Michelina Miedema

Winter Trimester 2020 

EDU 570: Inquiry to Practice


Annotated Bibliography - Lesson Study Cycle 2


Dolenc, N., Wood, A., Soldan, K., & Tai, R. (2016). Mars Colony: Using Role-Play as a Pedagogical Approach to Teaching Science. Science and Children, 53(6).

In this study,  a mixed class of kindergarten and first grade students experience a five part lesson on mars in which students role play exploring space to see what it would be like to survive on another planet.  According the research, role play increases engagement by putting students in a more active role during learning. Students were able to gain new perspectives and understand being in another person’s shoes. (Wood et al, 2016) In this study they had students act out astronauts preparing to go to mars, they prepared for a mission and planned how they would build a colony to survive. The creators of the study used backwards planning to write out these lessons. “Working backward from the final goal, we were able to connect pieces of the storyline together while embedding science and engineering activities.” (Wood et al, 2019) Students and teachers worked together to build a space shuttle in their classroom, it looks like their desks pushed together with tall cardboard walls around them. They used literacy to have students create packing lists! Students used math to make predictions on how fast their ship would need to go. There are many other examples of curriculum woven into this exciting project. “In our Mars Colony lesson, we saw the use of role-play lower students’ affective filter, which in turn led them to exhibit a greater degree of comfort in engaging in the lesson’s activities.” (Wood et al, 2019)  

This study is a beautiful example of how play can be woven into any part of lower elementary education. Role play is an exciting way for children to discover. Thinking about Lilly’s focus students, I think that a shy student might feel more comfortable role playing because the whole class is participating, she won’t have to worry about making mistakes or taking risks because everyone is playing together. Her higher energy students will enjoy the freedom to play and talk and create! Role play seems like it will be a great solution to help her class discuss science topics.

Jarrett, O. (1997). Science and math through role-play centers in the elementary school classroom. Science Activities, 34(2), 13-19.


This article offered ideas to encourage elementary students to do math and science on their own for fun! The word play can sometimes seem taboo in elementary school classroom settings, teachers don’t want their students playing around wasting time or being unsafe. This article discusses a more beneficial type of play “children can be playing around when they are experimenting with materials in unintended ways or pretending to be scientists, doctors, supermarket clerks, and postal employees. This sort of playing around can encourage creativity, allow children to try out future career roles, and enable them to construct their own understandings of the world through experience.” (Jarret, 1997) The article talks about how many influential scientists such as Albert Einstein and Richard Feyman “played around”  with scientists as children, some even wrote about their memories of childhood play in autobiographies. It seems that when subject matter becomes fun and “real” in the world of elementary school children, they are interested in digging deeper and the learning comes naturally. 


This article explains how play based learning often leads towards intrinsic motivation. “When learning is drudgery, teachers often must institute a system of external rewards to keep children on task. In contrast, learning through play is intrinsically rewarding. Children learn more if they find learning fun. They can also develop lifelong dispositions toward learning.” (Jarret, 1997) The article also emphasizes how center time is not the time for teachers to be doing prep or other work, teachers are very involved. Teachers need to provide props and encourage children to bring props from home. They need to challenge the students to use skills that they are learning. They need to participate in play and encourage them to think deeply about the roles they are playing. They need to give enough time for children to work through these roles. Teachers need to be open to these role playing activities extending into class, they give an example of a mailshop transforming into penpal activity in class time.  This article gives a wealth of knowledge and background information on how and why play can be incorporated into math and science. I am eager to see how given children these tools can lead to deeper understanding of content.


