Reflection: Checks for Understanding Enhancing Our Model of Work - Section 1: Warmup


Pretty frequently, I will use the technique described in today's warmup section. At the end of a board-based discussion, I will improvise a variation on the problem under consideration. Today, it was a change of sign in one portion of the problem. The improvised element changes the outcome of the problem and I can shift student thinking from "following" an idea to "applying" it. This is an important shift and represents a greater cognitive demand on students.

Furthermore, by stating out loud that I'll be waiting for 6 or more hands to go up, I signal my students that I expect everyone to consider the variation posed. This applies modest pressure on those who might normally sit back and wait for the more eager students to supply the answer. Another advantage of this method is that I get to see how well entrenched the idea is with the group; are just 3-4 students feeling confident? Or ten? One final advantage of this technique is that I can select a student who, perhaps, is often overlooked due to processing speed - my selection is often based on my desire to include those overlooked students.


  Checks for Understanding: "What-if" Extension Questions
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Enhancing Our Model of Work

Unit 2: Electrostatics
Lesson 4 of 15

Objective: Students will implement strategies for estimating the work done when two charges are moved with respect to one another.

Big Idea: Estimations are important, necessary, and can be improved.

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