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If My Students Are Being Asked to Take Risks, Why am I Playing It Safe?

When I looked at my first set of AP Physics 1 video projects on momentum, I thought they were very good.  Groups took them into some very unexpected and interesting places.  I'll share more examples in future posts as the inspiration strikes me.  This project in particular struck me because in it I saw the seeds for something greater. In this project, I saw the possibilities for tying together seemingly desperate content areas such as physics, art, and history.

Watch it and hopefully you'll see what I mean:




I realized that all of my students showed great ambition in their projects.  They all took risks both emotionally (acting like a fool because the script called for it) to physical (playing simulating collisions while riding in trash cans and tacking each other in the snow.)  It was me who lacked the real ambition to try to find the ways that this project could truly bring in standards from other content areas.  I can just imagine this video becoming so much more if I had asked the group to include more of a historical framework for the project after an initial viewing.  Why not also tie in standards from the visual arts as well?  The only reason, is my fear of failure.  If I am asking my students to take risks as they design and create their projects, why am I not doing the same in the design of what they are asked to learn? Alright, I'm going to have to do some serious research into other content standards to incorporate.  I will see how they did on these standards, but these scores won't be a part of the grade.  I have to start somewhere.  I already tie in literacy standards into my projects, but what about other areas? Any ideas of a good place start looking for standards in other content areas for the high school level?

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