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Monday, November 8, 2010

Why I need a giant turntable. (Part 2)

This is a continuation of a previous post. ( O.k. I realize it is one post down, but hey they give me the ability... why not use it?)

Part 2 of my week of awesomeness.

I got to spend the day Saturday with my incredibly awesome modeling group from this summer. We got together, saw some wicked awesome discrepant event demos, ate sandwiches with really awesome names. (I was conflicted between the Apollo Creed Steak and Cheese Sandwich or the Eric Estrata Enchilada. I decided that the Apollo Creed would make my stomach feel less rocky. He he get it because Apollo ... and rocky... oh nevermind.) But I digress. I feel so blessed and lucky to have taken this workshop with this amazing group of educators. If we could bottle and share the enthusiasm and pedagogical energy of this group with all teachers, today's crisis in American education would not exist. It was great to see most of us back together. We shared incidents that happened in our classes. We asked advice about some of our issues. We did really cool labs and one that was really cold (outside you know.). That is my last pun in this post. I promise. One of the discrepant events was a bouncy ball that you toss under a table. It hits the floor, then the underside of the table and then you have a choice. Will it come back to you? Will it just bounce up and down under the table until energy dissipates? Will it bounce off the table and continue moving forward? It turns out it bounces back at you. But a tennis ball doesn't. It bounces up and down until it stops. A golf ball doesn't do either! It continues through on its path in the same direction! Very interesting. We discussed it for a while trying just about every ball we could find in the lab trying to prove/disprove our theories. At that point my pal Steve came up with an idea to turn this into an inquiry lab that could be written up for publication. Interested in helping? Check out his blog.

Item 3 of the week of totally awesome?
Being new to this whole modeling thing I have had difficulty with taking what I would deem an appropriate amount of grades for the quarter. I feel that most of the work the kids are doing is new stuff and I hate to mark them down for not knowing things that they have never learned before. Some grades were a bit lower than I feel that they should be. So I had the kids do a self-evaluation of their progress in my class. I then sat down with them one on one to discuss their progress. It was great. I have learned so much about them this year. I feel I know them so much better than I have known any class before. It is a really neat experience for me. And it makes me even happier that I decide to go hang with these strangers for 3 weeks last summer!

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