Inspired by Dan Meyer’s blog post on his new Twitter meme, #anyqs, I started our unit on energy with this demonstration:
I asked students to write down any questions that came to mind. Here’s what they said:
I would have had the students investigate their own questions and then share with the class, but I only have 2 slingshots. So we did it as a whole class demonstration. I also tweeted out the demo using the #anyqs hashtag. Your responses were similar to my students. Here they are, with the new demo modifications and outcomes:
The adding/removing of books was most perplexing to students and it was a great lead-in to the concept of energy conservation. The rest of the lesson was pure pseudoteaching, as I started throwing terms at them like kinetic energy, gravitational potential energy, and elastic potential energy. (No formulas yet, though.) I’m really bad at running effective whole-class discussions, so if anyone has any tips, fill me in!
What would you have done differently?
Thanks for sharing this Frank. Love the videos, especially. Pretty divergent set of questions that came up in class–in focus, scope, and depth. How did that pan out? Was it what you were expecting?
Is there anything in particular about whole-class discussion you are hoping to accomplish (that you feel isn’t quite happening)?
Great idea Frank. Lots of real-world connections. I also like the fact that your students don’t spell or write any better than mine. So much for the myth of Yankee superiority.