Lake Turnovers

Explain a lake turnover.  I was creating a study guide for my science class and this was number 6.  Could you explain lake turnovers? For those who cannot here we go: During autumn, when the days are cooler, the surface water temperatures cool.  This causes the upper layer to become heavy and it sinks to the bottom.  This stirs up nutrients and minerals from the dead plants and organisms in the bottom of the lake causing it to mix throughout the water.  And that my friend is lake turnover – which who cares I know, but it reminded me of something…

All of that dead, gross, slimy junk at the bottom of the lake gets mixed with the clean, fresh water. This is good for the lake’s system.  Our students have a huge mixture of  “dead” learning just sitting there.  So many times my co-workers and I gripe that the elementary teachers did not prepare the students for 6th grade.  Or we gripe that this stuff is 4th grade curriculum, why didn’t they teach it.  I’m sure those teachers did.  I can guarantee next year the 7th grade teachers will say the same about the kids I taught this year. They know this stuff, its just “dead.”

How do we get “learning turnover?” How can we stir up the dead stuff at the bottom? I do not have the perfect answer for this.  I know in my classroom I can ask questions looking for prior knowledge and get nothing, then turn on projector and show pictures or short video clips and I can see how it all comes flooding back to them.  Today I showed one 10 second animation of a lock at a dam and could see the “learning turnover” go from no one knew what one was to them telling me stories of visiting Lock 17 on the Warrior River.

That past knowledge is there, they have heard/learned/experienced this stuff before, we just have to find ways to stir it up.


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