AP Physics: Hoop Practical
We finished up a lab practical on angled projectiles. Each group had a different distance from the launcher and figured out how high above the ground to place a hoop. In both classes, some groups had to shift their hoop to one side or the other, but eventually managed to get the projectile though all the hoops. I also had some goal-less problems to try and shift students away from needing to be able to picture the full solution to be able to progress. The problems mostly got ignored, because it was more exciting to watch the parabola of hoops come together and it took most of the hour to get all the hoops in place.
Physical Science: Series vs. Parallel Circuits
Students used the PhET circuit construction kit again, this time using a lab on series and parallel I modified from Eugenia Etkina’s PUM curriculum. I think students were getting the big ideas, but its very tough to circulate with a full class in the computer lab, so I feel a little blind. Last year, I was able to do the PhET sims on netbooks in the classroom, so it was easy for me to listen i on student conversations and pull them together at the end of the hour to discuss some big ideas. Next year, I might re-work my calendar to make time for a day in the classroom so my students and I have a chance to make sure they are on track.