Day 18: Trig It Out, Dueling Buggies, & Density Problems

AP Physics: Force Problems

Students worked on using vector addition diagrams to solve balanced force problems (one of many things I learned from Kelly O’Shea). I really like that while many of my students still ended up using a version of components, they see where the components come from. Once students set up their vector addition diagrams, the slogan for the day was “Trig it out!”, a line from last year’s students.

Physics: Dueling Buggies

Students worked on the Modeling Instruction lab practical to predict where two buggies will collide. I didn’t give quite enough instruction to my 1st hour, but once I suggested they try drawing some representations and play with them, they started making some progress.

One of my goals this year is to help students value ways of being successful in class besides knowing the answer quickly, so as part of the lab practical I gave them a list of skills based on similar lists from Kelly O’Shea and Ilana Horn, then asked them to identify at least one example for each group member where they demonstrated one of those skills. I’m looking forward to reading their responses.

dueling buggy.jpg

Chemistry Essentials: Density Problems

Students worked on some density calculations. Some students really struggled with the algebra, so I’m trying to decide whether that really needs to be in the course. Most are getting to a point where they are successful with the graph, and I think that is more valuable in the long term than using the equation.

I also handed back the first quiz; most students performed about how I expected, but I was surprised at how many students had underestimated how they did and were genuinely excited about their score. Several confirmed with me (multiple times, in one case) that they got to keep their quiz so they could show their parents. I need to work on reinforcing the connections between our day-to-day work and the assessments so that more students will see that kind of success.

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