Grade 8 math has been fun and interesting for me to teach. Compared to the algebra and pre-calculus parts of the higher grades, the topics covered in grade 8 seem to be immediately relevant and useful. None more so than proportional reasoning. My students, for the most part, managed to grasp the concepts of ratios fairly quickly. This shouldn’t be a surprise, given how much scaffolding there is in the BC math curriculum.
Previously I’ve written about problem based learning (PBL), and I did just finished another round with the heat problem in Physics 11. A couple of issues have been revealed this year, and I’m not entirely sure what to do about them. The first issue is one of differentiation. This year I’ve had three classes try out the problem. All three had 2 full periods to solve the problem, but very few groups actually finished the problem to the state where a solution was written up or sample calculations were done.
Last week I had my first try at implementing Problem Based Learning (PBL) in physics. We were about to study Heat Energy and it seemed like a natural fit for presenting an authentic problem. I chose to make a scenario that was based on my previous work as a mechanical engineer. Have a look below… PBL - Heat Energy From what I understand, PBL should be based on authentic situations where the solution is non-obvious such that the students need to engage their meta-cognition.