Fall 2009: Day 6

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Day 6 Topics

Book Talks
Midterm Preparation
Post Diagnostic Questions: Light and Shadows
Elementary School Preparation
Homework Week 3

Peer Instructor Reflection

Fall 2009: Day 6
Written by: Katie Kizer

Adam started off the class by asking the class if they have ever heard of a book talk. Some students had, but their definitions were a little hazy. Adam explained that a book talk is where someone gives a short preview about what the book is about; what some interesting topics, pictures, and concepts are included; and a selling point about why someone should read a particular book. After giving the definition about what a book talk was, Adam demonstrated how to give a book talk with three different science books. He gave fun hints about what was inside the book without giving the main points away. This made the students interested and made them want to pick up the book and read it themselves. In groups of two, the students picked out a book of their own, looked through it, and came up with some key interest points about the book. Each group then gave their own book talk to the class. They also explained what age bracket of children might be interested in the book they chose and why. I think this was a fun activity to do with the class because it got the students thinking about how literacy can be incorporated with science learning through books.

To prepare for the midterm on Tuesday, we went over the powerful ideas that we have developed about light and shadows. 1) A light source projects light in many directions. The evidence that the students have for this phenomena are the initial drawings they drew in the diagnostic questions, the observations they made when playing with an object in front of a light source (shadows were created), and also the simple fact that they can see everything around them. 2) Light travels in a straight line until it hits another object. The evidence that the students have for this phenomena is the ray diagrams they drew when explaining the pinhole cameras. If light had not traveled in straight lines, the image of the light bulb would not have appeared upside down. 3) If an object is non-reflective, light bounces off in many directions. If an object IS reflective, light bounces off at the same angle at which it hits the object (Angle of Incidence=Angle of reflection). The evidence we have for these powerful ideas come from the exploration with mirrors and non-reflective objects. This was also demonstrated when we quickly rolled a basketball and it hit the wall, and bounced back at the same angle in the opposite direction. This gave the students a visual image of the way light rays reflect off smooth objects. 4) To see something, a light ray must travel to the eye. The evidence for this powerful idea is that if we close our eyes, we cannot see anything. All of these powerful ideas are going to come in useful on the midterm. Also, pictures, diagrams, and explanations of the students' learning processes will be useful. I think that the students are glad Emily reviewed these powerful ideas and gave them a much more clear understanding of what she expects to see on the midterm.

Now that the students have finished the light unit, they filled out the same diagnostic question page that they had filled out before the unit. Their ideas about how to fill these pages out were much more detailed and complete than before.

At the end of class, we briefly discussed what the plan is for next Thursday when we will be at Wilson Elementary School. We will be doing the moon dance with the students to get them to see the shadows on the styrofoam balls, and talking about the phases of the moon. It should be interesting to see what the children have to say about their observations of the moon and their powerful ideas about the moon phenomena. I'm sure they will be a handful because they will be excited, but I think it will be a lot of fun and a learning experience for both the children and the students in Physics 111.

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