Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Verdict Is In

Ok, so Monday was the last student presentation on Work & Power. I have to admit, while my students were ready for me to return to my position of the whole "song-and-dance" gig in front of the classroom, I too was just as eagerly chomping on the bit. I missed being in front of the kids, helping them with their work and watching their a-ha moments. Honestly though, I think I missed feeling needed.

On Monday they also received a self and peer evaluation form. They were to first give themselves a grade for their work, effort and participation with the group project. They then needed to assign a grade to each of their group members. It was hilarious to see just how they viewed themselves and how they had some very high expectations of themselves and of their peers. Some kids willingly gave themselves a "C" while giving their group members "A's" and "B's". Some kids were brutally honest and were tough as nails when filling out the peer evaluation forms, while others would sacrifice their grade in order to keep their friends happy. It was entertaining to read their reasoning (for example, one student wrote: She was the best leader I have ever worked for in a group project!) in order to support their peer grades. I cracked up at how they commented on what they learned:

"I learned how to work with people I don't care for very much."
"I learned that teaching is a lot harder than it looks."

"I realized that Newton's laws really weren't that difficult to understand - you just had to have someone explain it to you in English."

Cute, right?

I am not sure if every student learned all that they could have about physics through this project but I do know they learned something. Whether that something will help them pass the FCAT, I'm not certain, but I am sure they learned that my job is not a cake-walk, physics is a rather difficult topic to teach and Sir Isaac Newton was definitely a weird dude (he invented calculus and then didn't tell anyone about it for 30 years).

I still can do some fine tweaking here and there with this activity, but overall, I would declare this project a success.

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