Sunday, October 26, 2014

Week 7 - Stations Lab for Newton's Laws & A Science Tech Symposium

A week late, but still worth sharing.

Through the connections I have made on Twitter I have come across some very interesting ideas, concepts, people, and many fun moments. In a recent #flipclass twitter chat (Mondays 8pm ET) someone questioned how a flipped physics class can address misconceptions and it lead to Katie Lanier mentioning activities/labs that they do for this specific purpose. She was nice enough to share the one that she uses for forces and I used it after introducing Newton's 3 Laws. The students enjoyed doing it and said the next day that it was helpful for clarifying the ideas. I took some videos of them and have linked them with brief descriptions below. Some of the video is better than others (i.e. sometimes I asked students questions, and sometimes it is a just a shot of them doing it). [Please let me know if the links are not working]

Station 1: Flick a piece of cardboard off of a beaker that has a penny sitting on it.

Station 2: Determine which of two boxes is heavier without picking them up.

Station 3: Balance a metre stick (weighted on one end) on your palm.

Station 4: Pull the "table cloth" out from under the "dishes".

Station 5: Try to pull only one square of toilet paper off using one hand.

Station 6/7: Use a "tapping device" to move a ball (one is starting it moving, another based on changing its direction and controlling how far it goes).

I would definitely do this again and would love to find more of these types of activities for other units (even if they are simulation based) to help with other misconceptions. These are exactly what you hope to find time to do by flipping a class :)

One thing I might do differently would be to make at least some of them a bit more PEOE style (predict (explain) observe explain) so that they have to put thought into it BEFORE trying instead of just after seeing it.

Thank you Ms. Lanier!

Last Saturday my board posted a Science & Technology Symposium. There were some interesting topics discussed and it seemed like everyone walked away with something new in their minds (which is all we can ask really). I went to a session that was about getting students to use concepts and ideas to come up with research projects that relate to the curriculum that will also involve primary research and then actually coming up with community action to create awareness about their topic. The second keynote speaker was a professor that he had worked with that was doing research on students using this process so it was a nice tie in and made me wish that I was teaching Gr 10 Science so that I could try it myself. Maybe I can convince my colleagues to try it themselves ;)

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