Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Figuring it Out
High school chemistry. It's the beginning of the year, so they were learning about significant figures. I thought the assignment much easier than they thought it was. It helps that the topic isn't new to me.
As I did my first walk around, one girl was explaining to a fellow student something about the assignment. I stopped and listened for a moment. As she was explaining it correctly, I didn't interrupt. Then I moved on.
(I like when students help students. Both students get something out of it.)
A bit later in the period, a boy raised his hand.
"Who's right, me or her?"
As the girl he was indicating was the one who had been helping another student earlier, I assumed the girl. But when he showed me which problem and I looked at it, I was surprised to find that the girl was actually wrong.
The boy gloated. I pointed out that he was still figuring things out too. (Not all his work was 100% correct.)
The girl and I debated for a bit. But once I found the rule she needed in her notes, she was able to figure things out. (She had her notes out. The boy did not.) She had been looking at the wrong rule.
(I had not realized how much of this I had internalized until I'm hit with seeing the "rules" written out. It's amazing how much one can retain.)