The preparatory work in school will give the students a first taste of what is going to happen in the Newton room - for example, it may work as an introduction to subject concepts or topics that the students will encounter later. The supplementary work will give students some repetition and / or widening of the subject area studied in the Newton room. It is important to student learning outcomes that students perform both the preparatory and supplementary work.
Students often work in groups in the Newton Room, which is prepared for students working together to solve practical tasks, - to build expertise together as a group. The group size may vary depending on tasks and equipment, but in many modules the students work in pairs or groups of three or four. Use of learning partners in the Newton room are based on sociocultural learning theory, suggesting that learning is enhanced by using the language for dialogue, reflection and discussion. In Newton room the students will be challenged to formulate hypothesis, ‘thinking’ about different ideas, and to collaborate. This is achieved both by dialogue in plenary and discussions in smaller groups.
During each learning activity in the Newton room, the Newton teacher helps the students to see the connection between the practical tasks and the theory. The teacher lead discussions and ask questions that students can reflect on. Through this, the teacher enables students to verbalize their conceptual understanding, or to demonstrate new skills. It is common for Newton teachers to draw clear academic conclusions based on assignments and learning goals. Newton activities should be student-active, whether the activity involves hands-on, exciting technological equipment, or adds to a shared reflection in plenary. Thus, in the concept, we want students to actively contribute in the Newton room, and the Newton teacher will act as a supervisor along the way. It’s in the interest of the Newton concept that students' thinking is made visible in all modules.
A Newton module should use a variety of teaching methods. During a day the students will experience diversity in organization, room facilities and ways of working. The 5 E’s instructional model is based on the constructivist approach to learning. It is one of the models that support Newton teachers in their planning, implementation and evaluation of inquiry-based science education.
In the course of Newton module teaching, there are opportunities for achieving in-depth learning. Students enjoy being engaged in same theme throughout the day, providing Newton teachers with a chance to establish connections between the main topic and other topics. Furthermore, Newton teachers can help students to see the connections between different subjects and subject areas, thus giving students a broader landscape of learning. Last but not least, we expect the Newton room to form an excellent arena for trying out new methods and modern didactic thinking.