Reflection: Wave Behavior Lab Rotation: Day 1 - Section 4: Wave Behavior Labs: Station 1 and Graphing Introduction

When I came into the teaching profession, I was so excited to help my students learn that I sometimes confused that with not letting them make mistakes.  For example, during the mini lesson connected to Station 1, before asking the students what properties could be measured on the graph, I would have drawn both the Disturbance vs. Distance graphs and the Disturbance vs. Time graphs side by side explained their differences and showed them which properties could be measured by each.  I would have emphasized that the Disturbance vs. Distance graph could not measure frequency because it does not measure time.  I would have made sure I didn’t ask them any questions about that difference until they had all of the information.

However, I have found that I need to not be scared of misconceptions.  Instead, I need to embrace the idea that I know what they are.  When students vocalize a misconception, it is the most powerful teaching moment I have found.  Only when students realize that they had been thinking about a topic incorrectly can they change their understanding.  Without providing opportunities for students to share their instinctual opinions about science concepts, students can initially realize they have a misconception in the first place.  I find this especially in "good" students.  You know the ones.  The students that listen to everything you say and can repeat it back to you.  These students can answer surface questions with what I have "programmed" them to say, but I have found that when faced with an unexplained phenomena that requires application, their misconceptions come through.  Providing them opportunities to display misconceptions that you address as teaching moments can allow for dramatic growth and deeper connection to concepts.

Reflection: Don’t be scared of misconceptions!
Reflection: Don’t be scared of misconceptions!

Wave Behavior Lab Rotation: Day 1

Unit 1: Waves: An Introduction and Exploration of Wave Properties
Lesson 5 of 7

Big Idea: Students go through a series of hands-on lab stations that engage students in not only identifying the properties of waves, but in creating mathematical representations as well!

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70 minutes

Leigh Roehm

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