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 7: Cyclists A and B

Here are the 10th graders creating whiteboards to discuss some position-vs-time graphs. Best part of the discussion was the super picky, super passionate argument about whether you could really make any comment comparing the speed of cyclist A in the old graph and the new graph. “I took out my ruler and protractor and the angles are the same.” vs. “It doesn’t give a scale so … Continue reading Day 7: Cyclists A and B

Day 38: Free Body Diagram Practice

The 10th grade class finished whiteboarding the big set of FBD practice problems today. The last problem was a challenge problem I got from Frank with a book being held against a wall by a log. We didn’t use the hairbrushes, but I pushed two PAScars against my folder and they immediately said, “oh, there’s friction!”. Then they asked me to put one wheel-side and one … Continue reading Day 38: Free Body Diagram Practice

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

Day 28: My Favorite Day, AKA the first force problem

To be totally fair, my favorite day takes more than one day. But that’s not really that important. So we start our balanced forces unit. We get our idea of Newton’s 1st Law. We get some forces vocabulary. I show them the bare minimum in drawing system schemas and free body diagrams. And then we get this amazing problem from Matt Greenwolfe: It’s actually the … Continue reading Day 28: My Favorite Day, AKA the first force problem

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 15: Tortoise and the Hare Graphs

Today the 10th graders turned in their free quiz (not graded, just feedback, take-home). It was our 5th class together, and we are getting close to finishing our Constant Velocity unit. The other day, one of my students had a side conversation with me about the graph from this problem: She said that it reminded her of the tortoise and the hare. We talked about it … Continue reading Day 15: Tortoise and the Hare Graphs

Day 10: First Whiteboarding Session with Physics 9

Today was our third class of Physics 9, and our first day of whiteboarding. They had spent some time working on their first qualitative LOL diagrams, so now they were ready to discuss some of the trickier points together. I let them sign up for problems and we talked about making good mistakes. A few groups checked their mistakes with me, and they were overall … Continue reading Day 10: First Whiteboarding Session with Physics 9