Monday, January 11, 2016

Day 78: The Chattering of Teeth

When I entered my room this morning, it was 39 degrees.  My windows were open, I could see my breath and there was snow on my floor.

I closed the windows and managed to get the temperature up to 45 by the time the students arrived.  By the end of 6th period, it was 61.  I taught in my jacket today and tried very hard to be understanding to my students being distracted.  It's very hard to concentrate when you're in a state of physical discomfort.

I'm still baffled by kids who wear t-shirts and shorts in January and complain about being cold.

In any event, we started our notes on the outer planets.  I talked about the role that Jupiter plays in keeping the Earth safe from passing asteroids through the gravitation.  I told the story of Hellfire and death that was the demise of the dinosaurs.

The majority of the students seemed to be enthralled and horrified by the idea of molten glass raining from the sky.

I had to remove a student who refused to top talking.  I found him later in the day and we had a chat.  He said that he needed to step up his game.

The physics students took a conceptual quiz on Friday that dealt with Newton's Laws of Motion.  It had no math but forced them to explain how those laws related to reality.  As I was grading them over the weekend, I realized that this would be an excellent opportunity for my students to reflect on their own abilities.

I made up an answer key with full explanations, photocopied them, and handed them back with the quizzes today.  We went over the answers as a group and I had them give themselves a grade based on how well they understood the concepts.

"What if I got 2 wrong?"
"What grade do you think you earned? What grade symbolizes your level of understanding?"

This was probably the most difficult question on the quiz.

I clearly need to spend some more time on self-evaluation.  The grades are for them, not for me.

My soundtrack for classes today was Bowie.  He will be missed.  The world is a little less weird today.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great opportunity for some kinesthetic involvement -- explaining those concepts theatrically or while doing some kind of "step" exercise on something... BRRR!!!


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