What are we doing to help kids achieve and learn?
I have friends who model. I get it. In theory, if students can explain and defend their ideas on a particulate level, they become much better students very quickly. Here is the problem. I have not "officially" been trained in the Modeling technique. The American Modeling Teachers Association kind of says, "Hey...it is great that you want to use our stuff but you should probably be trained in it first." It is a bit tough for me to take off for a few weeks during the summer and tell the wife and kids I won't be around for awhile. I also want my students to benefit from better instruction. At BCCE 2016, I ran into the good people at Delta College in Michigan. They did something as simple as paint some nuts, bolts and washers and told students, "Show me a model of ......."
Why not give it a try? First I went to a local place that was a specialty store that sold nothing but bolts, nuts, washers and screws. They wanted $131 for a box of nuts and bolts. Obviously they did not realize that I did not want the gold plated versions. I then went down the road to the "Tractor and Feed" store. They sell nuts and bolts in bulk for about $2 per pound and I found some spray paint on the clearance table. Now I'm in business.
So here is what I told my students as we were studying gas laws. I have a bag of potato chips at see level and then I go to Denver where the pressure is less? What happens? Draw and build a model on your whiteboard. Right away, almost every group said that there would be less gas IN the bag at Denver and the bag would get bigger. That was interesting. They all seemed to have a misconception that I would not have guessed. We talked about what "sealed" means and about what else might be happening with the other gases around the bag. Most groups developed a decent model with a little help. It was quick, dirty, cheap...I learned something about my students and I think they learned something about gases. Nuts, bolts and modeling the particulate level...try it out and let me know what you think....
Modeling in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed worlds.
Modeling in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed worlds. Use a model to predict the relationships between systems or between components of a system.