Carving Canyons

I hope that you have had the chance to personally experience an AIMS professional learning opportunity. We AIMS facilitators have multiple goals as we lead workshops. We provide classroom teachers an opportunity to increase and/or strengthen their own content knowledge, explore their teaching practices, and we strive to help teachers find ways to improve their own students’ learning. Most of us AIMS facilitators are classroom teachers ourselves, working to accomplish the same goals in our own classrooms.

Chris Franklin, a 5th grade science teacher in Houston, Texas, is a first year AIMS facilitator. He embraces these AIMS workshop goals and is focused on them in his own classroom this year. He is working to deepen and increase his own content knowledge, including the Next Generation Science Standards. He is exploring and becoming reflective about his own teaching practices. He is looking for ways to increase his own students’ learning. Chris is working to hone his craft as he prepares to facilitate AIMS workshops for schools and districts.

Chris’ students continue to use AIMS investigations in his classes.  The expectation for fifth grade students in Texas is to be able to recognize how landforms such as deltas, canyons, and sand dunes are the result of changes to the Earth’s surface by wind, water, and ice.  During the investigation Carving Canyons,  Mr. Franklin was pleased with the students’ level of engagement, excitement, and understanding. The students exhibited quality science inquiry while using appropriate tools and methods, to explore landform phenomena. This AIMS investigation helped them delve deeply into this Texas standard.

Playdoh Canyon

Chris Franklin is yet another AIMS facilitator that I am happy to call my colleague. The AIMS Center values his commitment to becoming the best AIMS facilitator he can be. By using AIMS science investigations in his classroom again this year, he continues to expand his first hand experience and knowledge of how the investigations work with students and he is excited to have the opportunity to share his knowledge with workshop participants – colleagues.

Which AIMS science investigations are you using with your students?

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5 Responses to Carving Canyons

  1. You’re a gifted.teacher and this is your passion. Hopefully your districk recognized the gift they have in tou. Your students surely do. All the best!

  2. So excited to hear this news that a Hands-On approach to Science has the students more engaged in their science, and excelling to new heights. Wonderful news for teacher and students!!

  3. I have had the honor of working with Mr. Franklin for the past three years. Each year he accepts the challenges our campus faces by researching and seeking new inventive methods to support our children. Mr. Franklin has truly embraced the AIMS approach. Under his leadership, students are able to apply the concepts of science to real, hands-on experiments. The experiments and activities have allowed our students to think abstractly, opposed to concretely. Student morale has increased as confidence levels are soaring high throughout our campus. Students are excited about learning, which is one of the greatest joys of teaching.

  4. Great job Chris!! Nice to hear about the improvement in your students engagement as well as their scores. Kids love science when you get them hooked. Hands-on investigations keep their focus. Thanks for sharing.

  5. This year I have the pleasure of teaching all the fifth grade students on my campus. I use this opportunity to expand their understanding of science via incorporating the AIMS activities. Prior to this year, science scores were in the fiftieth percentile, which did not meet district averages or expectations. However, thus far, we noticed ten percent increase in student scores. Students are enthusiastic about the activities and take an inquisitive approach to learning. The lessons are very intuitive and sustainable for my students.

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