I can’t resist the chance to hear more about what my students are thinking—both what they are thinking in terms of physics and what they are thinking in terms of their learning. So I send my students a lot of surveys throughout the year. A couple of surveys that I tried last year were based on Colleen’s Participation Goals (see this post of hers, although … Continue reading Day 17: Participation Reflection Survey
The morning section of Physics 10 got the chance to finish the cardboard box problem during the first half of class. (Just for reference—classes only meet 3 days each week.) I could write a lot of awesome things that students said, but I will make this post short and just show these two photos of the discussion that make me really happy. This gives the best … Continue reading Day 15: Finishing the “Box Problem”
The Circuits class is continuing to work through the CASTLE curriculum. At the end of our last class and for the first part of today’s class, they worked on building air capacitors (and solving all of the materials problems involved in figuring out how to build them). I shared the diagram and instructions from the CASTLE teacher guide with them, and they figured out how to … Continue reading Day 13: Building Air Capacitors
The problem that never fails. It couldn’t sound more boring and the discussion couldn’t be more awesome. Here’s the problem (which is modified only slightly from Matt Greenwolfe’s More Models in Modeling materials; also, which has an original illustration from my student and advisee who is doing an independent study to illustrate our new Physics 10 materials): And here are some photos from class today. We … Continue reading Day 11: That Cardboard Box Problem
Today was the start of some important changes in how I am viewing and structuring my intro physics class (Physics 10). We are just into our second day of the Balanced Forces Particle Model. On the first day, we built Olivia’s (First) Law — that unbalanced interactions mean changing velocity and balanced interactions mean constant velocity (more on this later, maybe, if I get around … Continue reading Day 10: Interaction Stations
Modern Physics met today and spent a little more time on their particle adventure. Even though they didn’t finish, we moved on to a new activity so that we didn’t spend too much time at once buried in a website with so many new terms (and tigers and top hats!). During the particle adventure, one group spent some time talking to me about where the … Continue reading Day 8: Welcome to The Fermilab
Physics 10 wrapped up the Constant Velocity Particle Model packet with a couple of really great and subtle class discussions about what information they could get from position-time and velocity-time graphs that included ideas about translating between representations to get a better understanding of what was happening with an object’s motion. The Circuits class started figuring out more about what must be happening in the … Continue reading Day 7: What is happening in the wires when a capacitor is in the circuit?
The Modern Physics class had a board meeting to discuss the rules they came up with for how quarks combine. They also watched a couple of Physics Girl videos to give more overview of quarks and then went on a particle adventure. Both of my Physics 10 sections met today. Both classes finished the Constant Velocity Particle Model packet on paper and have only a couple of … Continue reading Day 6: Quarks, Whiteboards, and What in the world are capacitors doing?
In Modern Physics, students worked in groups and suggested improvements to the QuarkNet activity that simulated the gold foil experiment. The goal was to think of ways that we could alter the activity to make it more closely relate to the actual experiment. Then they started figuring out patterns and rules for how quarks combine with the Quark Workbench activity. Continue reading Day 5: Rutherford Upgrades and Quarks
The first assessment of the year happened in my Electric Circuits class. I am adding in “practical objectives” to the list of skills, so the test included building a simple circuit. (This is Unit 1, folks.) I’m sure it seemed trivial to them today, but I was really glad to see them all find it so easy since it wasn’t an obvious task (even when looking … Continue reading Day 4: Circuits Assessment and Whiteboarding Motion Diagrams