Krakower, B., Martin, M. (2019). Getting Started with STEAM. New York: Routledge, https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429504501

This chapter explains all about the background  and meanings of STEAM. Many schools turn away STEAM because they fear it will be too expensive and won’t be able to provide enough materials, this book explains that it is very possible to have a STEAM program with very little cost! The chapter explains the different versions of STEAM and maker spaces.  There is STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math), which is “is a way of showing students how these coretopics are interconnected to each other in the real world. STEM lessons and labs tend to be more structured than the more interest-driven makerspaces.” There is STEAM(Science Technology Art Engineering and Math) STEAM leads students to apply design and the arts as part of problem-solving. STEAM also encourages students to explore their creativity as part of their learning.” There is also STREAM (Science Technology Research Engineering and Math) “Research fits particularly well into many STEAM projects, particularly where students are asked to support their decisions as part of a project or activity.“ Maker spaces are a little bit different, “The main idea behind a makerspace is that it is an OPEN area for students to explore and learn. Makerspaces tend to be more unstructured, and often have people working on widely varied types of projects.

This chapter states that before a school or classroom takes on one of these programs or spaces, that they have a pedagogical reason behind it. Some schools use it to guide children down a path for a potential future job in the science/technology field! My understanding from this chapter is that STEAM and maker spaces can be beneficial for all students, and can encourage creativity, learning, and future jobs. 



Newton, Douglas P, & Newton, Lynn D. (2001). Subject Content Knowledge and Teacher Talk in the Primary Science Classroom. European Journal of Teacher Education, 24(3), 369-379.


A study was done to compare the discourse of 31 teachers with strong science backgrounds, to 19 without. “to what extent does a background in science make a difference to the oral interaction of primary teachers in their science lessons?” (Newton & Newton 2001) It took place in England using 50 teachers from 17 schools.

Some argue that having a strong science background guides planning and shapes the content which then helps a  teacher respond to students questions and conversations. It might increase a teachers confidence during instruction, and when students have problems. The research showed that these teachers were “likely to modify activities described in textbooks, detect preconceptions, take fruitful digressions, and deal more effectively with learning difficulties.” (Newton & Newton 2001) Teachers who did not have strong science backgrounds and lacked prior knowledge to the lesson they were teaching had to “emphasise the recall of facts and propagate their own misunderstandings.”(Newton & Newton 2001) 

The study found that having science background is helpful, but is not crucial. The study also argues that it can actually be harmful at times “ those who know the answers will adopt transmission-reception approach to teaching.”(Newton & Newton 2001) Not having content knowledge is actually not a problem because teachers more often study what they need for the lesson on an as needed basis. “What matters, they argue, is the quality of the teacher–learner interaction where there is a negotiation of meaning and ‘the teacher’s incorrigibility is not taken for granted”(Newton & Newton 2001)

Lilly is not a fan of science. She chose this as her lesson study topic because her students are craving more science and she wants to push herself out of her confort zone. This study backs her decision up! Even though she feels that she fits in with the group of teachers who do not have strong science backgrounds, I know that she will be able to carry out this lesson because how much she cares for her students. As a team we have a variety of interests regarding science. With this study we can collaborate to create lessons, and remind Lilly that  “having a background in science may be valuable but … it is not everything.)(Newton & Newton 2001)


Schwartz, K. (2019, December 10). Teaching 6-Year-Olds About Privilege and Power. Retrieved from https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/54150/ teaching-6-year-olds-about-privilege- and-power 


 Mr turner is a white  1st grade teacher. His 1st graders researched and found most of alamedas homeless population is african american. Instead of moving on and classifying that as a fact, Mr. Turner instead turns in into a deeper conversation of why do you think that is? Is that right?  Turner says “I think that kids can handle a lot more nuance than we generally give them credit for,“You can talk about anything with kids. You can make anything accessible, no matter how uncomfortable or atrocious it may seem.” “Turner sees what he’s doing as planting seeds of inquiry and offering students some tools so they can continue to grapple with issues that are at the core of American society as they grow up.” I think this is so true and I imagine it must take practice, I think it is natural for us to feel slightly uncomfortable when it comes to these conversations and thats most likely because how we were taught and brought up. Turner says “ teachers owe it to both their white students and their students of color to initiate these conversations in safe and developmentally appropriate ways.”  He ses fairness as an example. This is a common dilemma for young people, what is fair and not fair. Whether that be getting in line or sharing! Turner talks about how He is open with parents from the first day of school. I think its really great how strong of a family teacher connection he has created through news letters and videos.  


