Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 10: The Post Back-to-School Night Blues

Today I asked my students to work on whatever they needed to work on to prepare for tomorrow's quiz. I had originally planned to do some whiteboarding, but the preparedness levels varied so wildly within each class that whole-class work didn't seem productive. Instead I had lots of little conversations with small groups of students about different representations of motion. It was chaotic, but I think there was some genuine learning going on.

What worked:
  • Letting students work at their own pace meant that the quick&steady workers who finished worksheet 2 on Tuesday could move on, while the students who hadn't finished the motion detector lab could work on that.
  • Individual and small group work meant I could answer questions for some of the quieter students who won't ask in front of the whole class. (I'm hoping the Mistake Game will help reduce this fear/anxiety/shyness, but it's only the first actual full week of school...)
What could have gone better:
  • Letting students work at their own pace meant that some students decide that v=0 was their pace. While I tried to prod them, I couldn't spend the whole period on them.
I posted Edmodo notes containing the first two standards we're working on to students in two classes. With luck, the conversations I start there will help them realize that knowledge won't magically appear in their heads.

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