This week, My year 10 classes (I have 2) took some time out from content, content, content, and did a mini research project on an acid or base of their choice.
While it was good for them to have a break from me, & even pracs, it was great for me to be able to move around the room and talk to the class more. Based on the choices of research, I was able to learn some surprising things, like a couple of my boys are right into baking. Some of the keen sports people looked at lactic acid, and I was able to have some quite in depth conversations about glucose metabolism, start talking about enzymes etc. Some students who struggle opted for sherbert, and it let me talk them through dissolving, and how for chemical reactions to occur the ‘acid particles’ need to be able to collide with what they are reacting with. And some boys ignored the instruction completely and researched 2 stroke fuel, which lead me into a delightful conversation about alternative fuel sources, while they taught me about how a 2 stroke engine works.
And as always I got to sit with a sense of wonder as they did their presentations. Some of the quiet kids presented with such authority and confidence it was great for the rest of the class to see them like that. A couple of ‘trouble makers’ were shy, uncomfortable up the front. while another was in his element. And they got to see what it is like for me, how distracting it is when other people talk. A student assumed the role of tech support and helped students get their laptops plugged in and synced to the projector. The quality was variable, some were excellent though, and I learned a lot about my class.
And as always I learned the most about my class – despite now needing to push on again with the content it was time very well spent