Modeling Magnetism With the Floating Paper Clip Supporting Diverse Learners With Visual and Linguistic Scaffolds
National Science Teachers Association
Scientific models are ubiquitous in STEM disciplines because they are the products of extended scientific reasoning and they offer explanatory power. However, when they are used in K–12 classrooms, students may be asked to recreate visual representations of ideas developed by scientists, as opposed to the students themselves engaging in the scientific thinking that generates the model. We share here an example of how to engage diverse middle grades students in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS; NGSS Lead States 2013) practice of modeling (see Supplemental Materials for the NGSS chart with connections to the standard MS-PS2-5). We offer a classroom-tested framework for how to scaffold instruction to build students’ scientific visual literacy and conversation skills through modeling magnetism in the phenomenon of the floating paper clip (see Figure 1).
Braden, S., Barth-Cohen, L., Gailey, S.* & Young, T.* (2021). Modeling magnetism with the floating paper clip: Cultivating and leveraging visual literacy and talk moves to support diverse learners. Science Scope, 44(6), 84-92.https://www.nsta.org/science-scope/science-scope-julyaugust-2021-0/modeling-magnetism-floating-paper-clip;