The corner approach

This past week we were working on learning about the different parts of the atom and how they work, etc. The kids had a table that they needed to fill out that looked like this:

Atomic #        Mass #          # of Protons         # of Neutrons          # of Electrons

There was a list of different types of atoms below this, and there would be two boxes filled out. For example, number one had an atomic number of 12, and an atomic mass of 20. We told them at the beginning to write on their pages:

Atomic Number = # of protons = # of Electrons AND Mass = # of Protons + # of Neutrons

We even did the first two problems with them, showing them that hey, these three numbers are always the same and you can just subtract or add to find this one. But once we left them on their own to do it, they all went blank. I was walking around and none of them were working, they all just went “what do we do?” I’m like what have you been DOING this whole time??!! Even more so was they would figure out one, but could not figure out how to do the next one. I shouldn’t say everyone. Like five students in each class could get through it quickly. I don’t really know what to do either to make them just… well to just think.

On another note, I tried a new approach with one of my troublemakers. This one in particular is one of the worst ones, and he does not respond to any of Mr. Zieglers discipline approaches anymore. So I asked Mr. Ziegler if I could try something new and he said yes. Well this student was talking and giggling and wouldn’t stop distracting other students, even when he was sent to sit on the other side of the room. I took him outside and told him to please act respectful, but when we went back inside, he just started up again. So, I grabbed a chair, and made him sit in the corner facing the wall for the rest of the class. And man, did that work. He couldn’t believe I was making him do that, but I told him if he was going to act like a three year old then I was going to treat him like one. Mr. Ziegler commented how well it worked too, and that he may be using that in the future as well. We will have to see how this kid acts when I go to the school this week, that will be my real test of it’s effectiveness afterwards.


About benson3

I am in my second year as a PhD student at the University of Kansas. My degree is in geophysics with a focus on near-surface geoarcheology applications.
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