TPR and Cornell Notes Reflection

I’ve been doing a few TPR activities in my physics classes and so far they have all gone very well.  Some classes were slower to get started than others, but once students got out of their chairs and started to move they mostly seemed to like it.  For this activity, we had a group of students be a guitar string and step in a transverse wave pattern (similar to “doing the wave” at a stadium but instead of rising up they stepped forward).  A few groups of students also made perpendicular lines to this guitar string and when the string stepped forward, that wave was continued along the lines as a longitudinal wave to represent the movement of air molecules (sound).  We worked at this experience in steps and then students wrote reflections afterwards.  Some quotes are below:

“I wasn’t just sitting down”

“We were just laughing and doing waves”

“It makes us learn more because that way we can see what we are talking about”

“makes us learn about how waves move”

“easier to remember later”

“It was kind of fun”

“I liked that we could get up and play a little bit”

Following this activity and written reflection, we took some Cornell Notes to help organize our thoughts.  These notes were a way to connect our motion to the day’s “Do Now.”  At the end of the notes, students write a summary.  One of them included this:

“These short Cornell Notes helped me answer and understand do now better.  With this I could answer anything dealing with sound.”

I really like TPR activities because they are always engaging and help create an anchor experience that can be related back to in future activities and learning experiences.  Students behave better when they have fun, and when we force them to be here for 7-8 hours each day, they deserve a chance to have some enjoyment.  I was really happy to see this positive response about Cornell Notes, because the students started off very opposed to taking notes.  Hopefully I did something to help them see how notes are useful.


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