Day 18: Apply the Model / Goal-less Problems

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Today we did our first “Apply the Model / Goal-less Problem.” Nothing as impressive as Kelly’s students, but we’re just starting. AMTA members can access the collection developed by Matt Greenwolfe at the AMTA website. The Spiral Physics workbooks (free to download and print) also have a bunch of goal-less problems.

I think diagrams and graphs are great at reducing cognitive load when solving more complex problems.  But one thing I’m noticing is the varying level of detail and care students put into making their diagrams and graphs — and there seems to be a correlation between detail and understanding. Is it laziness, which in turn becomes a hinderance? Can getting studentst to overcome their laziness and pay attention to detail help them increase their understanding?

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About Frank Noschese

HS Physics Teacher constantly questioning my teaching.

One response to “Day 18: Apply the Model / Goal-less Problems”

  1. kellyoshea says :

    Oh, please. Just as impressive as my students are at this point in the year!And I don’t think it is laziness, so much as (a) not knowing how to draw useful diagrams/graphs because they (b) don’t see them as useful yet (just something they "have" to do).At least from what they did last year, it seems like once they think of the drawings as being useful, they not only willingly draw LOTS of them, but they draw more detailed, careful, helpful ones, too.

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