Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Wind Chimes - Section 3: Explore


Now, it is the scariest time for me, because I never really know what they are going to do. I hope that my plan will work, and it usually does. But, when children are given freedom to explore it really makes me feel uneasy, because I am used to being in control of their learning. I suppose I am still in control, but they have freedom to explore. Surprisingly, I am finding that the more opportunities I give students to explore the more they learn, and they have created some very complex designs in this unit. I have two examples of student work: proficient level plan and basic level plan.

Having rules for behavior, practicing the rules, and gradually releasing students in their explorations has allowed them to stay on task during this time of the lesson. First, I had students reading in this section of my lessons. Oh, I was totally in control, but their learning seemed limited. So, then I began allowing students to explore using videos and the internet. Next, I planned some experiments for the students, and after a few of these lessons I began helping them plan. We have finally arrived at the point where I am releasing the students to plan, investigate, and experiment on their own. Now, this is near the end of the unit, and it is February. The students have some prior knowledge, and, we have been together long enough to have all of my behavioral expectations clear. 

  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Freedom to Explore
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Wind Chimes

Unit 6: Sound Travel
Lesson 11 of 12

Objective: SWBAT explain how different material create different kinds of sound.

Big Idea: Experiment, observe, and make conclusions about how sound travels by creating a plastic and a metal wind chime.

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Science, Sound, ELA, noise, glass, string
  65 minutes
meinl ch 12 chimes
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