A-B-C, Easy as (Level) 1-2-3

It’s already mid-October, fall is in swing, as every coffee shop has something pumpkin spiced. Family showcase was in a few short days and Collaborative Conversations a few short weeks away. There was a lot to do, but not before Ryan gave us non-vector folk some physics schooling.

Ramps With Ryan

Ramps With Ryan

The snack array/dinner for some of us is starting to follow a trend.

Is it snack? Is it dinner? It is both?

Is it snack? Is it dinner? It is both?

If there isn’t hummus, grape tomatoes, grapes, and oreos, it might as well not be a GRS snack/dinner. I don’t know why those became the staples, but it’s one of the more nutritionally balanced sets of food in during the week so it is always welcome. Hooray vitamins!

The first thing we did in prep for the family showcase was answer some tough questions, namely “What could your least performing student (in this case, STARS) show that they know?” This was where some of the potential gaps in understanding there were in our STARS groups, but at the same time it gave us a benchmark: at the very least, what did we want our STARS to take away from their time and effort?

We then revisited our ice water activity from last week, remembering the differences between what, how, and why, as well as the seen and unseen phenomena that are occurring. This was the basis of the 1-2-3 responses that we wanted our STARS to generate. They could tell us what their group found, how this result happens, and why the result happens (as in, what are the unseen things that occur that lead to the results you found). By working towards the level three explanations we can also uncover misconceptions STARS may have about the unseen. To steal a potential misconception from Team Green, a misconception may be that because someone learned that photosynthesis only requires CO2, water, and light energy to make its own food that plants only would need those things. Constructing these responses allows these misconceptions to come out and be addressed if necessary. The level 1-2-3 explanations are ripe with modeling possibilities as well. As the STARS team progresses through their work, they can add on to previously existing models. At the very beginning, a STAR could create a model that simply shows what they can see is happening, but over time, they can add onto it, using their model to explain the unseen forces behind a observable phenomena.

With that level of practically and importance, we got to work reading a few level 1-2-3 responses from the EDE 477 class (thanks, EDE 477). They were of mixed degrees of usefulness, but there was a common trend based on the ones that I got: The what section is very short, the how section is a bit longer, and the why is just a pile of content and reminded me of the “brain dump” section of the WLP. Reading these was an excellent model of how we should go about constructing these. We were so ready, so in the zone, so cranking away at our work… that we kinda sorta put the other parts of class (discussion of readings, discussion of 5 practices, the video review) on the back burner for next time.

Pictured: The brief interlude between intense work and intense work

Pictured: The brief interlude between intense work and intense work

To finish class, we reenacted the scene from the Wizard of Oz in which the Wizard gives everyone a gift symbolic of their desire for a brain and a heart and what have you. We each got something to use at the family showcase.

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And Ryan and I got some headphones.

And that about wraps up the week. Good luck to everyone. See you again real soon.

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