Physics: Coulomb’s Law Board Meeting
Students whiteboarded the results of yesterday’s lab and we had a board meeting. I had students graph force vs. distance, then both an inverse and inverse-square test plot so we could compare the correlation coefficients. While both classes were able to get to the inverse-square relationship, I struggled to get students to take the lead in the discussion. I think part of the problem is, while we’ve whiteboarded lots of problems and conceptual questions, the last board meeting where we focused on graphs produced in a lab was early November. I need to either do more whiteboarding labs during projectile motion and energy, or I need to bring in more of the scaffolding I do early in the year to help students refresh their skills.
Chemistry: Observations of Reaction Types
Students finished up the lab from yesterday, then we spent some time trying to connect their inferences to their observations in the lab. In the discussion, I realized I need to make explicit to my students what is a good observation and how that contrasts with an inference or claim. For example, the textbook lists gas formation as a sign of a chemical reaction, so nearly every student listed gas formation as an observation at least once, but struggled to explain what they saw that suggested a gas was formed. I can’t forgot how important it is to explicitly address the basics in a class like this.