# 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 20: Forces and Jumping

In our last class (which was a week ago), the Mechanics kids had whiteboarded a problem about a student jumping (which I got from Noah Segal, who—in addition to being a great physics teacher—is also a wizard of MS Word art): The discussion (last class) was centered around the first situation. The original whiteboard showed the forces as balanced. Might be tough to see in … Continue reading Day 20: Forces and Jumping

# Day 11: Bear and the Honey and the final day of CAPM

We spent our Mechanics class solving problems and working on good habits (keeping units attached to numbers, using physically meaningful symbols). I let it take up the time today, and I went around to different groups as they worked to get as many people as possible to see how using the slope and the area of the v-t graph wasn’t as overwhelming as it seemed … Continue reading Day 11: Bear and the Honey and the final day of CAPM

# Day 8: “Aha” moments with kinematics graphs

Kinematics is clicking into place for the Mechanics students. We wrapped up the TIPERs problems in our packet (including whiteboarding), and we’re ready to add in the quantitative side by using the graphs to solve problems. For this problem, there was a lively discussion about tangent lines (ARE THEY REAL OR MADE UP???), the intermediate value theorem, and whether you could say two things had the same speed … Continue reading Day 8: “Aha” moments with kinematics graphs

# Day 6: Translating between graphs, TIPERs, and Light Clocks

Relativity (the class) made the shift from “regular old” relative motion to the beginnings of Special Relativity by thinking about the light clock. When we were trying to think about the difference in path length for the light in the stationary clock versus moving clock, one student went up to make the connection to the ball falling on the moving cart from the Frames of … Continue reading Day 6: Translating between graphs, TIPERs, and Light Clocks

# Day 5: Mass & Change Whiteboards

On our third day of chemistry, we spent most of our time making and discussing whiteboards to represent each part of the mass and change experiments. Here is a great selection of the boards from various parts of the process. (Many of these boards were later edited because of different ideas in the discussions.) I especially loved that multiple groups started doing multiple snapshots of … Continue reading Day 5: Mass & Change Whiteboards

# Day 3: What does a negative acceleration mean?

We didn’t answer that question today, but we asked it a lot. Almost everyone in the class has really wondered that on their own by now. One student has proposed that it has to do with the direction of the forces, but that didn’t get much traction (yet). We will come back to that question and idea soon enough. We worked through their findings from … Continue reading Day 3: What does a negative acceleration mean?

# Day 16: Quiz and Student Work

The 10th grade spent most of this class period watching Selma for their history class, but they came back for the last 20 minutes or so to take a quiz. Here are a couple of interesting snapshots from that assessment. First, this set of x-t and v-t graphs drawn in a way that I’d never seen before. The matching of the shape for x-t and v-t … Continue reading Day 16: Quiz and Student Work

# 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.”