Day 19: I’m Doing it Backwards

Tuesday, 9 September 2014
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Some students’ instruments were due today (above), which was a nice stroke of luck because I needed cool stuff made this year to show off. I had plenty of new material to show the parents at back-to-school night when they rotated through my room 10 minutes at a time.

I realized after showing off instruments that my approach to teaching this unit on Waves & Sound is completely backwards. I wasn’t motivating the need for much of what we learned by presenting material in a building up fashion. The parents got an improved flow: 1) this is a pan flute, why does it sound that way?; 2) resonance is why and here’s a simple resonance demonstration using a cylinder of water with a piece of PVC inside + a tuning fork, why does that happen?; 3) because of standing waves, which can be visualized with this string being driven by a mechanical oscillator. This progression is totally backwards from the way I taught things to their children. Next year, I’ll experiment with reversing the flow.

This day last year: Parent Rotation Night

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