Where are you at?
Currently I am teaching the Modeling CASTLE curriculum. The idea was to have students start with a conceptual understanding of electrical charge before inundating them with the math-heavy mechanics unit in the spring.
The modeling curriculum/method is great for how to teach students the fundamental principles and models of physics, however at the end of the day, I still cannot answer the students when they ask me, "Why do we need to know this?"
I can give them a general answer such as, "Electricity is everywhere. Your cell phone, wifi, snapchat, heater, and refrigerator all exists through an understanding of electricity." I think it is difficult because I cannot directly point to a specific problem in their lives. There are just many concepts and applications that I don't understand and wonder about.
"Why does my phone battery get hot for certain objects?"
"Why do rechargeable batteries decrease in their live with the number of charges?"
"How is data transferred through the air?"
*Binary-->Hexadecimal-->Machine Code-->Programming Language
*Waves- Frequency Modulation(FM) and Amplitude Modification (AM)
I think I get caught up in all the information and explanations that I do not know. Rather than seeing "what I don't know" as an opportunity to wonder and learn, I have been reacting out of fear and insecurity. I mentioned the imposter syndrome in one of my earlier reflections. The imposter syndrome is the idea that I am not a good enough teacher and I will be found out. I will have to work on accepting my imperfections and limitations so that I can keep moving forwards and taking risks. (IB learner profile trait).
The whole point of this "modeling curriculum" and my Imagine IT project about scientific models was get students to think about different ways to represent their thinking.
Why do I think that two objects, ideas, or phenomena are related?
How do objects and ideas interact with each other?
How can we design experiments to describe the nuances of these interactions?
I think I have lost some of my initial goal because I haven't been explicitly instructing students about the modeling terminology and methods. Students are not clear on WHY we are doing labs and using discussions to come to a consensus.
How do I give my students a WHY? I can learn more about them individually to look for connections to the content. I could find general applications for the skills they are learning through the modeling pedagogy.
Rather than go "off the cuff" maybe I need to sit down and write out how these modeling skills will translate to every other content area and then every career. This will give me a quick reference to give to students. Then I can start thinking of smaller and more specific problems to their teenage lives in an IB school in Chicago.
I got lost an unfocused because I scrambling to learn the curriculum a day or two before I teach it to the students. So it seems that I just need to put in a little more legwork and learn the curriculum one or two more days ahead so I can relax and reflect on the work once or twice before I teach the material for the first time.
Where do you wish to go from here?
--> review, revise, and reteach the modeling method and why we are doing it.
--> explicitly teach CLAIM, EVIDENCE, REASONING explanations
-->EXPLICTLY TEACH: Evidence-->Reasoning-->Claim when doing experiments.
-->Explicitly teach the individual modeling skills and assess for them.
-->Create 3D visualizations for VR with ThinkLink
Here are some resources I am working on and looking through for instruction around Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning
What are the specific modeling skills I need to teach?
*These tend to align with the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices, the MYP Science Criterion B: Inquiring and Designing, and Criterion C: Processing and Evaluating.