Reflection: High Quality Task Cookie Mining - Section 5: Debrief


I've included here in the debrief section two examples of student work on the final reflective questions.  It's clear looking at these that one student really took time to consider what the simulation meant and how it represented, in some small way, real world conditions.  The second student seemed to just write something to finish the assignment

I can't say for sure why one student "got it" and the other seemed to resist reflecting on the activity in any depth, but my suspicion is that it comes down to differing comfort levels with writing (and perhaps comfort with English).  Perhaps this student was just trying to finish and had some pressing reason to be done as quickly as possible (maybe they had some homework for their next class they wanted to get done in the last few minutes of my class, for example).  On the other hand, maybe their answer really was as deep as they could go in analyzing the lessons of the simulation on their own.

I didn't take the time to speak with the second student individually to find out if they had a deeper understanding of the simulation, but this particular case is just another example of why I find it important to go over discussion questions as a class.  Whatever the reason some students engage the reflective questions more than others, it's of great benefit to all students to hear the responses of a variety of students in a short discussion which, in this case, was only a few minutes but which could still go a long way towards deepening understanding of the goals of the lesson.  

  What a difference a little reflection can make
  High Quality Task: What a difference a little reflection can make
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Cookie Mining

Unit 7: Energy Resources
Lesson 4 of 6

Objective: Students will be able to use a simulation of coal mining to critically consider some of the strategies companies employ to minimize the environmental costs and maximize the economic benefits of mining.

Big Idea: Mining has environmental costs, but economies require mining to function.

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