I finally met my first ever Advanced Physics class this afternoon. It couldn’t have been more fun. Since I didn’t know them at all, and since I didn’t teach any of them the first time around, I wasn’t sure what to expect of what they would be bringing to the class. I put together some kinematics activities, and after some moving around in front of motion sensors, we started working some problems. The first group up in our whiteboarding session exposed the fact that average velocity wasn’t a concept that they recalled easily. Once the class uncovered that they had a problem, the discussion was excellent. They came up with at least three ways of thinking about what average velocity meant and how to find it, and collaboration produced some cool graphical thinking.
Apparently if you’ve played with a lot of Tangrams as a child, you can start to see how you’d have to chop up a triangle to get the rectangle with the same base. They were indicating on the board how to move the sliced part of the triangle so that the graph would represent a constant velocity that created the same displacement (area on the v-t graph). Graphical solution boot camp is off to a great start. Next up—cementing the habit of labeling the axes.
I can’t wait to get them back tomorrow afternoon for the rest of the boards. It’s going to be an amazing year.