Day 11: Enthusiastic Arguments in Relativity

In Relativity, we continued with our relative motion questions (via Preconceptions in Mechanics). We’ve been using Plickers, which the kids really adore (and which I feel ambivalent about—the tech is really nice and works easily and quickly; I don’t like that it forces everyone to the same pace). In any case, the discussions have been… animated. You can get just a tiny sense of things from these photos (only a few of the 17 kids are even captured here—not my greatest photo work—sorry!).

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Once we were getting close to agreeing on an answer, we tried it out by taping a big piece of brown paper from the art room to the back of a buggy and having another buggy go across the paper while the first buggy pulled it. We left markers by dropping pens and rolls of tape in various places to make the arguments clearer. (I showed them the setup. The kids came up with the breadcrumb system and used it to argue their own reasoning. It was pretty neat!)

We have class again first period tomorrow and need to vote on this problem one more time (I think we’re almost all in agreement at this point). Then we’ll start thinking about boats in rivers.

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