It is hard to believe this was only Day 2! This group is doing really well with the student mode. I felt like today's discussions were almost authentic to my classroom. This is such a huge advantage for the participants. They really get to see how an experienced modeler can deal with things that a student in their classroom might do or say. I hope they are taking good notes.
I remember the confusion I felt the first few days of my modeling workshop. I really didn't know much about it coming in and while things were happening that I thought was awesome I really didn't understand the power of it until the third unit we did. It is so hard to be patient and let the workshop unfold which is really what the participants need to do. We've already discussed the hypocrisy of the 2 hour lecture on constructivism and yet we are so quick to ask for that mode of transmission! Pretty ironic. It is how most of us learned though. How did we make it through as the grinder of science education with our sense of wonder as science teachers intact?
The other thing that arose today was some confusion about modeling practices versus teaching practices. For instance one participant commented on the fact that Laura let a lot of the same people talk and didn't force everyone to be engaged. This is not a modeling practice. This is a classroom management choice by the teacher. I think this will become clearer when they see more discussions led by the three of us facilitators. It will be quite apparent that we have vastly different styles even though we are all modelers. There is not a specific way to model. There is not a specific way to present the information necessarily. For me a good modeler knows what their students know and figures out a way to allow the students to build on that knowledge in a meaningful way that allows for changes to alternate conceptions that students have previously constructed. Sounds so easy, right? Well, not at first.. but hey we have 13 more days to practice!
New digs tomorrow as we move to Oakland University for the remainder of the workshop. Great space. I'm looking forward to getting in there and deploying our first model tomorrow! I do need to find a place for a bowling ball activity though....