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Table 1 Differences Across Embedded and Non-embedded Classes

From: Leveling the playing field: Grounding learning with embedded simulations in geoscience

  Embedded class Non-embedded class
Technology • 4 computers
• Distributed around the room
• Seismometers were always moving
• Displays on all day
• Displays on entire unit
• Earthquakes happened at random times
• Trilaterated using classroom space
• 4 computers
• All in a row
• Seismometers showed still pictures
• Displays on only in science
• Displays on only 2 weeks
• Earthquakes happened in the past
• Trilaterated with maps and strings
Time and class periods • Approximately 16 class periods
• Science 4 days a week
• Science periods 40 minutes
• Approximately 700 minutes of RoomQuake (RQ)
• 18 class periods
• Science 3 days a week
• Science periods 1 hour
• Approximately 1000 minutes of RQ
Background story • Quakes are happening in the school
• Happening in real time
• Seismometers are sensing vibrations all day
• Students locate 15 quakes
• Quakes are happening in California
• Happened years ago
• Seismometers only show still pictures
• Students locate 15 quakes
Lesson 1 – Introduction to RQ • What I know about earthquakes
• Discussion about what students know and are wondering about earthquakes
• Same as embedded
Lesson 2 –Measuring, recording, and trilaterating • Lesson about trilateration, waves, and nomogram
• New vocabulary introduced
• Class discussion about big ideas from today
• Same as embedded
Lesson 3 – Finding epicenters • Revisit lesson on trilateration, waves, and nomograms
• Use sample seismograms to practice measuring waves
• Use strings to demonstrate trilateration in the classroom
• Class discussion about big ideas from today
• Students should now be ready for a quake to happen at any time until the end of the unit
• Quakes happen at random times throughout the rest of the lessons
• Students enter data in field guides and on public displays
• Class discussions after each RoomQuake is plotted to discuss any patterns that students may be seeing in the charts and maps
• Same as embedded
• Same as embedded
• Use overhead transparency of California to demonstrate trilateration on map
• Students go to large wall maps and seismograms
• They plot their first earthquake on the map and record the data in their field guides
• The students will continue locating earthquakes until all have been plotted (this took a total of 5 science class periods)
• Class discussions at the end of every science period to discuss any patterns that students may be seeing
• After final quake is plotted have the entire class look at all the charts and maps that were created across the epicenter location activities and discuss what happened
Lesson 4 – Earthquake research • Break class into 7 groups: tectonic plates/earthquake location, earth layers, measuring/locating, historic quakes, quake preparation/safety, faults/geographic features, seismic waves
• Have students research their topic with provided library books
• Record research notes in field guide
• Each group creates a presentation to share with the class
• Students take notes on other groups’ presentations
• Same as embedded
Lesson 5 – Earth’s layers • Students draw a picture of earth’s layers only using prior knowledge
• Teacher shows overhead of real layers
• Lecture on layers and what they are made of
• Students split into pairs and make clay models of earth’s layers
• Same as embedded
Lesson 6 – Plate tectonics • Students write down their ideas about how the continents moved and about Pangea
• Class discussion about continental drift versus plate tectonics
• Teacher explains that plate tectonics is correct and explains convection currents
• Make Pangea flip books
• Return to big ideas and discuss questions students still may have
• Same as embedded
Lesson 7 – Tectonic boundaries • Teacher explains the different types of plate boundaries
• Teacher shows animations of each type of boundary from the usgs.org site
• Snicker bar demonstration of boundaries
• Students label the plate boundary pictures in their field guides and the geographic formations associated with each type
• Return to big ideas, journal about today’s activities
• Same as embedded
Lesson 8 – Seismic waves • Teacher shows overhead of “waves” field guide page
• Class talks about the properties of the different types of waves
• Speed and range of waves is discussed (5.5 magnitude quake can be felt all over the world)
• Slinky demonstration to show differences between P and S waves
• Class discusses historic earthquakes – teacher explains there is a 100% chance of an earthquake everyday
• Big ideas, students’ journal about today’s lesson
• Same as embedded
Lesson 9 – Wrap up and closing • Review of major topics from unit
• Students fill out post-anticipation guide
• Same as embedded