Did the same thing as yesterday in geometry with my other group of students; good results without any extrinsic motivation from me. I’m really impressed with this group of students.
A little backstory before I go into the picture of the day, as mentioned in my About Me section, I teach at a small school in rural area of Mississippi. Physics has only been taught at my school once in the past decade, to my knowledge. Because of this my lab is pretty empty when it comes to physics supplies. However, my administration and school district have done a great job backing me up and putting the students’ interests first and are in the process of ordering a great deal of stuff.
I’ve also mentioned before that this year I’m following the modeling curriculum for physics. In the curriculum the first unit, centered around constant velocity, the introductory lab involves students finding the velocity of a slow moving buggy. I really feel like this approach opposed to the traditional “here is the formula… know it”. So I decided that I would try to move things around in the curriculum to stall until my inventory arrived.
To do that I decided to go ahead and teach my students about vectors and scalars. After giving students a few bare-bones notes about the two concepts, we got into graphical addition of vectors. I had the privilege of getting to know the former Mississippi Teacher of the Year, Dr. Paul Cuicchi. The way he taught vectors is the story behind my picture of the day. During the unit on vectors and scalars Cuicchi would give each of his students a topographic map, protractor, ruler, and a set of directions and then let them loose. The students went on a make-shift scavenger hunt through the map. Students seem to pick up on this unit pretty quickly, even when taught traditionally, but I still feel like students enjoy flexing their muscles and doing something like this as opposed to the canned examples at the end of the chapter.