Day 15: Goal-less Problems

Physics: Reviewed for exam. I ran around campus like a crazy lady trying to get study resources together, copied, and sorted so that I could give them more support. Then I forgot to hand them out. Kicking myself. I took the exam that was given to me and re-typed it up in Word to change the formatting a bit, take out questions about individual experiences/activities/simulations I didn’t use, and add back in questions about things that we did discuss. Also have it so that all work will be done on the exam itself rather than them using their own paper and making terrible formatting decisions. We’ll see how it goes. It’s actually shorter, even though it looks longer, because now it’s five pages long instead of two. We’ll see tomorrow how well they respond.

Honors Physics: Lab day! I gave the kids some equipment, asked them to find a relationship between some things, and let them go. It was the most unstructured lab I’ve ever done, and I am a little excited and anxious to see whether anything useful came of it. There was a lot of conversation and discussion happening the entire time, all of it on task about how to take what measurements, but I’m a little trepidatious about the debrief we’ll do tomorrow where we talk about what happened in more detail. I also gave them a quiz on system schema and free body diagrams. It went… okay. No one did it completely correctly, so we’re going to have to do a lot more practice. Good thing we have applications of Newton’s Laws coming up, so I can make them do ALL THE SYSTEM SCHEMA.

AP Physics: I contact Feedback Student’s advisor to ask him if the “just give me the answer” attitude was a pattern, and he said he was surprised to hear it. Also have an appointment to speak with the head of school about addressing student resistance as we move forward. Today in class we did goal-less problems, and Feedback Student just loved them, even though they were another weirdo modern pedagogy thing that asked them to do much more thinking than most other practice problems. I’m going to have to ponder this more and figure out what was actually bothering him if it wasn’t being asked to think about problems without a lot of guidance, which is what I thought he was suggesting I change. Needs much more thought.

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