Reflection: Student Self-Assessment Horizontal Kinematics - Section 1: Kinematic Curves Review


Looking through the students' work shows me that students are all over the place in their confidence levels, with scores ranging from a 1 (the lowest) through a 10 (the highest).  I'm also seeing that some students really have a great grasp of kinematics graphs and ranked them all correctly, while others appear to have randomly ranked their graphs.  Also, some students' explanations are not supportive of their rankings or show a muddled thought-process, while others accurately articulate the ranking process.  

The first three pages in the work sample shows a wide variety!  The first page is from a student who looks like they left the sheet blank until we went over it and appropriately identified that he has little confidence in his ability understand the graphs.  Student 2 also appears to have struggled, but at least made attempts to correct her misconceptions.  The third student shows that her confidence level was low, but her explanation and rankings are superb!  Pages 5 through 9 show students who felt more confident, although only students 5 and 9 properly ranked the graphs.  

After I finished going through all of the examples, the first student sample is the one that concerns me the most, because he didn't appear to even try.  My students are so grade-driven that some of them will not give even 50% of their efforts if they know the assignment isn't for a grade.  I couldn't ignore this type of relaxed behavior, so I had a brief conversation with the young man after class.  We talked about the importance of giving 110% on all assignments and what a benefits come from self assessment.  Since he's a golfer, I also asked him if he took advantage of the practice rounds before playing in a tournament.  When he (a bit sheepishly) admitted that practice rounds were important before a tournament, I was able to liken our ranking activity to a practice round before the big test!

However, I am not naive enough to believe that everyone else in the class embraced kinematics graphing.  So for those students who were not confident, didn't try so hard like our golfer, or did not rank the graphs correctly, I provide additional resources such as The Physics Classroom's Lessons 3 & 4 in an email.  I also reflect a bit on how well I taught this lesson....perhaps next year I'll consider showing a Khan Academy video on graphing to supplement my lesson.  Finally, during our next professional learning community meeting I hope to discuss with the math teachers how and when in the curriculum they address area under curves.  The more we can work together to help our students, the more success they will have!

  Student Self-Assessment: Looking Through the Students' Work
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Horizontal Kinematics

Unit 1: 1-D Kinematics
Lesson 5 of 9

Objective: Students will be able to develop an understanding of kinematic equations.

Big Idea: Today we learn to love kinematic equations by using them to solve problems about horizontal motion.

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