Today began the first time we discussed results of the mini-labs on the whiteboards. It was a dissappointing start to say the least. My first hour was very distracted and it was like pulling teeth to get them to answer questions and think. My second hour I think I was better prepared and I introduced the activity a little differently and I had better success. My 5th hour was even better yet. As Steve pointed out in his blog the other day, I still have difficulty sometimes with being stupid. I still want to answer sometimes or encourage the "correct" answers.
I noticed on one board my students had used a different number of sig. figs. for each number in a data table. I thought that was a great opening to discuss that topic. Unfortunately the consensus at the end was sig. figs. don't matter... I guess I will have to re-visit that topic. I don't really care if they know all the rules for sig. figs, I just want them to realize that the sig figs demonstrate the precision of the measurement.
My students got really restless during the activity after a while. I decided to stop and pick it up again tomorrow. Maximum of 2 per day right now until they start to get used to the dialog.
Coolest moments? One group of ladies in my 2nd hour did the diameter vs circumference of a circle and got a slope of 3.1423! How close is that? I barely had to prompt them to figure out what the number was. Two groups in my first hour did the wire lab, data was different for each one because they used different cuts of the same wire (I had two stations running). Their line equations were nearly identical. I was amazed.
Biggest problem? I made 25 whiteboards. 10 needed per class. If I don't get to all the labs and I save them, I need to have more. Back to the depot I go...