N pulls out a sheet of lined paper to write a rough draft of his ideas. “Hello, I am here to teach you about how light travels in a straight line and can bounce off mirrors. Light bouncing off mirrors is called: reflecting.”
He draws pictures of the materials you need for the experiment:
– 4 mirrors
– blue tack
– light source (flashlight / lightbox)
“What kind of instructions are you going to make?” I ask. “Will it be a how-to video, pictures with words, or just text?”
N decides on pictures with words, and he asks to borrow my camera. He begins to document the process of making his experiment.
I suggest using PowerPoint to present his pictures with words. “What is PowerPoint?” he asks. I ring the musical triangle, announcing a “Pause for Learning.” I ask the students to visit me at the round table for a mini-lesson on using PowerPoint to make instructions with pictures and words.
As soon as I open it, the kids holler, “Ohh, it’s like Keynote.”
“You know how to use Keynote?”
“Sure, we learned about it in technology!”
I shift gears. Instead of teaching how to use PowerPoint, I open Keynote and present a mini-lesson on how to use the media browser within Keynote to locate and use photographs in iPhoto.
I help N download his photos and stand back as he takes control of the computer. He doesn’t even sit down. Shifting his weight back and forth, N wiggles his body to the tune of discovery.