Sunday, June 3, 2018

Waiting for them to Be Ready

Our current unit in Where We are in Time and Place has us looking at innovations and discovery.

This unit I held back the poster with the central idea, instead, wanting to see if my teaching was leading them to their own conclusions. This is not revolutionary, but I haven't done it much this year.

I have been waiting for them to be ready.

The first week of the unit saw us making and testing paper airplanes, looking at the history of different things (cars, airplanes, bicycles, toys - we started with airplanes), trying to make sense of data we collected, and making tops.

Note: I happened to use the airplane video because there were many questions about how airplanes worked. I fell into the trap of misleading students and then having it snowball by students becoming interested and asking questions, eventually ending up off track. This reminds me to be more careful with provocations -- or at least to do a more thorough reflection afterward. Still, part of me thinks it is OK to be off track as long as the students are thinking and wondering.

I thought making LEGO tops was the best activity of the week. It was an activity that was accessible to all students. 

After about 10 minutes, I had them stop to reflect on the steps they were taking, they came up with the following ...

find parts 

The list had to be boiled down to this list, but they mostly used the words in their explanations. One thing I should try next time is to record (video or audio) these discussions we have.

We met to do a short reflection at the end of the activity where I wrote what they said on the board. I think my prompt was, "what did you learn?"

I am glad that one student picked up on my use of the word improve.

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