Reflection: High Expectations Communication Devices ~ Planning - Section 3: Exploration ~ the wave crest


I have high expectations for my students with this task, as it includes multiple steps, writing, and drawing independently.  In order to support students, I circulate and complete check-in's.

Here are the steps of a check-in:

  1. Ask what the student is working on to get a sense of where in the project they are.
  2. Praise and validate the students' ideas.
  3. Further the child's design through questioning and providing additional possibilities.
  4. Make sure the child knows what to do when you walk away.

I usually begin by checking in with students who have difficulty getting started.  These type of friends need to verbalize their idea and have the process broken down into smaller pieces.  Here, I check in with a friend who often has difficulty with lengthy tasks.  First, I validate her ideas with praise.  Then, I ask questions and give her options to extend her thinking.  Finally, I give her two specific choices about which written portions to complete first.  

After checking in with specific friends, I circulate and check in with each table before picking one or more students at the table who seem to need additional assistance.  Here, a student takes me through his plan for a device that communicates using light.  I ask questions to help him plan in greater detail.  What I love in this video is that he is really using the rubric to guide his work and thinking! 

Here I check-in with another student.  She is having a problem with the device rubric, and her design also is too similar to our prior project creating a sound communication device.  Through listening, questioning and providing options, I extend her idea and help her think of additional options. 

This next check-in is a second stage check-in.  The first time around, this student was off-task and had not completed work.  This may be due to difficulty and complexity of the recording sheet, as this child is a developing reader.  To solve the problem, I asked the student to first talk with a friend at the table and discuss ideas.  By the time I came back a few moments later, the students were working diligently on their plans!  A student expert is a great way to have peers assist one another.

  High Expectations: Checking In
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Communication Devices ~ Planning

Unit 4: Light and Sound
Lesson 17 of 18

Objective: SWBAT plan a tool to communicate over a distance utilizing light and/or sound.

Big Idea: There's a light at the end of the tunnel! Help your students brainstorm and plan devices that communicate over a distance using light and/or sound.

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light tunnel
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