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 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
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?
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
Modern Physics (for 11th/12th graders) started with a variation of a Quarknet Data Portfolio activity to learn how to make histograms and to start thinking about how they could be useful. There were multiple parts to the activity. In one part, they found sums for pairs of dice. They made histograms for their groups, but also pooled data as a class and made one big … Continue reading Day 1: Dice, Histograms, and Buggies
The set of problems today asked students to draw multiple representations based on given velocity-time graphs, but also to say whether the forces were balanced, unbalanced in the positive direction, or unbalanced in the negative direction. After the first problem, one student volunteered a rule (I didn’t prompt this!)—that the unbalanced forces were correlated with the acceleration. That 0 acceleration means balanced forces, positive acceleration means positive unbalanced forces, … Continue reading Day 9: Rules for the Direction of the Unbalanced Force
One of my Chem 9 sections needed to finish whiteboarding the final bit of the Mass & Change, so this morning started with the 9th grade’s best whiteboarding session so far. They talked for a (relatively) long time without any intervention from me, asking each other about whether the alka-seltzer dissolves like sugar (“breaking up into pieces that are so small we can’t see it”) … Continue reading Day 7: Volume in mL and cubic cm
We sorted ourselves into new (random) groups, worked for a bit, started whiteboarding problems, and finished with our first quiz in Advanced Mechanics. We were working on this TIPERs problem (pasted into a page in my CAPM packet): It’s the first time I’ve used this problem, and I am totally in love with it. Amazing conversations are happening, and the whiteboarding is really productive so … Continue reading Day 4: Position, Velocity, Acceleration