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25 minutes of my silence

August 24, 2010
tags: ,

While my intro class is chugging along with finding a model to describe the motion of a pendulum (one group did a great job of teasing out the T\propto \sqrt{l} relationship, though I should have not prodded them as much as I did), my honors classes pulled all their work together for their whiteboarding discussions.

Though I’ve tried aspects of the modeling curriculum before, this year, I’ve decided to really invest in their approach to lab work, and in particular, allowing students to completely run follow up discussions to lab. I started by showing the students this rubric for the discussion, which I think I borrowed from either Sam Shah or Dan Meyer (ht to both).

What followed was both of my classes holding their own for 25 minutes of discussion of the lab (modeling the motion of a motorized cart). This would have seemed completely impossible to me (and probably to them) before I saw it, and it was great for me to simply watch and take 3 pages of notes on the excellent points they were raising. Kids presented their work, carefully critiqued each other, completely revised equations and overall came to a MUCH deeper understanding of the work we did that will be able to propel us forward into the rest of the unit. I’ll try to post the videotape soon.

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