Reflection: Checks for Understanding Designing a Solar Car Part 3 - Section 2: Design Ideas


In the design of the solar car I wanted to assess their knowledge of aerodynamics. I had checked the research and they had found correct images and explanations of the concept but did they get it? I used a strategy called It Is/It Isn't.

I ask students to draw a horizontal line in their notebook. On the top of the line label, It is... and on the bottom label, It isn't...

I explain, "Using labels and drawings, tell me what aerodynamics is on the top part of the paper and then tell me what it isn't on the bottom part of the paper." In the movie below I am introducing the strategy. 


This strategy worked beautifully because the students demonstrate their learning in a visual manner, authentic to the way engineers express an idea. In addition,  I easily assess their understanding because I can look at what they say, It isn'...t", to know if they understand what, "It is...". I check in with students who seem to have a difficult time understanding the concept to scaffold their understandings.  

  Assessing Misconceptions
  Checks for Understanding: Assessing Misconceptions
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Designing a Solar Car Part 3

Unit 9: Designing for the Future: Designing a Solar Car
Lesson 3 of 7

Objective: SWBAT use scientific knowledge to create several solar car designs.

Big Idea: The fun starts here. Students are armed with lots of cool scientific information and now they can start the designs. They explain how their designs help solve the problem, "Can solar cars the transportation of the future?"

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