# Day 15: Finishing the “Box Problem”

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”

# Day 11: That Cardboard Box Problem

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

# Day 10: Interaction Stations

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

# Day 17: Force Discussion to FBD Practice

Because of some interruptions to our class time, it took us a while to (finally) get to the end of problem 4. It’s a tough one—asking what will happen, after you’ve been pushing an object at a constant velocity, when you then reduce your push to use a smaller force. The class was divided among a lot of different ideas. Would it go at a … Continue reading Day 17: Force Discussion to FBD Practice

# Day 15: “But then it wouldn’t be able to move!”

We finished problem 3 in no time (what if the floor were completely frictionless), and then we moved on to problem 4 where the real trouble always begins. Here’s the problem: It’s one of the Matt Greenwolfe problems, but I’ve worked on the precise wording a lot to avoid some of the semantics problems that have tripped up my students in the past. (For example, … Continue reading Day 15: “But then it wouldn’t be able to move!”

# Day 14: “I feel like I’ve grown so much today.”

Part 2 of the first force problem discussions happened today. The third and final part will happen on Monday. As always, the second problem was much easier after the first one. As a class, things started coming together even more today. More people spoke who hadn’t talked much in large group discussions yet. They were quicker to call on Talia’s Law (N1L) as part of an argument. … Continue reading Day 14: “I feel like I’ve grown so much today.”

# Day 13: First Round of Force Problem Discussions

I wrote about this day last trimester, too. Today’s class was also great. They stayed in the circle for the entire time, and we got through the first two sections of the first problem. (That’s about the right pace on this and speaks to the depth of the discussion that was happening.) I paused them a few times to put in a couple of words. … Continue reading Day 13: First Round of Force Problem Discussions

# Days 11 and 12: Talia’s Law (N1L), System Schemas, and FBDs

After the bowling ball investigations, we returned to the classroom to look at the hover puck and the fan carts. We talked a little about confirmation bias and how difficult it is to really observe (rather than explain why you expect to see something). We spent a lot of time observing what happened when the dueling fan carts started at off-vs-high and then changed to high-vs-high. … Continue reading Days 11 and 12: Talia’s Law (N1L), System Schemas, and FBDs

# Day 10: Bowling Balls and Balanced Forces

New packet day! My friend and fellow physics teacher Leah was visiting today* (and gets all of the photo credits here). We immediately went out into the hallway and started playing with the bowling balls. The first two questions have pretty obvious answers (How do you speed up a bowling ball using taps? How do you slow down a bowling ball using taps?).   The … Continue reading Day 10: Bowling Balls and Balanced Forces

# Day 30: Finishing the First Force Problem Set

Physics 10 beautifully tackled the rest of the first forces problem set. Here are all four problems: And here are some photos of kids being amazing during that last problem: With problems 2 and 3, it’s usually quick and easy for them to all agree (after agreeing on problem 1). Then that last section of problem 4 brings up all sorts of different ideas again. … Continue reading Day 30: Finishing the First Force Problem Set