The Sort-of-Scientific Method

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 03 2013

Riding The Momentum

Day 128: This is why I love projects.

For the first time during this health fair project, I didn’t give kids a checklist. I didn’t give kids a graphic organizer. I put up a list of three things to accomplish – finish editing each others’ work, type up final drafts, and make your posters. I literally held my hands out once, paused dramatically, said, “Break!” and clapped my hands.

It wasn’t 100 percent pretty. 6C struggled to transition from performing arts, JM in 6D was fooling around with stickers, and someone in 6C’s concussion group managed to print 1000 copies of his work, ultimately breaking the library printer. But for the most part, kids worked urgently, and made serious progress. The tri-fold boards were starting to come together, and since kids didn’t really need my help to decide what color construction paper to use, I didn’t have a lot to do. During two classes, I walked around and filmed kids at work. During another, I checked my e-mail.

Newton tells us that an object in motion stays in motion unless acted on by an outside force. In other words, momentum happens. And when it happens in a classroom full of 6th graders, sometimes, you get to just sit back and smile, knowing you set something pretty neat in motion.

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Experimental Procedures of a Second-Year Teacher

Greater Boston
Middle School

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