WSTA CONFERENCE

Butt Heat: Designing an Equitable Feedback System for a Thermal Energy Unit
Sat. Oct 20, 2018 4:00 - 5:15

"Feedback, no matter how well designed, that is not acted upon by the student is a waste of time."

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Christine Witcher

MS STEM teacher | Tech & Innovation Specialist | Flash Feedback co-founder

[email protected]

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Melanie Kong

High school STEM educator in Seattle, WA. Co-founder and CEO of Floop.

[email protected]

"[When compared with comments alone,] [g]rades and grades plus comments had similar and generally undermining effects on both interest and performance..." (n=132)

"Out of 34 research-based teaching practices, Evidence for Learning ranks feedback as the most impactful with a +8 months’ impact on students’ learning progress.""

"Improved formative assessment helps low achievers more than other students and so reduces the range of achievement while raising achievement overall.""

By the end of this workshop, we hope that you...

  • Understand the importance of providing frequent formative feedback to all students
  • Feel inspired to reevaluate how you use balance grades and feedback
  • Find at least one new feedback tool or strategy to implement into your curriculum
  • Find at least one new curriculum resource that supports 3D instruction and assessment
  • Develop a practical system for giving & receiving feedback that works in your own classrooms

Overview

We're going to be looking at a Thermal Energy unit that Christine teaches in her 8th grade Physical Science class. This class is a inquiry-based course that balances scientific content, scientific practices, and affective skills.

Tasks

  1. Work independently for about 5 minutes to digest the unit overview information. When everyone in your group is ready, share either a resource you found useful from the list or a resource that you know of that would be a good fit.

  2. Work independently for about 10 minutes to digest The Feedback Loop table. When everyone in your group is ready, share either a resource you found useful from the list or a resource that you know of that would be a good fit. Ask for a checkout when you are done.

  3. Work independently to fill in your paper copy of The Feedback Loop for a unit that you teach. When everyone in your group is ready, share either a tool/strategy that you'd be interested in adding to your practice or a tool/strategy that you know of that could be added to this list. Be prepared to share with the bigger group.

Content & Concepts

For most students, this unit is the first time they are being asked to talk formally about heat, temperature, and to differentiate between different types of energy. They generally understand the atomic-scale world but are not comfortable using scientific vocabulary to discuss and describe it. They are very comfortable recognizing and discussing cause and effect relationships. This unit will contain a mix of activities, inquiry labs, and content readings that introduce students to concepts related to thermal energy.

Practices

Models: Most students are familiar with the purpose of a model and are ready to move from making the large-scale phenomena models of 7th grade Earth Science to the atomic-scale models that describe thermal energy transfer.

Investigations: Most students are comfortable identifying elements of an investigation that are uncontrolled, subjective, or unsafe, and offering suggestions for improvement. This will be their first experience being asked to design an investigation "from scratch."

Affective Skills

Students are quite comfortable working in groups (Thinking Interdependently) and have given and received feedback on their ability to attend to details and value precision (Striving for Accuracy).

NGSS

MS-PS1-4: Model predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed.

MS-PS3-4: Investigation plan determines the relationships among the energy transferred, the type of matter, the mass, and the change in the average kinetic energy of the particles as measured by the temperature of the sample.

Student Outcomes - Practices
  • I can create a useful model that describes a scientific phenomena
  • I can design a controlled and objective scientific investigation
Student Outcomes - Content & Concepts
  • Recalls units and abbreviations of appropriate temperature units
  • Differentiates between energy transformation, energy transfer, and partical relocation
  • Recalls the direction of energy transfer
  • Differentiates between temperature, energy transfer, and heating
  • Applies the law of conservation of energy
  • Applies the kinetic molecular theory
  • Recognizes kinetic, potential, and thermal energy in a system
  • Applies an understanding of temperature, heat, and thermalenergy transfer between substances in direct contact with each other
  • Applies an understanding of the relationship between surface area and the rate of thermal energy transfer between substances
Student Outcomes - Affective Skills
  • Thinking flexibly
    • I can change my mind, especially when I get additional information
    • I openly claim when I have changed my mind
    • I create and seek novel approaches to problems
    • I can generate alternatives and consider options because I can look at ideas in another way
    • I change my approach strategically when the situation changes
Part 1: Building Our Toolbox

In Part 1, students build their vocabulary and are first exposed to the scientific concepts of heat, temperature, and types of energy. They review the elements of an effective model and practice planning a controlled and objective investigation. They discuss how observations of macroscopic phenomena can give clues to what is happening on a molecular level. They give and receive feedback on a model that describes the movement of thermal energy on a molecular level.

