Reflection: Lesson Planning Mystery Conductors Day 2 - Section 3: Active Engagement


I think many teachers, like my past self, would jump into this lesson by showing the students how to build a detection circuit, discuss organized testing, and then send the students out to detect all 8 of the mystery boards.

However, planning two sessions, with one being set aside time to explore and make sense of the materials, concepts, and problems as individual students, is powerful. Students are able to create models of solutions as a team, revise thinking, and become more efficient in the exploration phase. Many students spent time making sure their circuits worked before even placing the variable of the mystery wire into the picture.

When they approached the problem on day two, they were armed with knowledge from models that didn't work, a plan of how to build a simple circuit to test the boards, and an excitement about the knowledge they created on their own, that became their own understanding. 

You can see and hear in the videos that the students have a clear understanding of how electricity flows, how circuits work, and how to prove their knowledge. 

Taking an extra day is more than worthwhile. 

  The Importance of Exploration Time
  Lesson Planning: The Importance of Exploration Time
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Mystery Conductors Day 2

Unit 9: Electricity
Lesson 7 of 13

Objective: Students will be able to use their current knowledge of circuitry to detect a hidden wire.

Big Idea: Today's lesson will allow students to show what they know about circuits without having all of the materials given to them. They will have to define a problem and solve it as a group, using their prior knowledge.

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