Fall 2009 Day 20

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Fall 2009-Day 19

Day 20 Topics

Review of Literacy Activities
Literacy: Sequential Directions
Position-Velocity- Acceleration
Instructional Strategy of Reflections
Homework Week 10

Peer Instructor Reflection

Fall 2009: Day 20
Written by: Katie Kizer

Today was the last physics class of the term. Adam started off the class by asking the students what literacy activities did they enjoy and why. Every literacy aspect of physics 111 that was used was mentioned at this time. This was nice to hear because it meant that all of these activities were beneficial to the students in some way or another. My favorite piece of literacy was using the notebook sheets on a daily basis. They gave the students a way to document all of the learning that went on during each class. In addition, they gave students space to reflect on how they were feeling about class that day (almost like a diary). Writing down the learning processes you went through and how they made you feel is so beneficial. I liked writing reflections on the ning website too. In either case, we will all have something to look back on and remember what we did in class. This will hopefully benefit us when we are teachers and are forming lesson plans for our own students.

After reviewing all of the literacy activities we had done throughout the term, Adam started a new literacy activity. He had everyone try to write directions for how to do something. This was fairly open ended because he wanted the students to apply what they already knew to this assignment. Each group presented their directions. Next, he had everyone look at their directions and circle or underline the words that organized the order those directions were in. This was difficult for some groups because they did not have words that explained order. Adam had the students think about all the sentences being jumbled up. If someone were to try to put them back in order, how would they be able to do this. We learned that using sequential directions is very beneficial to the reader. Effective word choice helps both the author and the reader to organize ideas. Next, the students explored acceleration graphs.

The students simultaneously looked at position, velocity, and acceleration graphs. They used what they already knew about position and velocity graphs to interpret what was happening with the acceleration graphs. Although acceleration was a much harder concept to grasp, I think the students did very well. Towards the end of the class, the students were asked to explain what they found out. All of the students were hesitant because they did not feel concrete with their understandings, but they discussed anyways. I thought it was interesting that when students do not understand something, some of them shut down and do not want to think about it or try to figure it out anymore, whereas other students keep throwing ideas around in their heads until concrete facts are understood. I think a good balance between confusion and perseverance to find the answers is necessary to achieve optimal benefits from the inquiry approach.

At the end of class, we enjoyed some cake that one of the students brought in. Meanwhile, the students reflected on what they learned in class that day, but also what they learned from this class in general. When we went around the room asking what the students learned and what they were still curious about, everyone had something great to share. Everyone mentioned some aspect of physics 111 that they want to incorporate into their future classrooms. I thought it was great that everyone found this to be highly beneficial!

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