Writing for science takes practice, having students work collaboratively using whiteboards before they put pen to paper allows for more “pain-free” editing and revising. Most work gets done on the whiteboard before it goes to paper.
Yesterday Physics used Randall Munroe’s What If about Mt. Thor as the basis of their work on free fall. Today each group used a whiteboard the answer to their part of the question. We then did a gallery tour table to table to correct homework.
After building the lightbulb using a carbon filament, we read about his experiments to enhance the ability of platinum to withstand high temperatures needed for incandescence.
It was an article that had difficult and unfamiliar vocabulary, so as a class we broke it down in the following way:
- Identified vocabulary that was unfamiliar, entered the words into a Google form
- Researched “top 30” words as identified by the classes using a Lib Guide created by WHS Library
- Created a custom glossary for the article
- Divided 6 key paragraphs and re-wrote them in small groups using the student created glossary
- Incorporated feedback on rough drafts through shared Google Doc
- Presented the “before” and “after” results
Students did a great job decoding the work and (hopefully) learned the value of working in groups when trying to read a difficult text.
After yesterday working with our variable speed cars to find average speed and instantaneous (fastest) speed:
We took that experience to start writing our own problems based on speed, average speed, and average velocity:
Students had parameters of 5 steps, one negative step, and non-zero displacement. They then developed the scenario and found the speed of each leg, average speed of the journey, total displacement, average velocity, which they will give to another group to solve next class.