Although I am against assigning problems for students to do over holidays, the realities of teaching an AP curriculum sometimes demand that I do. This Thanksgiving break came directly in the middle of a Level (Unit) on gases, so I wanted my students to stay sharp over break. Instead of assigning problems, I asked students participate in the same inquiry process, beginning with higher Blooms (exploration/creation), ending with application (solving problems, discussion, etc.) that we participate in during the normal school year.
First I posed a situation by posting an image along with a set of questions via a google form. See screenshot below or click here for the assignment page.
After students participated in the “exploration” (essentially an experimental design problem), I assigned the typical “Read blah blah and do problems blah blah on page blah blah”. Instead of having students bring in the hard copy of their problems, I wanted to create a catalog of their solutions so that I could analyze them for mistakes, misconceptions, etc. along with their experimental design above. To do this, I had students snap a pic of their solutions and post to a site called postimage.org and past their link in a Google form to create a single data base with links to all of their solutions. See screenshots below or click here for the assignment page.
See screenshot of spreadsheet below, or click here for live sheet.
In order to guarantee that students were “locked” into the inquiry cycle (participated in the exploration prior to the application), I told students they would receive three points for the assignment: 1 point for the exploration, 1 point for the application and 1 point if their exploration submission is time-stamped prior to their application time-stamp. Although it seems like a like or work to sift through (and it was) organizing all things via two google forms that are individually time-stamped added efficacy (I think) to a process (homework) that I often feel can be very ineffective in that I was able to keep students questioning and forming hypothesis prior to application, which is the goal of our inquiry driven classroom structure. Moreover, the paperless turn-in allowed me to assess student work prior to class to facilitate a more critical and informed class the first day back.