About the Impact on their Teaching
Here is what some of our teachers have said about their experiences of LENS:
"I really enjoyed the institute. I felt it was one of the most beneficial experiences I have participated in since I began teaching in 1997."
"LENS reminded me of the importance of the inquiry process to learning."
"My open ended labs were successful and facilitated great discussion between my students. I truly feel that my classroom is promoting 21st-century thinking skills more so that it has in the past."
"I have completely reinvented the way I teach. I started the first day of school with students going around the class using every type of science equipment, then talked about observations/inferences. We did a 3-day Nature of Science activity that tied into four separate SOL objectives. The students worked in groups, created an experiment to test their hypothesis and shared their findings. We reflect on almost every topic."
"I have included the language of the scientific method into all of my lessons. I have also had the students use their prior knowledge to answer questions about specific topics before learning about it in my class. I have really tried to explain that science is ever-changing, and sometimes it is okay to not necessarily get the "right" or "expected" results."
About Changes in their Use of Assessments
"Eye opening; in the past I have overlooked the basic concepts of science and focused on concepts of Earth Science. I realize now that the framework on Nature of Science should not be taken for granted."
"One piece I have incorporated into some of my lessons is a chance to students to reflect on a lesson. I also have cut way back on lab instructions, provided goals and let students explore."
About the Impact on Students
"The rigor of my classroom is better, higher student engagement by those who are lower achievers. Pace of the material is better and I'm evaluating student work better as well as my own work."
"This year, I have made more of an effort to incorporate more scientific reasoning skills into the daily lessons. I'm asking my students to think, speak, and write like scientists. My AP Chemistry students keep a lab notebook/journal of all scientific investigations that we conduct. I have found that even AP students struggle with scientific writing and turning their thoughts into words."
"More engagement and excitement, better participation on research and homework; moving my classroom to a student-centered inquiry based class has improved student achievement across the board, and LENS was invaluable in that process."
"I have low learners completely engaged in the process of science. Kids complain that the class moves to fast because they are enjoying it. Students are asking really good thought-provoking questions."