Friday, 19 August 2016
Find the speed of a wave traveling through a slinky. Take whatever materials you need but I won’t tell you how to do it. Here’s what two students said they were going to do:
Two questions come to mind:
- how can I model good diagramming of experiments?
- how can I help these kids explain the procedure they just did (like, they know when they started the timer and when they stopped — this description just doesn’t capture it)?
Disclaimer: I studied math ed, not science ed and as such, have a huge case of imposter syndrome going on when it comes to labs. Cause y’all took courses in this stuff, right?
In middle school, my students were taught to write a procedure for a science experiment. There was heavy focus on enumerated lists that start with “gather materials”. I prefer to see the kids’ methods — what did you choose to measure/calculate and why do you think that’s the right choice?
The shift from procedures to methods is huge for 9th graders!
So I made up an example to show my kids. For distances, sketch out where you’re measuring. For times, tell me when you’ll start and stop the timer. I’d also like to see a little explanation of why you chose to do what you did.
What would happen if I put the methods section at the end of the lab? Maybe kids would be able to better word what they did after they’ve done it a few times. It’s worth a shot.
Student diagrams almost always suck on this lab. I think they view the diagrams as busy work. I clearly haven’t sold the students on the value a diagram can provide.
Meh, I want to hit publish, but have more to say about diagrams. Maybe another time. Have a great day, friends!