Pseudo Day 117 – Qfocus Day 2

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Science 9 – May 6

Today each group finished coming up with 3 high priority questions that relate to our Qfocus.  Many groups came up with questions that were right on target and approachable.

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Some questions were really difficult, such as “What came before time?”

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Some groups were off-track as seen above. I didn’t step in to change their questions though, as I wanted to validate what they were genuinely interested. Next year I won’t let this happen though, I will take tighter control over what their final questions are.  I made this decision after hearing a quote from Grant Wiggins, where he said that we make no apologies for setting the learning objectives.

This process was interesting and a bit worthwhile. However, the students were able to answer their questions within a couple days of work and we were still left to go over many more learning objectives in the unit.  This is a perfect example of me needing to share a methodology with other teachers doing something similar yet I still feel like I’m working in a bit of a silo.  This stuff is really difficult to do when you have no one else to share ideas with.

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Pseudo Day 116 – First Day of QFocus

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Science 9 – May 4

As we began a new unit on Space, I thought I would try to kick the inquiry up a notch by incorporating some tools that I read about in Make Just One Change by Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana.  In this picture you see the students grouping together and discussing some new questions they have about Space.  The QFocus point that I gave them was:

The Universe and its galaxies were formed over 13.4 billion years ago

Yes, I know the Big Bang is thought to have occurred 13.7 billion years ago but the above 13.4 also includes formation of galaxies.

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I also had the help of a co-worker who used his 3D printer to make a capacitor holder that I designed.  The idea is to use this to hold capacitors that I have soldered back-to-back. I may make a whole classroom set to use in the electricity unit.

Pseudo Day 110 – Inquiry into Floatation

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Science 8 – April 22

We are now working through a unit on fluids.  To start things off, we are focusing on the idea that some things float while others don’t.  Question Focus: Not everything floats.  This leads to questions such as:

  • do heavier things float?
  • what is mass?
  • what is density?
  • do more dense things float?
  • does it matter what the thing is floating in?