Day 16: Annotating Graphs & Solar Collectors

AP Physics: Annotating Graphs

The bulk of the class period was spent annotating velocity time graphs and writing equations based on them. I’ve become a big fan of graphical problem solving, but find students need some practice just going from a graph to equations before they’re ready to go from word problem to graph to equations. For the first time, I had some students who really wanted to stick with x, y, and m as variables, rather than using the physics terms. Once we spent a few minutes really talking about the physical meaning of the graph characteristics, they were more willing to budge. Next time I introduce annotating, I need to do a better job of emphasizing the meaning up front.

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Earth Science: Testing Solar Collectors

Students tested their solar collectors by measuring the temperature change in front of a lamp. Several groups had pretty small temperature changes, so I need to consider either having students place their collectors closer to the lamp or doing a test longer than the 5 minutes I used today. I had them connect back to the science one more time by proposing some ways to improve their design and justifying their proposal with some science.

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