Day 1: Oscillating Particle Model

Second semester reboot—here we go! Honors Physics worked on the paradigm experiment for the oscillating particle model (regular blog post in progress, but it might be a while). When we get to this experiment, I tell them they are ready for me to take another step back. They know the process of how to design their experiment after seeing some new phenomenon. They know how … Continue reading Day 1: Oscillating Particle Model

Day 57: Momentum Transfer Model Building // Gravitational Force Experiment

One section of Honors Physics came up with an expression of conservation of momentum today. We finished taking some data, then broke into groups to do some thinking about how we could represent it to highlight a pattern. After about 15 minutes, we came back together for a board meeting to talk about strategy. We had some graphical representations, some ratios, and a lot of consensus … Continue reading Day 57: Momentum Transfer Model Building // Gravitational Force Experiment

Day 56: Cart Crashes (Momentum Transfer Paradigm Investigations)

It was a really interesting day with my Honors Physics classes. No time to write about it all now, but it was an interesting evolution of the different start to momentum that I started last year (and continued with my regular physics classes both last year and this year). It went a bit differently in each section (as I’d expect with the very open way … Continue reading Day 56: Cart Crashes (Momentum Transfer Paradigm Investigations)

Day 55: Ambidextrous Writing

One section of Honors Physics meets for a lab period on Saturday mornings. It’s never the most efficient part of the week, but it has its own groove. We did do some serious work and whiteboarding, and we easily finished the Unbalanced Force Particle Model packet (here comes Momentum, starting Monday!), but we also fit in some laughs and fun. It started with a student … Continue reading Day 55: Ambidextrous Writing

Day 49: Whiteboard Speed Dating

We are almost finished with the Unbalanced Forces unit in Honors Physics at this point. We mixed up the whiteboarding process by doing some speed dating. At the end of one session, they had a board meeting, then voted on the best board. Lucy won best board (she was the odd person out on our final date—one person was by themselves each round since we … Continue reading Day 49: Whiteboard Speed Dating

Day 46: Unbalanced Forces Lab

Today was a huge day for Honors Physics—we got out first fundamental principle. More importantly, we finally nailed down the relationship between unbalanced force and acceleration that we’d been thinking about and talking about for the past month (through our investigation of balanced forces then constant acceleration). Read more about the experiment in this model building post on my teaching blog. Continue reading Day 46: Unbalanced Forces Lab

Day 44: Constant Acceleration Ranking Task

This ranking task in the Constant Acceleration Particle Model unit is so tough and so great. I never get tired of watching students battle it and succeed. The key quote of the day (from a student who wrestled with the problem and was successful despite being nervous and doubtful) was, “This is the happiest moment of my life. Forget marriage.” Seeing persistence pay off in … Continue reading Day 44: Constant Acceleration Ranking Task