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Teaching on Video: 3rd Grade Science Lesson

November 5, 2012 by Mrs. Hamman   

On this blog we’ll be sharing videos of teaching using the Common Core State Standards. This is a video of a third grade small group science lesson; this science lesson was also designed to address the Common Core English Language Arts objectives. After you watch the video, please leave a comment answering these questions:

Which Common Core Standard(s) do you think were being taught?

Where do you think this lesson would fall on the Hess Matrix?

Small Group Science-3rd Grade from FPES Teachers on Vimeo.


  1. jmukiibi says:

    Thanks for being our brave, new leader in this!

  2. Rhonda says:

    Great way to model building higher level thinking lessons.

  3. jmukiibi says:

    Since it’s clear this is the most beneficial for you, Shauna, what is YOUR “aha”?

    • Mrs. Hamman says:

      Hi Jill! The biggest thing I noticed was that I realized I do too much of the talking. I should have let them talk with each other more to arrive at their own understanding. When I do small groups I have a tendency to try to shove all the information I can into those few minutes, when I should give them more time to think and have conversations about what they are learning.

  4. Laura says:

    It is comforting to see that her students don’t all answer either. She has the students that are always willing to answer and others that sit back. It’s important to try and get them to contribute as much as they can through the discussion. It is a nice reminder to reword questions and give more think time so that everyone has the chance to answer.

  5. Tim says:

    I enjoy seeing how most of the student were engaged into the small group. They were highlighting the key words that were bold. Students showed ownership by using the vocabulary words. Made it higher order I think because it wasn’t as easy as what did we learn.

  6. Jenna Iovino says:

    This video/lesson showed a great job of introducing higher Vocabulary words. Academic Vocabulary was brought in across curriculum (reading & science). The kids had highlighters and were able to follow along and highlight the vocab words throughout the lesson. Students were focused, engaged, and all of them were participating.
    Students did a great job of interpreting words and phrases as they were used in the text!

  7. Shannon says:

    It was very helpful to see a lesson in action. This shows how most of my small group lessons go. What a great way to see our fabulous teachers in action!!

  8. Linda says:

    You were brave and courageous to do this for us! Your example was such a good one, and not at all scary. I am not anxious to video myself teaching however!!

  9. phayward says:

    It was good to see the students creating their experiment using the same vocabulary that they were reading in their small group. Connections, connections, connections!

  10. Kathleen Griffin says:

    I think this is a very effective way for training on common core. It would be helpful to watch and then share in grade-level team discussions. In my opinion, the group discussions are important. Loved your lesson!

  11. Cheri says:

    That was a good lesson.

  12. Kathleen Donlan says:

    Reading Standards for Informational Text Grade 3: 1 and 4

    Hess Level 2

  13. Cody Shipley says:

    I thought it was great seeing a lesson that was focused on a common core standard. Instead of talking about what I should be doing in the classroom, it was nice seeing it in action. I feel like I could get on the internet and find a lesson that incorporated common core. The problem with an lesson found online is it would be edited and perfected. It was nice seeing a normal, unedited lesson being taught.

  14. Fallon says:

    This was a nice lesson to watch because it was mostly conversation and explaining meaning of words in the text to understand more deeply. The students had to explain their thinking. Nice job on the lesson and I loved how you used a science lesson but tied the language standard to it!

  15. Miss Moran says:

    I thought this was a good way to show that every day lessons are headed in that digging deeper direction even in the introduction lessons. It is now opening more doors to move in many different directions

  16. Gay says:

    Thank you for being first to video a common core lesson…

  17. Kim Shirley says:

    CCS that were covered were Key Ideas and Details #1, and Craft and Structure #4.

    Hess Matrix – Apply Level 2

    Loved the lesson and noticed that the other kids who were not participating in the lesson with Mrs. Hamman were on task with their assignments as well – looked like Daily 5 had been taught!

  18. Sydney Boretsky says:

    I like the BLOG idea of sharing.

  19. PDeSantis says:

    ok this may be a duh question but how do we know the kids got it? I recall them using the word independent variable in a sentence but I don’t know, I guess I would have to see tomorrow if they were still able to use the word correctly? Maybe I wasn’t focused.

    • Mrs. Hamman says:

      I think with Common Core you have to keep checking to make sure they get vocabulary by using it over and over in different contexts. It’s different from the way I used to teach vocabulary, which was to teach a few words each week that went along with our reading story, give a test, and then never talk about them again. I think that as we read more informational text and use those words as we talk more about creating our experiment, students will start to internalize the meaning of the vocabulary. I hope that’s what happens, at least! 🙂

  20. Mrs. Moore's Class says:

    Thank you for sharing Shauna. I think it’s great to be able to see a simple, yet effective lesson that hits on so much of common core. Your students were answering questions and referring to the text (3.RI.1), as well as determining the meaning of domain-specific words (3.RI.4). I also like that you were able to show how science is linked with common core. They now have some great vocabulary to move into higher level activities, and move into the dark corner of Level 4 Extended Thinking/Create! Would you be willing to do another video as your students build on what they learned? I think it would be great to see how they move through the scientific process, and I’m curious about how that might transfer this into other aspects of their learning.

  21. Mindy Carney says:

    Thank you for being the first one. The kids were refering to the text and answering question. There was also the use of vocabulary. Nice Job!

  22. This lesson was very helpful to me. I felt I got a good picture of a common core lesson and even beyond it. I got an idea of the work they had done before and the direction in which they were headed and saw lots of connections and possibilities for future lessons. The learning felt purposeful and important to me. Every student was in their own place, which also increased the learning. It was exciting for me to see students reponses driving the lesson and think about that in my own classroom. Thank you for sharing Shauna!

    • Mrs. Moore's Class says:

      Robin, I totally agree with you. The lesson was so much more than a vocabulary lesson, it had purpose. Watching it made me really curious about what was going to happen in future lessons. I would think the kids feel that way too!

  23. Mrs. Renzulli says:

    I really appreciate that you shared this video. I saw some interesting techniques that you used with your questioning. I enjoyed it. It was great to see a realistic classroom and actually seeing what the other students were doing while you were teaching with your small group.

  24. jdelrosa says:


    This was a great lesson to demonstrate implementing common core. I feel that this lesson falls into R.I. 4 determining the meaning of general and domain specific words. I thought that it would be in level 2 on the Hess Matrix.

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