Reflection: Adjustments to Practice A Change of Direction-Exploring the Impact of Forces - Section 3: Discussion

We had cleaned up our experiment and moved into discussion.  I was ready to call it a day for science instruction.  I was pretty sure the students understood the concept that was presented, but then a student asked a question that really got me thinking, "Mrs. Baumann, do we get a chance to try it again to see if we can get it right this time?"

I absolutely missed a step in my instruction that is critical to the engineering and design process.  Students need an opportunity to improve their creation.  Granted, we had not actually created a structure, but selecting things that would cause the marble to change direction was the precursor for my next lesson in which the students designed a structure that would get a large ball to change direction.  Yes!  The students needed another chance at this  They needed to "think like scientists" and apply the information that they learned through trial and error.  So, we set the tracks back up and instead of choice time, the students conducted another round of investigations (no one seemed to complain about missing choice time).

The students were very successful the second time around.  Everyone chose something that got the marble to change direction.  The students even looked for other objects beyond those I provided to use for their investigation.  I really would have missed this great opportunity if my student had not asked that simple question!

A Change of Plans
Adjustments to Practice: A Change of Plans

A Change of Direction-Exploring the Impact of Forces

Unit 4: Fast or Slow
Lesson 8 of 9

Big Idea: In this unit, students have been exploring speed and force. Now they get the opportunity to conduct an experiment to better understand how forces work.

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Standards:
Subject(s):
Science, Science Skills, speed (Motion), prediction, inquiry, movement, weight, force
35 minutes

Joyce Baumann

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