Day 145: Post-Mutiny

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Today was a great day. Kids were involved, engaged, helpful, polite, busy, hard-working. Just to be clear, I think yesterday's reaction wasn't really about resistance to modeling, but resistance to the added layer of documenting everything in Blue Harvest. So I've pulled that piece and they are using lab notebooks. I'll check-in with students at least once a week for a personal interview to see where they stand on the standards. I anticipate each Friday will be a "Celebration of Learning" — I'll have optional quizzes for students to take, others have time to work on their portfolio items (labs, activities, problems, project, etc.) while I circulate for interviews.

The lab notebooks created an interesting dynamic today. I think the class ran smoothly because everyone had something to do because they each had a notebook for recording the lab. I've done lab notebooks for years, but this year decided to skip them, using whiteboards and worksheets instead. So this year, kids were more off-task during lab and took it less seriously. I feel bad in a way because it seems the notebook manipulates them into behaviors I wish they were doing from the beginning, but I hope the ends justify the means.

Thoughts?
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About Frank Noschese

HS Physics Teacher constantly questioning my teaching.

2 responses to “Day 145: Post-Mutiny”

  1. Anonymous says :

    Frank, no need to feel bad about thinking that the notebook is manipulating their behaviour – I suspect it is their ‘security blanket’ and is simply what they are used to, just like a trusty old fashioned diary that some of us carry around even though we are surrounded by technology that can do likewise. We had a similar revolt in our school against the use of posterous as a learning portfolio – now students opt into either traditional lab books for a blog – a bit difficult for the teacher to manage, but not impossible.

  2. kellyoshea says :

    Instead of a separate lab notebook, I put specific pages into the packets. Everyone has a place to keep notes from lab (though some won’t do anything during class no matter what I do, of course). I think it works well.I’m feeling the itch to do something a little different from the teacher-designed quizzes in regular physics next year (I think they work pretty well in Honors right now, but I think they are feeding passivity in some regular phys kids). I’m not sure what I want to do differently. I need the summer to think (and probably some feedback from kids on course evals for more perspectives).

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