Magnetic Attraction

But not the romantic kind.

I just finished teaching my final science unit of the year and it was on Magnets. I like to do this at the end of the year because it’s more hands on than other units on plants/weather/etc. This means that antsy and excited boys can move around while they do experiments and activities and focus on what they are doing.

Even boys who aren’t focused exactly on the task (what is magnetic for example) are still running around trying to pick up things with their magnet. They are having fun and learning. This helps the students retain the knowledge. It also helps them want to learn more.

We get to watch videos about super magnets that can pick up cars or make things spin fast. We can match magnets push things away or pull them close. It’s a fun final few weeks of science leading up to the end of the year.

The most difficult thing for the boys to get is that magnets have rules, opposites attract and likes repel. We make sure to do this in every lesson to be sure they see it, hear it, and try it often. I even have my assistant go over it in Arabic a few times to be sure they understand the concept and are not just parroting back words.

By the end of the unit they get it. They understand magnets and some have even remembered and understood more complicated information about how the Earth is a magnet and the south pole is at the top of the Earth and it pulls the north to it and that is how a compass works. Then I had to get my phone and my compass app to show them what a compass was but they liked it and were engaged. Sometimes the students will surprise you with really insightful questions that get you completely onto a different aspect of the topic you are teaching. I think tangents are fine as long as students understand and are interested.

As I finish with my students and the year winds down I can’t help but hope that a change in location will give me a chance to find my opposite so we can attract.

Daily Prompt: South

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