AP Physics: Board Meeting
We had a board meeting to wrap up the buggy lab. A lot of students who are normally quiet in whole class discussions spoke up today, which was great. In addition, there were some interesting observations that don’t always come up, like the student who commented the intercept did not depend on the slope. At the end of the hour, I also asked groups to whiteboard a CER for what the momentum vs. time graph should look like and, while we didn’t have a chance to discuss the boards, groups consistently were on the right track and not only connected the buggy lab to the definition of momentum, but to Newton’s 1st Law by discussing whether they could identify unbalanced forces on the buggy.
Physics: CAPM Practical
Students started working on a constant acceleration lab practical where they try to get a marble rolling down a ramp to land in a cup attached to a moving buggy. Some groups got a starting position for the marble while others got a starting position for the buggy. A lot of groups had trouble focusing on individual pieces of the task; tomorrow, I may take a few minutes to talk through the major steps students need to take. I’m also seeing students continue to struggle with confidence; they are nailing the problems, but just don’t believe that they get it, which makes it difficult to approach a challenging lab practical.
Chemistry Essentials: Freezing Acid
We discussed the results of yesterday’s lab. At the end of the hour yesterday, a lot of students didn’t seem convinced that temperature stays constant during a phase change, partly because they were focusing on their data tables and saw very small temperature variations. Today, I projected a graph from one of the groups for the discussion, and students saw much more clearly that the temperature is pretty constant. When students graph in Desmos, I usually allow one group member to make a graph as long as everyone sketches it (I don’t have a good way for students to print), but I think that’s making it too easy for most of the group to just glance at the graph so I need to work on ways to get students looking closer. I usually have a handout for labs in this course, so I’ll probably add some questions to prompt students to look carefully at their group’s graph to the next lab to see if that helps.