Why are your students so focused?

So, over the past two days, I have been asked several times from several staff: why are your students so focused? Well I think to myself that they are probably wondering why I have my students working so hard the first few days. Or that I am a task master pushing curriculum in the senior sciences. But really I have the easiest time with my classes the first few weeks because we are doing science. What does that mean? Labs, problem based learning, and student investigating ideas. We are engaged as learners because we are enjoying the process and surprised by the outcome.

What exactly does that mean. Today my grade 10s were shocked after testing how many drops of water can fit on a nickel. They were all wrong with their hypothesis of 10 to 30 drops. One group actually had 101 drops of water on the nickel. So, then you can hear the excitement building and the discussion happening. You got how many. Why can we get that many on there. Look at the great bubble I have on my nickel. And slowly you hear somebody say the particles are sticking together... Yeah the science out of the mouth of babes. So now we start talking as a class about the why. Why does this happen? Would that work with something other than water?

So now individual inquiry happens. Some asked to test soapy water. Some wanted to try rubbing alcohol. Others still asked if we coated the coin with something would it affect the cohesion. Wow the science you get when you start a class with a discrepant event lab.

So again, why are my students so focused in the first two days. Easy they are engaged in their learning. I started the skateboard going and the student’s road it where they wanted. That is learning. That is student engagement. And yes, that is why they are so focused in my classes. My biggest lesson to all who teach is make it fun and ride the skateboard where ever it rolls you.

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I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.

BC educator....  @rilmcknight