Last week the freshmen started a new unit based upon The Pit and the Pendulum. The first day was spent reading and discussing an excerpt from the story. Poe is a tough read. It can be especially confusing if you’re not sure if Poe is the red Teletubby or the purple one.
Anyway… I really like this unit. The cherubs are making conjectures about what affects the period of a pendulum. They design and conduct experiments. In analyzing the data we talk about controlled experiments, measures of central tendency (including a nice exploration into standard deviation), and curve fitting.
There are a few reasons this is one of my favorite units. I think this is the first time many of them are exposed to normal curves and standard deviation, so that’s always fun (well, to me anyway). The best part is that they are doing in this unit. They make conjectures. They design the experiments. They analyze the data.
My goal is to find the right balance between guiding and staying out of their way.