Thursday, September 8, 2011

Day 2: Goals and More Slow Helicopters

Today I asked most of my students to complete a questionnaire about their goals for this academic year. After that, we tried to make our observations of the index card helicopters more quantitative.

What worked:
  • The students took the Goals survey seriously, for the most part giving me thoughtful answers. Even just glancing at the Goals surveys, I can tell my honors class is going to need help staying in a growth mindset. Plus I have a bit more insight into my students. Not enough, but something to build on.
  • Giving my larger Basic class a short exploratory time, followed by sharing, followed by more in-depth exploration and a second sharing worked as well as it worked with the Honors class yesterday.
What could have gone better:
  • Still have some students who don't seem to differentiate between the concepts of speed, distance, and time.
  • Although many groups made claims about surface area as the factor that slowed their helicopters down, only one group measured/calculated surface area.
Honors Physics Whiteboard

Regular Physics Whiteboard

Another Regular Physics Whiteboard

 One problem I'm going to run into is not finishing a whiteboarding discussion in the same (45 minute) period as the kids write up the whiteboards. Technology (in the form of my cellphone camera and a SMARTBoard) may save me. If I take pictures at the end of a class period, I should be able to project the images on the SMARTBoard the next day for the students to present.

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