CEP800 – Understanding Student Understanding

CEP800 is starting off strong this semester, and I am so excited for this course! Our first big assignment was to do some digging in regards to our students’ misconceptions about a topic… any topic… and to analyze these misconceptions. We watched a really interesting video last week about how students’ first impressions of topics and concepts are quite hard for the student to ever change… it’s similar to the old saying that you only get to make one first impression. Students have a hard time separating themselves from their first initial thoughts about a concept, and it’s only until they are able to prove to themselves that what they thought was a misconception, that they are able to learn, grow, and understand.

I asked two of my third graders some questions about plant life. We learn about structures of life in third grade, and students have had experience with plants in previous years of schooling, so I was curious as to what types of misconceptions I would uncover with my two students. I asked them about what a plant needs to grow, and then asked how a seed becomes a plant (germination) and finally, how a seed gets the food it needs to grow (stored food… and spoiler alert: this was a major gap in their understanding). You can listen to my podcast here! Any comments or questions are always welcomed.

**About the podcast… I created it using the program Audacity. It rocked! I don’t always consider myself tech-friendly when it comes to things like this, and I was really overwhelmed when I first opened up the program. However, after watching some youtube tutorials, and reading through the Audacity help page on wiki, I ended up with a project I am proud of and a definite boost of confidence in my audio-podcast-producing skills.

Reference (music clip for my podcast)

“Carefree” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0¬†http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/.