Introduction Butt Heat Discussion Why is my seat warm? Is it someone else's butt heat?
Activity Classifying Energy Sort What are the different types of energy?
Inquiry Heat & Temperature What is the difference between heat and temperature?
Inquiry Controlling Variables How do we know that what we know is true?
Skills Lecture Models How do you create a useful and accurate model?
Content Reading Thermal Energy From Argument-Driven Inquiry in Physical Science
Inquiry Thermal Energy What happens at a molecular level when thermal energy is added to a substance?
Assessment Thermal Energy Models How can I communicate what happens at a molecular level when thermal energy is added to a substance? How long would it take X-ml of water to boil under my investigation conditions?
Part 2: Digging In

In Part 2, students discover new details about the "rules" that energy follows as it is transfered and transformed. They apply this knowledge as they design a controlled, objective, and safe investigation to explore the relationship between surface area and thermal energy transfer.

Content Lecture Types of Energy Created with OBS Studio
Skills Lecture Investigations How do you design an investigation that will produce trustworthy results?
Content Reading Energy Transfer From Argument-Driven Inquiry in Physical Science
Assessment Energy Transfer Investigation Plan (Design it) How does the surface area of a substance affect the rate at which thermal energy is transferred from one sustance to another?
Part 3: Show Me What You've Got!

In Part 3, students bring together all of their new knowledge and skills to execute on the investigations they planned independently. They identify times when they are thinking flexibly in the face of new information. They give and receive feedback on their mindsets and the elements of their investigations. They demonstrate their conceptual understanding on a quiz and receive feedback to guide any further work needed to reach mastery of the content and practices.

Content Lecture Energy Transfers Created with OBS Studio
Inquiry Energy Transfers (Do it) How does the surface area of a substance affect the rate at which thermal energy is transferred from one sustance to another?
Assessment Butt Heat Quiz Why is my seat warm? Is it someone else's butt heat?

Example

Applies to Part 1 of the unit described above

In Part 1, students build their vocabulary and are first exposed to the scientific concepts of heat, temperature, and types of energy. They review the elements of an effective model and practice planning a controlled and objective investigation. They discuss how observations of macroscopic phenomena can give clues to what is happening on a molecular level. They give and receive feedback on a model that describes the movement of thermal energy on a molecular level.

Event Teacher Need to Know Student Artifact Feedback Strategy
Introduction As a class, what are we coming in with? How engaged are we in this topic? How are these new groups going to work together?

Task: Work as a group to create a mindmap of everything you can think of that's related to the topic "Energy."

Circulate and look at work on whiteboards:

"I see you using some great scientific vocabulary on this mindmap, like insulator and conductor, and you've given some examples!"

Start Practicing Are there enough of members of the group that get it to lead the group forward with the work?

Task: Design an investigation that answers the question, What happens at a molecular level when thermal energy is added to a substance? After you've collected data, get a checkout.

Group checkout: "Can you tell me about your results? What general patterns do you see? What does this tell you about what is happening on a molecular level? Do you trust your results?"
Start Applying Are each of us ready to demonstrate proficiency of the skill and content?

Task: Create a model that communicates what happens on a molecular level when thermal energy is added to a substance and is useful for predicting (qualitatively or quantitatively) the amount of time it will take for a given sample of water to boil under your experimental conditions.

Flash Feedback peer review results

Refining Work Has each student demonstrated mastery of the skill and content?

Task: Use your feedback to refine your work

Flexible Feedback teacher feedback