To reinforce what we talked about the previous day, we go over all of the Looks Like, Sounds Like charts. Before class, I have combined the four charts include what each class contributed. I point out that other classes came up with different things and we discuss why it is important to include all points of view.
The students and I then have a discussion about each skill again to reinforce what we talked about the previous day. I begin by asking if they see any differences between what we, as an individual class, came up with yesterday and the charts they see in front of them. We look at one chart or skill at a time. I have them turn to their tables and discuss what differences they see before they share out to the class. When they share out, I ask students to raise their hands and state one thing their group discussed. Then we talk about each skill and I tell them this is what I expect to see in the classroom.
After our discussion, each student will sign the bottom of the chart stating that they will follow these behaviors in the classroom. I do this to help students take ownership of their behaviors in the classroom and then I display the Contracts in the Classroom so that the students can constantly have a reminder about what their behaviors should look like and sound like.
We use a lot of technology in the classroom so this is where my students take out their Chromebooks and cell phones and get acquainted with the resources we will be using in this course.
The first thing we talk about is Remind and my Google Voice number. I use Remind.com to help to remind students of important assignments, to bring things to class that I forgot to tell them about, or to tell them when a resource has been uploaded to the website. Students cannot text me back on this number but it is helpful to send out mass texts to entire classes. I also provide my students my Google Voice number which allows them to text me with questions when they are working on their homework. This protects me since all of the transcripts are recorded online and is not through my real phone number.
Next, we create accounts for the online textbook that we have of Conceptual Physics through Pearson. I show students the important sections of the textbooks that we will utilize during the semester and shortcuts to parts of the text that may help them. I also show and ensure students bookmark this site in the chromebook.
Finally, we create a Plotly account and make a bookmark for this site because this is what they will use to graph and analyze their data from labs they perform in class.
To have an easy way to partner students up, I have students fill in the cell phone speed dial partner sheet. This way I can call out a speed dial number, like #1, and they will find their #1 partner written on their cell phone speed dial sheet. I also to this because it is a good way for students to be talking with most students in the class and it gets them up out of their seats.
At the beginning of the activity, I structure speed dials #1-3 so they find something in common with someone in order to have a partner. For #1, I have them find someone that shares the same birthday month as they do. I tell students that when they find a partner the need to write their name on their partner's sheet in the same box that their partner writes on theirs, in this case it is #1. For #2, I have them find someone who is wearing the same color shirt as they are. For #3, I have them find someone who about the same height as they are.
After the first 3 speed dials, I allow them to choose the other 6 partners as long as they do not have any duplicate partners. I give them a few minutes to do this and have them sit down when they are finished. I use this speed dial sheet all year and have students turn them in at the end of class and I keep them until they use them again.
For the puzzle activity, I have students find their cell phone speed dial partner #9 and sit next to them. Then I give them a bag of puzzle pieces and tell them that they need to work together to complete the 12-piece puzzle. I make sure to tell students to call me over when they are finished and give each other a high five when they have succeeded. Then I give them time to work at their own pace to finish.
After everyone in the class has succeeded, I ask them how they felt it went. Usually students say that it was easy to do and that they could have done the puzzle by themselves. After we discuss that, I say we are going to try it again so students need to break up the puzzle, but this time one person will be blinfolded! I tell them that the blindfolded student is not allowed to talk and the seeing student is not allowed touch the puzzle pieces or the other student.
I give students about 8-10 minutes to work on the puzzle. If they succeed, each receives a reward. Students use a lot of different techniques to get the puzzle together and to communicate with their partner. After 5 minutes, we talk about the things that made this difficult and how they experienced getting around those situations. I ask the students that were blindfolded what their partner did that really helped them succeed. Students have lots of different ideas but the most popular are tapping on the table where the piece should go and speaking in specific directional terms. This leads us to finish our discussion how important clear communication is so that everyone in their group and in the classroom knows what their peers mean when they say something.
This is the first time that we will be looking at learning targets in this class. I talk about how we will use learning targets to assess what we learn about in the unit with a first look rating (at the beginning of the unit) and a last look rating (at the end of the unit) as well as on a daily basis, rating the learning target that is written on the board for us to focus on. I tell them that we will use the 1-4 scale shown on the Assess Yourself Posters where Novice=1, Apprentice=2, Practitioner=3, and Expert=4, and I explain what each means.
This will be the first look rating for Unit 1 so I will give students a few minutes to silently read through the targets and rate themselves on each target. Each student gets their own Unit 1 Student Learning Target Sheet on their Chromebooks that is shared as a Google Spreadsheet with me. This way they can see their progress and I can see their progress. The dates represent the projected days that we will spend on the unit. Each day before the students leave the classroom they will self-assess on the target(s) that we focused on for that day.
After students finish self-assessing, I tell students we will start learning these targets tomorrow with a lab so keep these ideas in mind as we work tomorrow.