Reflection: Positive Reinforcement Float-a-Boat: Introduction to Scientific Inquiry and Design (Part 2/2) - Section 2: Explain


As explained in the video, consultation with students individually or in groups is a powerful strategy. It is powerful because it promotes student accountability and ownership. It also encourages group cooperation because students know that they will have to present one unified idea in order to be approved.

During the consultation process, probing student rationale can provide interesting insight into the depth of their understanding of the design process (SP3 Planning and Carrying Out Investigations) and core disciplinary ideas related to forces. During the consultation, rigor can be added by asking students questions about crosscutting concepts such as Cause and Effect (CCC) and Structure and Function (CCC). Some questions that could be posed are:

How does the ____________ affect the performance of your boat?

What might cause the boat to hold more passengers?

Why did you design the ___________ part of the boat? What function does it have?

What about the structure of your boat serves a specific function or does a certain job?

The consultation process also presents an opportunity to provide direct instruction based on the specific needs of the students or group of students. In this way, consultation is good way to differentiate in a diverse classroom.

  Conferencing with Students as a Form of Direct Instruction
  Positive Reinforcement: Conferencing with Students as a Form of Direct Instruction
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Float-a-Boat: Introduction to Scientific Inquiry and Design (Part 2/2)

Unit 5: Forces and Motion
Lesson 3 of 18

Objective: SWBAT plan and carry out an investigation using science and engineering practices.

Big Idea: Welcome to the water park! Students will create a “lazy river” boat from aluminum foil that will hold the most passengers.

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