Day 123: Board Meeting & Balancing Equations

Physics: Period of a Spring Board Meeting

Students whiteboarded their results to yesterday’s lab. Once we get situated, I usually give students a minute or two to talk with their lab group. I watched one group use this time to furiously tap at a tablet, then edit their board to reflect a square root, rather than linear, relationship between period and mass. During the discussion, I asked them to explain the change they made and they shared that, prior to seeing they other whiteboards, they stopped after trying a linear fit because it had a really nice correlation coefficient. When they saw other groups got an intercept much closer to zero using a square root fit, they quickly tried the same fit on their data, and saw they got a better correlation and an intercept of nearly zero. We’re talking a lot in my building about how to use technology in the classroom, and this moment exemplifies how I want students to use technology. This group had to decide whether their linear fit or their classmate’s square root fit was more convincing, and Desmos made it possible to quickly and easily test the competing ideas and get the evidence they needed to be convinced.

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Chemistry: Balancing Equations

Students combined the multiple representations we worked on before break with what they figured out in yesterday’s sim to practice balancing chemical equations. I remain very impressed with how easy the reaction diagrams make this process for students.

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