Just wanted to thank you for sharing your ideas for modeling physics. I began my motion unit with throwing the tennis ball at the door (and luckily no one entered while I did the demo). I even caught it every time when it bounced back! It really got the students thinking when I asked "what changed"? Then I asked them to compare the motion of two vehicles. It was reaching way outside of my comfort zone to have the students perform a lab without giving them a procedure to follow, but it was amazing to see them figure things out on their own. We are having great success with whiteboarding results, graphing data and interpreting those graphs. The one thing I discovered from the workshop is that for 20 years I have taught everything backwards. I guess it is never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. I am really going to make an effort this year to start with the lab investigation, then follow up with discussion, and end with direct instruction if necessary. Now I can say "remember when you did the lab with the cars"... What a transformation! It makes so much more sense that way. So far so good!
Have a great year!
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