Started the class with having students reflect on their Pyret homework assignment. They came up with some great reflections about what they noticed about Pyret. There are still a lot of students calling the feedback messages errors, so that just means I’ll have to be way more intentional about calling them FEEDBACK instead of errors. I guess it was just much faster to convert our language over the summer since we’re a whole bunch of modeling teachers. The class that called them constructive criticism reverted back to errors. Looks like this will be a whole year of feedback reminders.
We discussed the meaning of observations. It was interesting that students were immediately saying that it means to analyze something. The idea of analyzing vs. observing were always quite different to me when I was a science student. Upon further discussion, it seems that their definition of analysis is to take in the information through their senses and make sense of it. For example, they see an object. Based on past experiences, they’ve determined that object is a blue marker that maybe smells like cheese. They had to analyze the information coming into their brains to make sense of it. I really like that idea and should have kept that idea of input and analysis going, but that wasn’t today’s goal.
Today, we observed the Rubbing Hands, Popper, and Wind-up Toy stations. We talked about the initial conditions and the final conditions and of course the changes. I think I did pretty well with Blocks 1 & 2 in setting up the rules and the procedures of how to successfully do a whiteboard session. During Block 3, I think they were trying to get to the end, but sadly, there was no real “end.” Block 3 is very results-driven and across the board, all three classes were concerned that I’ve never heard the words kinetic energy or friction. Here are some sample whiteboards from the three classes.