Reflection: Pacing Electromagnetic Investigations - Day 3 - Section 3: Electromagnetics Investigation Time


This is an ambitious set of ideas to explore. In addition, having students experience all four stations is another complication to the process. Together, these commitments mean that this investigation will be time-consuming and, perhaps more importantly, difficult to estimate the necessary time.

We are three days into this investigation and it's obvious we'll need at least two more class periods to be done. Obviously, this is a significant investment of time. There is, of course, a tension that exists between investing in activities like this and making time for other, similarly meaningful, topics of exploration; we have yet to discuss objects in motion or Newtonian Mechanics!! But there are several mitigating factors and benefits that come along with our current work:

A) We have 80-minute blocks that allow ample time, in a given day, to introduce new content and still provide working time for the investigation. Today, for example, we discussed the physics of magnetic field induction before doing our lab work. In future days, I may begin to introduce some topics of the next unit ("Objects in Motion") in a similar fashion.

B) The content is clearly NGSS-related - HS-PS4-3 and HS-PS2-5 are the primary content learning targets. In addition, the assessment of this activity will rest squarely on the students' abilities to show how the evidence supports each of these fundamental ideas - a direct connection to the Science & Engineering practice of making arguments based on evidence.

C) Student affect is quite positive. There is a true sense of purpose and enjoyment in these activities with plenty of room for students to problem-solve and be creative. Given the choice between "engagement" and "coverage," I will choose engagement every time. I think it's better to do 85% of the standards really well as opposed to 100% of the standards poorly . . . maybe I won't have to choose at the end?!?!

  Making Time for Investigations
  Pacing: Making Time for Investigations
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Electromagnetic Investigations - Day 3

Unit 4: Electromagnetics
Lesson 10 of 17

Objective: Students will continue to explore a variety of electromagnetic phenomenon.

Big Idea: It is important to make claims based on evidence, particularly when the claims are not intuitive, as is the case with electromagnetic phenomenon.

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