Days 5-6 Observation Stations continues

I really should have lumped Days 4-6 together since it covers Observation Stations, but it looks like I was feeling particularly ambitious about posting each day.

Day 5: Progress Check + Presentations

Since it was our first year last year rolling out the Computational Modeling- Physics First #cmpfb curriculum, it was not as intuitive for us to write the progress checks and summative assessments. This year, with new members on our team, we thought it important to asses each standard. This is also pretty important as we transition towards standards-based grading altogether.

This was the very first ever frosh Physics summative assessment, and everyone’s anxiety level was quite high. Students walked into this saying they were going to fail. We wrote it so that it was basically a review and asking them WHY we did the activities. I gave Mrs. F’s Blocks 1-2 and my own blocks 20 minutes to complete the assessment. I have to remember that when we print out the feedbacks offered from Pyret, it shows us the line of code. So when we print out this picture, it looks a tad weird. I saw in the Discord chat that someone writes some code and asks students to fix it. This might be an opportunity for us to fix the way we ask for the feedback that Pyret offers.

Feedback offered from Pyret. This shows us that the data type Number requires a numbe be in front of the decimal point.

Then after the assessment, we did the presentations from Part 1 of Observation Stations. The jamboards had varying levels of detail. Some groups offered Newton’s 3rd Law (and there was a call and response during the presentation) while others kept it simple. There seems to be more motivation this year to show off the language learned in previous science classes. When I explored their use of physics vocabulary, there were definite misconceptions. I will need to take note about their misconceptions so I can address them in later lessons.

Day 6: Physicists & Observation Stations Part 2

We spent the first part of class introducing each other to the class + 1-2 things shared on their personal profiles. When I first started doing these slides, I think I might have been one of the few teachers asking students to complete an About Me slide using a template I saw from a summer workshop. It really is good practice for teachers to ask students about themselves. However, I see that the benefit of it decreases by a lot when ALL six of the core teachers ask students to do this. If I were in their shoes, I would imagine I would have some canned responses.

About the Physicist slide students complete as a way of getting to know them.

We then finished the rest of the Observation Stations. Since we were pros at it by now, the rotations went quicker and students were able to discuss the initial, middle, and final conditions with more confidence and speed. I appreciate that they were using trying really hard to keep it to conditions, but some started to veer off to explain WHY things were happening. There were students who were excited to use momentum, energy, and force in their explanation. I did not do as great of a job at refocusing them to concentrate on their direct observations. There were a lot of inferences going on. I wonder if I should include that in their assessment.

For this whiteboarding session, the questions got better! They started asking questions about the location of various objects in relation to other objects. They also asked about why certain objects were present in some pictures and not all the pictures. I really liked the questions that asked about how much time it took between condtions and if it was the same amount of time. The homework for this activity gets a bit nebulous since I want them to reflect on what they did without just saying what they did. I wanted them to think about what they did, what they thought about it, and what to think for next class–without writing an essay about it. I think once we get to the part of wrapping up our activities and how it relates to energy, both teacher and students will feel better about what’s next.

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