Reflection: Grappling with Complexity Mastering the Mind! How Do You Know What You Know? - Section 3: Explain


This section allows students to stop (which is difficult to get them to do when they are having so much fun playing) and make connections between how the game simulates learning. Students tend to enjoy the experience of playing and can be resistant to the hard work of thinking about what it means. This is a great lesson to teach early in the year in order to set the tone for investigations in the future. Through discussion as a group and guided discussion, students reason and explain that the following connections are true:

Mastermind Making Connections Diagram

One way rigor within the NGSS occurs is through a consistent practice of engaging in argument from evidence (Science and Engineering Practice 7). While this diagram appears to be a simple matching scenario, the rigor evolves through discussion with students about why the connections are true and the ways they can apply these connections to their own learning experiences. For example, when prompted, students generate their own examples of the "codes" they have needed to break in their own learning. For some, it is conjugating Spanish verbs, for others it is understanding a number line. By equating learning something new to a "code to be broken", students start to understand that learning isn't some large, impossible task. Rather, with the right physical and mental tools, they can be successful learners as they work to break the code.

  Grappling with Complexity: Deeper, Not Harder
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Mastering the Mind! How Do You Know What You Know?

Unit 2: Engaging 21st Century Scientists
Lesson 2 of 12

Objective: SWBAT explore the process of learning new information by playing a simulation game called Mastermind.

Big Idea: The game Mastermind simulates how we, as scientists, learn. During this activity, students think about their thinking as they work to break a simple code.

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