Yesterday I had the best whiteboard discussion of the year. I did the intro 6 graph deployment the previous day and had the students whiteboard their results. I had multiple groups board the same graphs so we could have some competitive ideas. We had many that were different and it did provide some great discussion. But the best came from the velocity vs time graph. The graph is a square root function. So the velocity was always increasing but the acceleration was decreasing as it went along. I had a blast twisting the students words around on them and playing it dumb. They were getting so upset trying to explain their ideas and I just wasn't getting it because they were using vague language. My favorite part was when they tried to explain how the acceleration was getting less but they didn't know to use that word so they kept saying that the velocity was slowing down. Then I went "Oh I get it the graph shows the object is slowing down." Them: "Yes... wait, no it is getting faster." Me: "but you just said it was slowing down." Them: "No it just isn't going as fast at the end." Me: "right that's what I said it is slowing down." Them: "I'm so confused." Me:"me too, you seem to be saying conflicting things!" Them: "No it is speeding up the whole time, it just isn't speeding up as much at the end." Other kid: "Yeah it isn't changing as much at the end." Me: "What is it?" Them: "The speed is getting higher, it is just not changing as much at the end." I applauded inside.
It is great to see the progression in my students as I have continued whiteboarding. It started with just a few kids participating and most kids trying to do anything but participate. Every session though I see more kids getting sucked into the conversation. They grumble about it yet I see them getting engaged in the concepts more and more every day. I am loving it. Great day, great day.