Day 34: Physics 9 Oscillating Particle Paradigm Lab

New packet day! We finished our energy transfer packet, and now we are starting the oscillating particle model. For my 9th grade class, the focus of this unit is on experimental skills (mainly scientific abilities #2 and #4—designing an observational experiment and taking and analyzing data) and on viewing simple harmonic motion through an energy lens. As we walked through the pre-lab discussion, we stopped each … Continue reading Day 34: Physics 9 Oscillating Particle Paradigm Lab

Day 31: 9th Grade Energy Lab Practicum

Here’s the prompt: Figure out where to hold the top of the spring so that when you release the mass, it just barely touches the floor at the bottom of the bounce. Once you have your plan started on a whiteboard, I will give tell you the spring constant and mass for your group. It’s the end of our energy transfer packet, so we started … Continue reading Day 31: 9th Grade Energy Lab Practicum

Day 24: 9th Graders Whiteboarding

This blog can easily turn into 180 days of whiteboarding. But the whiteboarding never really gets old. So here we go. Here are some 9th graders getting ready for discussions about the final set of quantitative energy problems in our energy transfer packet. One highlight of this set of discussions was a student exclaiming that he had thought he’d understood it, but now he was thinking back through the … Continue reading Day 24: 9th Graders Whiteboarding

Day 23: Tic Tac Bounce with 9th Graders

Our last class together involved a lot of quantitative work—the first of that kind that the 9th graders had seen. We needed to do a bit more of that to finish out the unit, but I also didn’t want to overwhelm them with two days in a row filled with numerical problem solving. So we started today by gathering around one of the lab tables … Continue reading Day 23: Tic Tac Bounce with 9th Graders

Day 21: “Different Activities Take Place Simultaneously”

Every once in a while I go back to this Alfie Kohn list of What to Look for in a Classroom and think about how my classes are or aren’t consistent with that set of ideas. One of the ones I reflect on a lot is “Different activities take place simultaneously. Activities frequently completed by pairs or groups of students.” That can’t happen 100% of … Continue reading Day 21: “Different Activities Take Place Simultaneously”

Day 19: What to do after the test

Yesterday, we took our first test in Physics 9. Today, we started off class by using random.org to make new groups (big hit with this class for some reason!). Then I gave each table one blank copy of the test (they hadn’t seen their own tests and didn’t know their scores yet). They worked through it together. Then they whiteboarded those problems. I like this activity because … Continue reading Day 19: What to do after the test

Day 16: Direct Measurement Video Spring Energy Experiment

Today in 9th grade, we were working on finding a relationship between spring stretch and spring interaction energy. We are using this Direct Measurement Video to get our data, and the class split up the 5 data points to get the work done a little faster. Each table is working through two of the points, and each point is being worked on by two groups. … Continue reading Day 16: Direct Measurement Video Spring Energy Experiment