Reflection: Student Ownership Pendulum Experiments- Part 1 - Section 3: Explain/Elaborate


Letting the students practice a task in an open ended way versus a structured way allows for them to make discoveries and lead to more inquiry. This is a shift for me, especially since I tend to teach with a lot of structure, especially with science. In developing a good classroom culture with my students and setting initial expectations allows for more open ended learning to happen during science.

This also allows for students to come up with procedures on how to complete a science investigation. This process is part of the Science and Engineering Practices of  "Planning and Carrying Out Investigations" This is explained in Appendix F of the NGSS and is considered Practice 3.

The students realize that there are different variables that can be changed to change the outcome of the experiment. In the next two lessons we will be changing these variables and recording data to see if the outcomes are different. The set-up that we created in this lesson will be considered the standard system and in the next investigations we will be conducting controlled experiments.


  Open Ended Investigations
  Student Ownership: Open Ended Investigations
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Pendulum Experiments- Part 1

Unit 3: Gravity
Lesson 4 of 11

Objective: SWBAT design a pendulum experiment based on Galileo's work in the 16th Century.

Big Idea: Galileo discovered the concept of pendulums by observing the swinging of lamps at a cathedral in Pisa. He used these observations to create experiments with pendulums and to describe them in mathematical terms

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