37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 13 Education and Outreach
Poster, Monday, September 5, 2005, 6:00-7:15pm, Music Foyer

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[13.06] Using Group Questions to stimulate Student Thinking

R. W. Schmude, Jr. (Gordon College)

During the past year I have modified all of my science classes to include time for group work. Essentially, I break up a typical class into two parts: part 1 includes about a 20 minute lecture and then students are broken into groups of 3 and are give two to three questions that they must answer. Students are also required to write in complte sentences. I circulate around the room during the group session to insure that students stay focused on the questions. I also spend time looking at preliminary answers and encourage students to think further in the hopes that they will discover the answers for themselves. After about 12 minutes, I have students hand in their responses and then I go over the group questions. Typical Group questions in my introductory astronomy class include:

1) How is it that temperatures are hotter in the summer than in the winter?

2) How is it that Planets have a round shape whereas smaller objects such as asteroids have an irregular shape?

Sample group questions will be available at my presentation.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.