AP Physics: Balanced Forces Practical
I tasked students with figuring out the unknown masses in a set up with several strings at different angles. Groups found they had to be very clear about what they defined at their system, which as a nice element of the task. Different groups defined their systems differently and took different approaches to solving their vector addition diagrams, which lead to some fantastic conversations when groups who finished early compared results. I got really happy when I overhead a student slowing down his group down by telling them the process is more important than the answer, and even used the fact that I couldn’t remember the masses I used as evidence.
During prep today, I got a kick out of grading quizzes. I’ve been asking students this year to self-assess and do a short reflection on each quiz, and several students took that into specific problems on this quiz. These students wrote down some really interesting, specific metacognition right alongside their solutions without any extra prompting. It was really interesting to read. I might start having students do some journaling later this tri to explicitly encourage that kind of thinking.
Physical Science: Field Lines
To help make sense of magnetic field lines, I had students connect gravitational energy to a topographic map of a hill, then went back to the magnetic field lines we saw yesterday to talk about magnetic energy. I haven’t done any forces with this class yet, but they are fairly solid on energy, so magnetic energy seemed to help ground the material in a way I don’t think forces would have. I also like that the topographic map helped link back to some of the map interpretation students did first tri in Earth Science.