MODELING PHYSICS: We're big fans of this professional development video featuring high school physics instructor, Mr. Seth Guiñals-Kupperman.
Like our first DILO (Day In The Life Of) teacher, Mr. Greg Schwanbeck,
Mr. Kupperman is a big fan of inquiry-based physics instruction,
particularly modeling likely outcomes. Unlike conventional lectures
that start with a conclusion, he says, he begins by posing a question.
"Students don't even know the answer to it until they're done with the
experiment." Such an open-ended approach, which aims to nudge students
to overlay physics models on the world around them, sounds simple enough,
but properly scaffolding the process can be tricky. To promote the
"interactive engagement" he craves, Mr. Kupperman employs some low-tech
edtech -- a whiteboard.
But instead of asking one or more students come to the front of the class
to work through problems, Mr. Kupperman distributes a medium-sized
whiteboard and a single marker that all members of a group must share.
This moves each student's thought process from isolation
(individual worksheets) to dynamic interaction, which is easy for Mr.
Kupperman to observe. In the end, each group explains its problem-solving
process while standing in a big circle while Mr. Kupperman stands outside
of it. The result? A democratic dialogue on how and why each group's
solution is correct or incorrect. Speaking to each other not only
reinforces ideas but clarifies concepts for their peers who receive it
differently than they would coming from an authority figure. Be sure to
watch the 12-minute clip in its entirety to get a full understanding of
the process. If you're already intimate with the modeling approach, you
may find other gems of wisdom on the hosting site, Teachers' Domain, which
offers an amazing set of digital media and professional development
resources for the classroom.