Day 28: Conservation of Momentum, Mistakes Game, & Measurement

AP Physics: Collisions

After their quiz, students wrapped up the data collection on the collisions lab. Things went very smoothly, and a lot of groups have already commented on the pattern in their momentums.  This is one of the times I love having quantitative uncertainty in the course, because students are independently deciding whether their momentums are close or effectively equal.

Physics: Mistakes Game

Students played the mistakes game with stacks of kinematic graphs. In class discussions, I’ve been struggling to get students to speak up and it is usually one or two students who do most of the talking after lots of long silences. Today, one of those students asked a question about the a vs. t graph, a member of the group presenting said, without any shame or fear, “We don’t really understand those graphs, so we just drew something.” All of the sudden, the whole class was animated and students who are normally quiet, even in small groups, were jumping in with fantastic questions. It was a fantastic way to end the week with that class.

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Chemistry Essentials: Measurement

When I gave some notes on temperature scales yesterday, I had a student ask whether Kelvin is a more accurate scale than Fahrenheit and several others questioned it when I said 98.6 rounds to 100. I’m really excited about the thinking about measurement this shows, so I decided to lean in and do a Modeling Instruction measurement lab I’d skipped during the first unit. I had students measure the lab tables with popsicle sticks, gradually adding marks to make them more accurate. Next time, I think I will have them measure a bigger mix of objects, including some shorter than their tool.

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