Ladson-Billings, Gloria. (1995). But That’s Just Good Teaching! The Case for Culturally Relevant Pedagogy. Theory Into Practice. 34, 3. 159-165. 


This article is based on Ladson-Billing’s research describing a culturally relevant pedagogy which is based on 3 criteria: “1. Students must experience academic success 2. Students must develop and or maintain cultural competence. 3. Students must develop a critical consciousness through which they challenge the status quo of current social order.”


Ladson-Billings explains how important culturally relevant pedagogy is for the success of children who have been failed by our public schools. Demographically, these children are children of color and or lower class ( not “mainstream” white middle class students). The article references Indian children doing poorly in school “ because educators insert culture into the education, instead of inserting education into the culture.”


The article explains how  culturally relevant teachers “utilize students culture as a vehicle for learning.” It gives examples of teachers using various types of cultural elements such as rap music and cooking,  to draw on student cultural identities and organically embed the learning. Another teacher, Lewis, had students use any language they were comfortable speaking in, and asked them to translate their work later at the end of the year. I was not super sure about that last one though, I totally agree that encouraging students to use and speak their language is supporting a cultural identity, but I am curious about what that timeline for translation looked like? And how that supported a culturally relevant pedagogy?… the article also says “Ann Lewis, a White woman whom I have described as “culturally black”.” I wonder what Ladson Billings means by that?


Lyons, R., & Woods, K. (2012). Effective transition to secondary school for shy, less confident children: A case study using “Pyramid” group work. Educational & Child Psychology, 29(3), 8–26. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=79700620&site=ehost-live


Knight, V. F., Collins, B., Spriggs, A. D., Sartini, E., & MacDonald, M. J. (2018). Scripted and Unscripted Science Lessons for Children with Autism and Intellectual Disability. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders, 48(7), 2542–2557. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-018-3514-0


Coplan, R. J., & Weeks, M. (2009). Shy and soft-spoken: shyness, pragmatic language, and socio-emotional adjustment in early childhood. Infant & Child Development, 18(3), 238–254. https://doi.org/10.1002/icd.622


Knight, V. F., Collins, B., Spriggs, A. D., Sartini, E., & MacDonald, M. J. (2018). Scripted and Unscripted Science Lessons for Children with Autism and Intellectual Disability. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders, 48(7), 2542–2557. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-018-3514-0


McHugh, M. B., Tingstrom, D. H., Radley, K. C., Barry, C. T., & Walker, K. M. (2016). Effects of Tootling on Classwide and Individual Disruptive and Academically Engaged Behavior of Lower-Elementary Students. Behavioral Interventions, 31(4), 332–354. https://doi.org/10.1002/bin.1447


Black, D., & Fernando, R. (2014). Mindfulness Training and Classroom Behavior Among Lower-Income and Ethnic Minority Elementary School Children. Journal of Child & Family Studies, 23(7), 1242–1246. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-013-9784-4


Phillips, M., & Jeffery, T. D. (2016). Patterns of Change: Forces and Motion. Science Activities, 53(3), 101–111. https://doi.org/10.1080/00368121.2016.1188052  


Schwarz, C. (2009). Developing preservice elementary teachers’ knowledge and practices through modeling-centered scientific inquiry. Science Education, 93(4), 720–744. https://doi.org/10.1002/sce.20324  


Lehman, J. D., WooRi Kim, & Harris, C. (2014). Collaborations in a Community of Practice Working to Integrate Engineering Design in Elementary Science Education. Journal of STEM Education: Innovations & Research, 15(3), 21–28. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=100639398&site=ehost-live



Krakower, B., Martin, M. (2019). Getting Started with STEAM. New York: Routledge, https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429504501


Atwater, M., Russell, M, & Butler, M. (2014) Multicultural Science Education - Preparing Teachers For Equity And Social Justice. Springer Dordrecht Heidelberg New York London.


Greenspan, Y.( 2016) A Guide To Teaching Elementary Science.  AW Rotterdam, The Netherlands.