Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fake it till you make it!

Many people have some sort of motto they live by, right? It's a key phrase, philosophy, mantra...whatever. Well, in teaching and using technology, "Fake it till you make it" seems to be a pretty good phrase for me to identify with.

Enter the colored water...


At the beginning of each year, when I'm setting up my classroom, I fill the glass beakers with water and food coloring. Now, those of you who are science teachers might be thinking of a variety of topics that could be linked here:
-light/color/refraction
-evaporation
-measurement
-variables
-investigation
-energy transfer
-water cycle
-and more!

And, I would love to say that is how my beaker project started. But, 7 years ago, when I moved from 6th grade Social Studies to 5th grade Science, it began because I just thought it looked pretty. Yep, there it is! When students asked me why they were out and colored, I would direct it back with the good old, "Why do YOU think?" So, I was faking it. I was waiting, learning, growing with my students. The content understanding wasn't there yet. As many articles, books, on-line classes that I was taking, and it just wasn't there yet. I was curious, and I was learning with my students. But, I was back to first year teacher again after 7 years in the classroom.

Now, the colored water beakers come to represent a long-term investigation my 5th graders have come to love. We talk variables, indirect evidence, light, thermal energy, water cycle, evaporation...etc! The conversation is a year long one that develops as our understanding of the science develops. So, yes...very cool!

"Fake it till you make it." Science, technology, whatever. Learn and grow with your students. Don't just tread water, but DO give yourself a break. Recognize that no one is an expert at first. We are all still growing and learning in one or another area.

Got a new iPad or class set of iPads? "Fake it till you make it." Look, listen, and learn with your students!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

2 comments:

  1. Hi,
    I think learning with your students is so valuable because students realise that you are not the beacon of all knowledge and that they can teach you something as well. I know some teachers, when they are having problems with technology, do the troubleshooting and google how to fix it with their students so the children learn not to throw their hands up and move on when things don't work the first time. They also learn how to fix things themselves as opposed to running to the ICT helpdesk (if you have one). Also love the year-long linkages to this idea!
    Thanks,
    Anna

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Anna. It's cool to see other teachers who are learning with their students. ;)

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