Opening Minds on the First Day

Marshmallows (Photo credit: John-Morgan)

In looking for ideas about using the Modeling Chemistry curriculum this summer, I ran across a detailed account of a Modeling Chemistry workshop by Gary Abud, Jr. at Productive & Constructive.  (In fact I need to take some more time to read through it – there’s a lot there!)

One of the things that caught my eye was his ideas for the first day/week of school and methods for establishing a mindset that is open and ready for the Modeling Instruction.  This is particularly appealing to mebecause last year I had a group of students that really struggled with letting go of the idea that the teacher would ultimately be giving them the “right” answer that they should be ready to repeat.  (I’m sure my maternity leave did not assist the students in moving out of this phase as quickly as they might have otherwise…)

So I’m going to try the Marshmallow Challenge to establish the idea that it is okay to make mistakes and that we can expect to make them often this year and learn from them!  At some point I’ll mention that building multiple prototypes is like having multiple assessments on each standard (and chances to take extra assessments). I’m interested to see how many of these (and other) connections my students make!