Monday, September 27, 2010

Channeling David Cox

The Mr. Miyagi of questioning

"Mr. Buell, I don't get it."
"Get what?"

"I don't get the states of matter thing."
"Tell me what you do get."

"When things get hotter they usually expand."
"And why do you think that?"

"Well you showed us that ball-hoop thingie plus the balloon was getting bigger when we boiled water in the flask."
"What do you think that means?"

"I think it means the molecules are spreading out."
"And why do you think that?"

"We weighed the flask so I don't think heat is going in making it bigger......and then the dye spread faster in hotter water........" [we dropped dye in hot/cold water and watched it spread]
[...wait for it....]

"So when something melts it's really just the molecules moving around and not something different then?"
[...wait for it...]

"Nevermind Mr. Buell. I got it."


  1. Nice! Real nice! Makes me miss teaching science. So I count 4 questions and 1 statement on your end. In the sequal, I challenge you to bring it down to 3 questions/statements. :)

  2. Ah, Jason-san very nice. But remember to always look eye!

    Is the 3 statement challenge arbitrary, or do you see something in Jason's questioning that makes you think he could have been more efficient?

  3. No, for the most part it was arbitrary. It was late and I was feeling silly. I do think, however, that with enough of these exchanges one can look at a kid in a certain way and they'll have this "conversation" with themselves.

  4. I'm hoping if I say, "Why do you think that?" enough times it'll circle through their heads constantly Manchurian candidate style.

  5. Sounds like most of the conversations in my classroom!

    Give it time, Avery, halfway through the semester, it will take fewer questions once the kids get used to actually thinking things through before asking :)