Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day 1: Slow Helicopters

One class had a grade-level meeting, but the other three classes worked on slowing down index card helicopters.

Things that went well:
  • Frank Noschese's "Subversive Grouping", done with units. While it was disappointing to realize that some of my students don't recognize mile/hour as a unit of speed, better to know now than later.
  • I gave the Honors class some time for free exploration of the helicopters, pulled them back to 'whiteboard' their discoveries, gave them the assignment to make a model that fell more slowly, and then pulled them together to discuss their results.
  • The Honors class did some nice, independent experimentation to figure out ways to slow down the helicopters. Most groups showed clear beginnings of a testable air resistance model. The other two classes needed a little more prompting, but that's expected.
Things that could have gone better:
  • I didn't give the Basic class clear enough boundaries, which gave two Chatty Cathys room to avoid the learning.

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