Yesterday was my 7th visit to Central Middle this spring semester, and I admit, I’m still confused as to how to truly optimize learning in the classroom. I realize all the ‘real’ teachers out there probably think I’m naive for not having it all figured out yet. I’m sure they would say that teaching is always a learning experience that is in constant flux. I guess I’m still just surprised at how much of a learning experience it can be!
The lesson this week continued the unit on simple machines. Lab groups built block and tackle pulley systems to investigate mechanical advantage. I thought the exercise was well done–the students did not have any idea of how the pulley would help lift a load prior to the experiment. By the end of the class period, nearly half the students seemed to grasp that the block and tackle would reduce the amount of force applied to lift an object by half. That’s pretty good progress for our class.
However, no day can be perfect and we had yet another disciplinary issue that shut down our last hour to only silent reading followed by a test…instead of doing the pulley lab. Is there something in the air at this time of year or what?