Reflection: Student Led Inquiry Which One Is Faster?- An Introductory Investigation of Speed - Section 3: Discussion

 

During this unit on motion, I left some of the race tracks set up in my classroom that students could use during free time.  There was a container full of cars and as the unit progressed I introduced weights and masking tape and scales.  The students were free to use the materials without restrictions.

It was fun to observe the students during this time.  They were setting up races and altering their cars to try to get them to move faster.  I would see them ranking the cars from fastest to slowest and making predictions as to which card would win the race.

The students were learning a lot about speed and motion without a lot of direct instruction.  I saw them engaging in concepts that I did not even address in instruction.  One day, they were changing the slope of the track to see if the cars would race faster.  I was able to sit with these students and have some conversations with them and introduce vocabulary that they would not have experienced during out structured lessons.

Children are naturally inquisitive and it is my job to use this natural desire as a springboard for learning.  In the future, I am going to try to find more ways to incorporate "inquiry stations" into my classroom that allow students to experiment with topics we are learning about.  It might take some work (and some patience to have materials like these easily available for students, but I think it will be worth the effort!

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  Student Led Inquiry: Free Exploration
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Which One Is Faster?- An Introductory Investigation of Speed

Unit 4: Fast or Slow
Lesson 3 of 9

Objective: Students will be able to determine which vehicle travels faster by conducting an investigation.

Big Idea: In this unit, students have been exploring the speed of animals. Now, this exploration of speed switches to non-living things as the students compare the speeds of toy cars.

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