Saturday, October 29, 2011
This week has been a good one. The students started building their roller coasters on top of or inside of their shoe boxes. As I walked around the room, I could hear them using some physics terms such as friction, kinetic energy, and potential energy. This makes me SO happy! We have briefly discussed some of these terms in class, but they are actually using these concepts to build and adjust their roller coasters. The goal is to build a roller coaster that can roll a marble from one end of the track to the other. Some of my students are being so creative with their roller coaster designs by including jumps and loops that actually work. Some of my least motivated students are staying on task and working as team players within their groups. I am still struggling to keep my lower level students involved with the physics. One of these students keeps falling asleep and the other is refusing to work in his group. To solve both of these problems I have given these students more independent work to keep them on task. Now both of these students are building Lego roller coasters that model the one that their group is making. As we finish these roller coasters next week, I hope to see an improvement in their behavior and willingness to work on this assignment.