Check Activities from the Workshops
2 -- "Going to the Movies"
Recall the "Going to the Movie" problem that you did at
the start of Workshop 2. Select two students who you think will approach
the problem differently, and predict how they will solve the problem.
Then present the problem to the students. You may need to ask some
probing questions, such as:
- How did you find your answer?
- How do you know that there are no more possibilities?
- Is there any other way you could have solved the problem?
After working with both students, compare their approaches to your
original predictions. What impressed you most about their problem
solving methods? What surprised you? What can you do in your teaching
that will enable you to continue to learn these kinds of things about
4 --Student Narrative
Select one of your students and write a brief narrative from his/her
perspective answering the question, "How do I learn science/mathematics
in the class?" Some questions to guide your narrative might include:
- What do I do? What is my job in this class?
- What does my teacher do? What is his/her job?
- What is the job of the other students in the class?
Now interview the student, asking the same questions. How did his/her
actual answers compare to the response you anticipated in your narrative?
Were there similarities? Differences? What do these similarities/differences
mean in terms of your teaching? In terms of your students' learning?
If you have time, interview a second student. Not all students will
respond the same way, and it's sometimes useful to compare answers.
5 -- Student Discussion
How comfortable are you with letting students develop and pursue
their own inquiry? To test your comfort level, try this -- during
the next week, incorporate into a lesson some sort of class discussion
in which students can talk about their opinions or rationales for
solving something. During this class discussion, see how many times
you can let the comments pass from student to student without an intervening
question or comment from you. It's not easy!
How many students were able to speak consecutively before you spoke?
When did you intervene? Why? What sort of discussion was happening
when you jumped in? What could you do next time to let the discussion
go further on its own?
6 -- Student Groups
Think about how you normally group students for activities, projects,
seating, or other purposes. What criteria have you used in grouping?
Make a list of the ways you have used. Now consider ways you could
group students according to Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences
(MI). Do you think grouping students according to MI criteria would
affect student performance? Try it!
7 -- Designing a Sheet/Blanket Folder
Folding sheets and blankets neatly is easy when someone is around
to help you, but hard for one person to do alone because of the size
of the object to be folded. Design a device that would help someone
fold sheets and blankets.
Discuss your design process. How did you decide what problems needed
to be addressed? How did you go about addressing them? Did you learn
anything from the process?
What can you take from this experience that you could apply to learning
in your classroom? How might you incorporate a design activity into
an upcoming lesson or unit that you have planned?
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