Reflection: Student Ownership Amazing Acceleration - Section 2: Velocity Review


A few years ago I was observed while doing a homework review in the same format as the one discussed. While the administrator liked the process, he did not care for the fact that I never explicitly went over the problem. I understood his criticism and took his concerns to heart, but in the end I opted to not adjust my methodology. I root my decision in the idea that I want students to take ownership in their learning. If I stand at the front of the class and directly instruct how to solve the problem, the students are too passive and not an active part of the process. Instead, when I hand them the solution to the problem, I'm giving them an opportunity to go home and really examine the differences and similarities between the answers. My experience in teaching AP Physics B tells me that students who take an active role in their learning tend to score much better than those students who passively sit back through the learning process.

It takes my students a few weeks to adjust to my practice, as well. Often I find that my students expect me to do a lot of the work for them, including hand them answers. I really work hard the first few weeks teaching my students that I provide them as many tools and resources as they need, but that they must be responsible for digesting every topic we cover in class. If a student still has trouble understanding the why behind my choices, I remind him or her that we have a lot to cover in a short amount of time, but I'm happy to sit down and review the problem before or after school. Funny.....they never want to take me up on that offer!

  Answering Criticism
  Student Ownership: Answering Criticism
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Amazing Acceleration

Unit 1: 1-D Kinematics
Lesson 3 of 9

Objective: Students will explore the concept of acceleration by taking notes and solving practice problems.

Big Idea: Today we define acceleration and connect it to velocity.

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