Sunday, April 17, 2016

What modeling in a classroom looks like

What I found most interesting about the reading this week was that in order to be successful at modeling in the classroom, preparation is key. Because modeling is so effective as a teaching tool, I know everyone in our class wants to use it. Therefore, we all need to understand how much extra effort goes into providing this type of experience for the students. Letting student's make mistakes is a lot harder than it seems and as teachers we need to learn how to correct without just giving away the answer. Modeling can also be scary though. Letting student's frame their own ideas can go horribly wrong and being able to correct is important. This is learned over time and I think it is also important for teachers to consider that not every modeling experiment will go as planned but this isn't a reason to stop doing it.

The 5 key requirements were useful to hear in this context, however, I read them and thought- duh. Sometimes I forget that coming from a field that uses models so heavily, these concepts aren't second nature to everyone. It is so important to understand what an effective modeling task is for students. Doing extra work in the beginning really can help facilitate students learning and ultimately make students more independent thinkers. Overall, I think the reading and video were trying to impress upon us the importance of modeling and how to do it right. This is a great place to start for how to design a modeling experience and what are the important features. Understanding that charts and graphs are only a tool is also important.  A lot of work goes into planning a modeling experiment but the benefits definitely outweigh the costs.

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