Large Group

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Instructional Strategies

“Large group discussions promote collaborative learning through reflections and the processing of ideas.” -Katie (Physics 111 peer instructor)

The large group segment plays a crucial role in developing students' understanding of science concepts. Large group is a very inquiry-based and reflective piece of Physics 111. After students document their initial ideas, explore science phenomena, and/or create something in their small groups, they are able to share their findings and ideas with the other small groups in class. When small groups present their ideas to their peers, questions arise. From those questions, reflective discussions emerge. Students alternate between explaining things to one another and listening for alternative understandings. This communication style continues to spark more questions and curiosities; the cycle continues.

The large group instructional strategy can be used as a class opener; students talk about what they have learned outside of class about science and teaching. It can also be used during class to generate powerful ideas and to promote whole class understandings of science concepts. Large group discussions can also be used to bring closure at the end of each class period. During this time, each student in Physics 111 is asked to share what they learned and what they are still curious about. As with all large group discussions, students learn by explaining their ideas, listening to others ideas, questioning, and pulling the pieces together.

Large Group Discussions

Opening Discussions prompt students' thinking about what they already know, what they observed since last class, and it primes them for further physics thinking and activities.

During Class Discussions help students synthesize the information that they are exploring in class. By talking about what they tried, what happened, and what inferences can be made from that evidence through in-class large group discussions, the students develop their understandings of scientific phenomena.

Closing Discussions encourage students to reflect upon the learning that they experienced throughout the day and share the questions that they are still curious about in an open and collaborative format.


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