the degree of novelty of the theoretical course content as a whole, as well as to adapt the depth and scope of situations and connections at issue. When presenting new information, I will surround the discussion with the relevant and familiar academic facts and real-life experience so that each student will be able to find a correct place for this new knowledge within their cognitive system and understand its practical value.
Students will be engaged in a number of follow-through activities to extend the sphere of new knowledge application and allow students to generalize, establish regularities, and model these regularities. These activities will include the task to classify the list of objects they encounter on a regular basis with regards to their magnetism capacity and group activity on constructing a compass model and rationalizing its operations.
Special Needs Accommodations
In order to accommodate instruction for learners with special needs, I will use a video presentation. It will deliver an expressive visual pattern filling the gaps related to the language deficit and cognitive imbalances. Numerous repetitions of the new information in a multitude of activities (presentation, discussion, experiment, exchange of experiences, follow-through activities) will promote better understanding and cognition of scientific knowledge.